Hollywood Gaming in Dayton approved for sports gambling next year

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway was approved Wednesday to provide sports gambling starting next year.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission unanimously approved the local racino for both in-person and online gambling licenses. Hollywood Gaming, located on Wagner Ford Road in north Dayton, is expected to host a Barstool Sportsbook and is partnered with BetRivers for online gaming, commission records say.

Miami Valley Gaming in Warren County has also applied to host sports gambling but was not on the commission agenda to be voted on Wednesday.

Legal sports gambling will begin in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. The casino control commission is in the process of creating rules, approving applications, and completing other essentials to launch sports betting in the state.

The racinos won’t be the only places a person can bet on sports here. Nearly 40 area restaurants and bars have been approved by the casino commission to have sports gambling kiosks in their establishments.

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.

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