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Ohio's Sports Betting Law Hailed 'Best in the US'

Ohio's collaborative approach to sports betting fosters competitive online environment with minimal restrictions and fair tax structure, according to PlayOhio's new market analysis

Ohio's Sports Betting Law Hailed 'Best in the US'
Ohio's Sports Betting Law Hailed 'Best in the US'

Ohio lawmakers created a regulatory framework for sports betting that is arguably the best in the U.S., "free from any significant flaws or limitations that could stifle Ohio's industry," according to new market analysis from PlayOhio, which tracks the state's regulated online gaming and sports betting market.

"The state took its time in legalizing sports betting and then took a collaborative approach with existing casino stakeholders, local pro sports franchises, and the lottery program," said Eric Ramsey, data analyst who co-authored the market analysis.

 "The result is a structure that is the new standard in the U.S."

The Ohio Casino Commission is targeting a Jan. 1, 2023, launch of sports betting, making good on a legalization effort that began in the Buckeye State in 2018. The long lead time may have been a blessing in disguise, allowing lawmakers to fine-tune the law to near-perfection, according to the market analysis.

Among the highlights, the law: 

  1. Authorizes both retail and state-wide online betting in Ohio. 
  2. Allows betting on all professional and collegiate sports, plus esports and the Olympics. 
  3. Gives professional sports teams and gaming facilities preferential consideration for licensure. 
  4. Allows lottery retailers to host sports betting kiosks with limited offerings. 
  5. Creates a tax rate of 10% of adjusted revenue.

PlayOhio projects that Ohio online and retail operators will generate between $9 billion and $12 billion in bets annually by the market's third year. That would produce between $700 million and $900 million in gross revenue each year. With Ohio's tax structure, which is 10% of an operator's taxable revenue, such revenue would mean $70 million to $90 million in taxes for the state each year.

"This framework provides a firm foundation for operators to build what should be one of the nation's largest, most dynamic sports betting markets," Ramsey said. 

"The state's sports landscape and the affinity for land-based gambling among its residents and visitors additionally bode well for the future of sports betting in Ohio. Ohio appears poised to emerge as the second- or third-largest sports betting market in the country, clearly behind New York, but perhaps rivaling Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois for No. 2."

Ohio built a best-in-class policy that fosters a competitive online environment while encouraging participation from the state's existing land-based casinos. 

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