State senators behind Ohio sports gambling predict fall start

Niraj Antani says he predicts sports betting to begin around World Series

Credit: Charlie Riedel

Credit: Charlie Riedel

Two state senators who were behind the push to legalize sports gambling in Ohio say they believe it will begin in mid-to-late fall.

State senators Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, and Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, recently said that good progress is being made by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which is implementing sports gambling in Ohio.

“I still believe sports betting will be able to start in the late fall, around the World Series,” Antani told the Dayton Daily News.



Ohio’s legislature passed a sports betting bill in December, and Gov. Mike DeWine signed it on Dec. 22. Sports betting must start by Jan. 1, 2023, according to the bill, but there is room for it to start before then.

Exactly when sports betting will begin remains unclear as the Ohio Casino Control Commission is creating rules, applications, forms and other essentials to launch sports betting.

An Ohio Casino Control Commission spokesperson previously said the January 2023 deadline was chosen to give the commission enough time to write and approve rules and for it to review companies that apply for licenses.

The commission announced this month that it will begin accepting applications for sports gaming licenses on June 15.

“I think the application schedule they set out is very promising but also very reasonable,” Antani said.

The sports betting bill that was passed calls for one start date across the entire state.

Schuring told News-Talk 1480 WHBC that many view Ohio’s sports betting law as one of the most comprehensive in the country and covers many types of businesses that want to implement sports betting.

“Sometime I would think in the mid-to-late fall we would have everything operational,” Schuring said.

Whenever sports gambling goes live, it is expected to generate big revenue. The state estimates that sports betting will be a $1.1 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.

Two-thirds of states have legalized sports gambling.

PlayOhio recently released an analysis that found Ohio will be missing out on potentially millions of dollars if it doesn’t launch by the NFL season. The analysis found that sportsbooks in Ohio will bring in as much as $130 million per week in NFL betting volume during the 2022 season. The analysis found that it could result in about $7 million won by sportsbooks and $700,000 in tax revenue a week.

“If Ohio does wait until the new year to launch, the opportunity cost will be substantial,” PlayOhio analyst Eric Ramsey said in a release.

Daniel Wallach, who owns a sports gaming-focused law firm, said some other states tried to launch their sports gambling around football season. He said Ohio is competing against other states for tax dollars and September is going to be one of the busiest months of the year for sports gambling.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

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