Ripple Effect Of Potential NY Online Casino Legalization Could Hit Ohio

Written By C.J. Pierre on December 28, 2023
Outline of New York with green arrow leading to outline of Ohio, which could be part of ripple effect if NY legalizes online casinos

We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the launch of legal Ohio sports betting and online casinos could be next.

BetMGM could be one of the catalysts that help make Ohio online casinos a reality. During a December 2023 business update, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt told investors that the company is looking at potential new online casino states, ones that he called “highly coveted,” despite being “both surprised and disappointed in the past.”

One of the states he expressed optimism about is New York. The Empire State is seen as a potential catalyst, of sorts, for a domino effect of online casino legalization. If a massive market the size of New York decides to reap the tax benefits of legal real-money online casinos, perhaps other large markets — like Ohio — will follow suit.

BetMGM has hopes for online casinos in several states

BetMGM has been a top-five online sports betting operator in Ohio since the beginning. At the time of the January 2023 launch, for instance, BetMGM had already spent over $27.3 million on promotional spending in the state, the third-most of the other 16 licensed operators at the time.

So, it is fair to say that BetMGM views Ohio as an important market. That would still be the case if the state legislature were to take another look at legalizing Ohio online casinos.

Greenblatt told investors that the company is “eagerly anticipating” legislative movement in three states:

  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Illinois

Greenblatt concluded the business update call with optimism, not only for legalization in those markets but for BetMGM to become an industry leader immediately.

“We believe in our prospects. We believe in the uniqueness and specialness of BetMGM. And we hope to surprise and delight in the years to come,” said Greenblatt.

While New York and Illinois are ahead of Ohio in the sports betting sphere, Maryland is quite a ways behind. In October, Maryland sports betting operators took $483.1 million in bets. Meanwhile, Ohio sportsbooks took $742.9 million.

Ohio is still a growing online gambling market and if BetMGM sees potential, there is no doubt there would support any push to bring online casinos to Ohio.

What legal online casinos could mean for Ohio

Ohio online sportsbooks could be viewed as a figurative test run before determining if online casino legislation would work in the Buckeye State. A handful of other states have legalized online casinos. Ohio online casinos aren’t a reality yet, but legislators and regulators could look at Ohio’s neighbor to the north, Michigan, for an example.

Michigan launched legal online casinos in January 2021. Fifteen online casinos are operating in the state, and more are still to come. Since the launch, Michigan’s online casino revenue has been over $1 billion. The state’s online casinos are also on pace to provide a record amount of tax revenue in 2023.

Ohio is missing out on that revenue. Based on data from an American Gaming Association study, PlayOhio estimates that Ohio is losing more than $125 million in taxes annually by not legalizing online casinos.

If there is forward movement for online casinos in New York, continued success in Michigan, and legalization in another neighboring state like Illinois, that could be a signal to Ohio lawmakers that it may be time to bring online casinos to their state as well.

Photo by PlayOhio
C.J. Pierre Avatar
Written by
C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayOhio. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino, sports betting and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

View all posts by C.J. Pierre