by J.D. Davidson
A leading sports gambling organization believes Ohio will wager more than most every other state once betting becomes legal Jan. 1.
PlayOhio, a division of PlayUSA, predicts people across the state will place $8 billion in bets during 2023, ranking only behind New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Nevada in terms of handle.
“As we’ve known, the amount of money that Ohio sports fans will bet on sports is massive. Ohio has been waiting for years for regulated betting, boosted by more than a year of lead time since the law was passed,” PlayOhio Analyst Danny Cross said. “Although $8 billion is a staggering number, it’s in line with figures we’ve talked about for years.”
PlayOhio predicts most Ohio betting will come on football and basketball, as expected with two professional football teams and Ohio State as a perennial national championship contender.
PlayOhio also predicts the state could bring in more than $30 million in fees for applications before the first bet is taken.
Ohio’s law creates three types of gaming licenses that last for five years and go into effect Jan. 1.
The licenses include those for mobile apps, brick-and-mortar facilities and kiosks at certain lottery retail agents at bars and taverns across the state.
According to PlayOhio, the Ohio Lottery had already approved 920 businesses by mid-July to host a sports betting kiosk.
The Ohio Casino Gaming Commission opened its first application window for all licenses June 15 and closed July 15. A second window opened July 15 and lasts until Aug. 15. The timeline includes dates for compliance documents and employee applications.
All equipment must be ready for commission verification by Dec. 1.
The process from passage to launch has been one of the longest among any state with legalized sports betting, and PlayOhio had estimated the state could lose $130 million a week by bypassing the majority of the NFL season. That could add up to more than $1 billion by the end of the year.
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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Mobile Betting” by Author Unknown.