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David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 3 mins

Ohio Sports Betting Could Be Legal By 2023 As Progress Made

Ohio Sports Betting Could Be Legal By 2023 As Progress Made

Could Ohio sports betting be legal and available online? A legislative framework finally appears in place that could legalize the practice in the Buckeye State by 2023.

Ohio has been a doughnut hole in a sports betting industry that’s sweeping the Midwest. Michigan sports betting has taken off since its launch, and its other neighbors – Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia – all have legal sports betting as well.

Earlier this week a Cincinnati lawmaker told reporters that he and other members of the Ohio General Assembly had worked out an agreement that could finally allow legal sports betting in the land of the Browns, Bengals and Buckeyes. That could mean NFL betting come 2023 playoff time as well as March Madness betting.

A primary holdup in Oho has been a debate over whether the state’s Casino Control Commission, which licenses and oversees the state’s 11 gaming facilities, should have oversight over sports betting, or whether that responsibility should fall to the Ohio Lottery Commission. Dueling bills in the state House and Senate have attempted to give that power to one body or the other.

Ohio Sports Betting Has Ally in Governor

But on Dec. 1, state representative Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, indicated to reporters that a breakthrough had been reached, although he declined to go into details of the plan. Republicans have favored Casino Control Commission oversight of sports betting.

“We want to be sure to give the Casino Control Commission adequate time to do all of the vetting that they are charged with doing under this bill, and we want to make sure also that everyone starts at the same starting point,” Seitz told Statehouse News Bureau. “We're not going to have some people get to market quicker than other people. That's not fair. We're all going to start at the same starting point.”

Sportsbooks have an ally in Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican.

“Sports gaming is already in Ohio. Ohio is just not regulating it. This is something that is, I think, inevitable, and it's coming to Ohio,” DeWine said at a March news conference. “The members of the General Assembly are working that process, and I will have the opportunity to see what they come up with, and I’ll have the opportunity to weigh in at the appropriate time. But sports gaming is certainly coming to Ohio.”

Ohio Sports Betting Proposal Would Allow 25 Mobile Licenses

Seitz told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Ohio General Assembly would vote on a sports betting measure next week, and have a bill for DeWine to sign by the end of this year. The goal would be for sports betting in Ohio to launch no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

One proposal backed by Republican lawmakers would create up to 25 mobile licenses for the state’s casinos and sports teams, allowing residents to place bets over mobile phones on betting apps. It would also allow for 40 brick-and-mortar licenses for sports betting, which could apply to a casino, a betting window at a sports stadium or a standalone sports betting establishment, the Enquirer reported.

That much competition would benefit Ohio sports bettors and mean some great offers. A couple of examples of what might be in the offing: The BetMGM bonus code unlocks a $1,000 risk-free bet while the Caesars Sportsbook promo code rewards new users with a first-bet match up to $1,001.

The door to sports betting in Ohio was opened in June, when the state Senate unanimously passed an amended bill that would legalize the practice. Differences over how sports betting would be overseen and implemented led the House to delay voting on the bill until the fall, when a conference committee was formed to work out the differences between the two sides.

About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.