Along with Hollywood Gaming Dayton, the casino commission on Wednesday approved several pro sports teams — the Cincinnati Bengals, FC Cincinnati, Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Guardians — as well as Northfield Park, Scioto Downs, Hollywood Casino Columbus and Belterra Park.
The state estimates that regulated sports betting will be a $1 billion industry in Ohio in its first year or so of operation, growing to $3.35 billion within a few years. Since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling four years ago cleared the way for all 50 states to legalize sports gambling, Americans have bet more than $125 billion on sports, according to the Associated Press.
During the meeting Wednesday, the commission also heard from employees focused on addressing problem gambling. They said they are developing new programs to address any increase in gambling issues that sports gambling is expected to bring. The solutions they are working on include advertising to alert people that there is help and expanding Ohio’s voluntary exclusion program that gives people the ability to ban themselves from casino and racino properties.
The gambling helpline is available 24/7 at 800-589-9966, or at www.Beforeyoubet.org. For information on the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, go to www.pgnohio.org.