Ohio could launch legal sports betting sooner than expected, according to Ohio State Sen. Kirk Schuring.
Schuring spoke with News-Talk 1480AM this week about the timeline for the universal sports betting launch in Ohio and what steps are next.
“Sometime I think in the mid- to late-fall we’ll have everything operational,” Schuring said.
Ohio’s sports betting law set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2023 for the state to launch, but it allows for an earlier start date.
Ohio is methodically moving toward a universal start date
Schuring explained some of the reasons why the state will spend over nine months working to launch sports betting after the law was signed last December. Ohio requires a 90-day waiting period after a bill is signed, so the law actually took effect on March 21, he said.
There was another 90-day window during which a legislative veto was a possibility. That did not happen to Ohio’s sports betting bill, which is quickly making its way through the rule-making process.
“It was a tough bill to pass because we had so many competing interests,” Schuring said.
Schuring noted that Ohio’s sports gaming law is the most comprehensive in the U.S. It encompasses online sportsbooks and apps, casinos, racinos, brick and mortar sportsbooks, professional sports franchises and lottery kiosks.
The law requires a universal start date. So even if Ohio can approve and license certain sectors of the sports betting industry, everyone has to wait for all competitors to be ready to launch.
Ohio State hopes to ban betting on … Ohio State
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is knee-deep in the rule-making process for Ohio’s sports betting law. That means there is still time to debate how the state handles certain sensitive issues without affecting the launch timeline.
Among them: gambling‘s impact on collegiate sports.
A representative of Ohio State University recently sent an email to the commission suggesting restrictions that would help protect students and student-athletes from “undesirable behaviors surrounding wagering on collegiate events.”
Some specific requests in the email included:
- Prohibiting collegiate prop betting
- Penalizing bettors who obtain inside information
- Disallowing any member of the athletic department (player, coach, trainer, etc.) to wager on any collegiate event
- Limiting collegiate wagering to football and basketball only
As of this writing, it’s still unclear whether OSU’s asks will result in restrictions being imposed by regulators designing the Ohio sports betting rules.
The letter requested extensive problem gambling program development, specifically for high school and post-secondary students who may fall into gambling addiction.
Restrictions on college sports wagering are nothing new. A number of states don’t allow prop betting at the college level. Several others do not allow wagers on in-state colleges. Oregon doesn’t allow college sports betting at all.
PlayOhio is tracking the latest news on our live launch updates page.