Betting Companies Going All-In on Ohio

Online sports betting is becoming more and more popular across the US, and following its recent success, many states have started legalizing mobile wagering. One of these states is Ohio, which has legalized online sports betting but is yet to allow sportsbooks to launch. 

Many experts see Ohio as a perfect fit for online sports betting. There are eight major sports teams in the state, and its residents are passionate sports fans. The popularity of mobile wagering across the US shows that passionate sports fans also love betting. That’s why operators, companies, and residents are so keen on the launch of sports betting.

Sportsbook operators have been preparing for this by investing heavily in the state. New partnerships are being signed all the time as momentum builds for the launch. Our experts have looked at the latest developments to see what this means for bettors in the Buckeye State. 

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?

Online sports betting was legalized in December 2021 when Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 29. HB 29 actually started as a bill entirely unrelated to wagering, but amendments from Senator Kirk Schuring took the framework from the SB 176 bill and put it on this house bill. The rules from this bill allow for 25 Type A licenses, meaning 25 different sportsbooks can potentially launch in the state. Ohio will also receive 10% of revenue in tax, with 2% of this promised to help with problem gambling. 

While all of this has been signed into law, mobile sports betting has yet to launch. Lawmakers included a deadline of January 1, 2023, for this to happen. But if the logistics of this launch are worked out soon, sports betting could go live in 2022. 

Caesars Sportsbook and the Cleveland Cavaliers

The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers is one of Ohio’s most beloved sports franchises, ending the state’s 52-year wait for a major sports title led by superstar LeBron James. This popularity is why one of the biggest sportsbook operators in the US, Caesars Sportsbook, has signed a multi-year partnership with the team. 

The plan involves putting Caesars’ branding across the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and a retail sportsbook being built at the stadium. This sportsbook will provide a full bar, VIP lounge, and the opportunity for Caesars Rewards members to cash in those rewards. This retail sportsbook will be available to anyone, not just people with a ticket for a Cavaliers game. 

This isn’t the first time Caesars has invested heavily in bringing sports betting to a state. The sportsbook was actually the first to launch a retail sportsbook at a professional sports stadium with the Capital One Arena Washington D.C. It has further plans with the Arizona Diamondbacks, launching a Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field. This kind of commitment in Ohio shows just how huge mobile sports betting could be when it launches in the state. 

Rush Street Teams Up with Penn National Gaming

Rush Street Interactive is another sportsbook making proactive moves by signing a partnership with Penn National Gaming. Penn National Gaming is one of the largest casino operators in the US. Sportsbooks like Barstool Sportsbook and more have signed partnerships with Penn’s various casinos to launch safely and legally in states across the country.

The latest partnership will let Rush Street Interactive launch sportsbooks in Maryland, Missouri, and Ohio. Maryland is similar to Ohio in that online sports betting is legalized but hasn’t gone live. 

Rush Street Interactive operates two popular sportsbook brands: SugarHouse in New Jersey and BetRivers in the rest of the US. The BetRivers brand will likely launch in the Buckeye State, and bettors will be able to visit its retail sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino Columbus. Or download the BetRivers app and wager wherever you want in the state when online sports betting goes live.

Considering mobile wagering isn’t expected to launch until late 2022/early 2023, this early move by Rush Street Interactive shows how valuable a market Ohio could be for sportsbook operators. That’s great news for bettors in the state because it means generous welcome bonuses and rewards are heading their way when online betting goes live.   

Missed Super Bowl Opportunity

The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the US, and it gets an equal amount of attention from sports bettors. Super Bowl LVI, hosted at the SoFi Stadium in California, is already estimated to have handled far more in bets than the showcase game in 2020. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars on just one game!

There’s a sense this was a missed opportunity in Ohio because one of the teams playing in Super Bowl LVI was the Cincinnati Bengals. If Ohio’s online wagering had launched, it would have been one of the first times a state with online sports betting had a team in the Super Bowl. Not only that, but it was the first time a team from Ohio had made the Super Bowl since 1989.

Experts estimate between $90 and $100 million could have been wagered on the game in Ohio, which is a huge amount. From this, tax revenue for the state could have been between $630,000 and $700,000. These kinds of financial boosts are one of the reasons Ohio decided to legalize online sports betting.

It is unlikely the state will make the same mistake twice, and you can expect bettors in Ohio will be able to wager on the Super Bowl in 2023. Online sports betting is just around the corner for this state, and bettors can’t wait to download sportsbook apps and wager on their favorite sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. 

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