Ohio sports betting is now a reality after Ohio became the 33rd state to legalize gambling online and in brick-and-mortar locations last December, moving the state into the new reality of widespread sports betting in America.
More than $52.7 billion was wagered in sports bets in America last year, up over 200% more than in 2020; with powerhouse states such as New York committing to furthering the availability of sportsbooks, the market is only going to keep growing for the foreseeable future.
While Ohio’s recent decree has been met with raucous support, there are also a few hiccups— and a potentially massive drawback.
Ohio Sports Betting Gets a Face Lift
Ohio sports betting passed through the Ohio state legislature via House Bill 29 on December 22, 2021, welcoming a new age of sportsbooks and casinos to the Ohio area. With the recent success and increased tax revenues in states across America, this move was expected and also welcomed by multiple parties.
One thing that the move was not, however, was timely: Ohioans will be missing out on a significant opportunity to bring increased participation and patronage this Sunday when their representative Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
The American Gambling Association estimated that 23.2 million people would wager $4.3 billion on last year’s battle for the Lombardi Trophy; this year, those figures have increased to 18.2 million bettors wagering an estimated $7.61 billion with both numbers increasing by 78%.
Although Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s new law has already welcomed sportsbooks into Ohio, experts do not estimate that everything will be operational until New Year’s Day in 2023. This means that the Bengals’ unexpected run to the Super Bowl happened one season too early, and the state will miss out on a drastic influx into its economy.
On the Bright Side…
On the bright side, Cincy’s success will only increase the demand for the implementation of sportsbooks— one that will be met in less than a year, if the current plans are followed correctly. Ohio also has plenty of other professional teams, like the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Guardians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Blue Jackets, and others.
Another massive appeal in the Ohio betting scene is, of course, THE Ohio State. The Buckeyes are a perennial contender in football and basketball and would almost certainly be a major draw. If they can extend their season to a Bowl Game in the new year, the rewards of this would be reaped even earlier than imagined.
All in all, all parties should be ecstatic that Ohio is moving towards becoming a part of the future and not being left behind in the dust. Sports betting is sweeping the nation and is benefitting the state, and it should be a complete hit in one of the Midwest’s most prominent states.
Ohioans may have missed out on backing their hometown heroes in this year’s Super Bowl, but they will be at the frontline of this sweeping movement for years to come, offering some of the best attractions and highest-quality draws that the sporting world has in its expansive repertoire.