Legislators have spent much of 2022 working to launch sports betting in Ohio ahead of a Jan. 1, 2023 deadline. Along the way, universities in the state have expressed concern about gambling‘s impact on collegiate sports.
With the launch process seemingly moving at a strong pace, will advocates be able to stop the college sports betting train from leaving the station?
Officials at Ohio State University hope so.
Ohio State hopes to ban betting on … Ohio State
Stacy Rastaukas, vice president of governmental affairs at OSU, recently sent an email to the Ohio Casino Control 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.
Banning prop bets would be an attempt to protect players from unwanted heckling or threats due to poor performance by an individual player. Limiting sports betting to only football and basketball may be an attempt to keep gambling on the biggest stages to better prevent forms of misconduct.
Ohio is not the first state to consider restrictions for gambling on collegiate athletics.
Collegiate gambling restrictions in other states
Restrictions on college sports wagering are nothing new. There are a number of states that don’t allow prop betting at the college level, such as:
The list of states that do not allow wagers on in-state colleges is even longer. The list includes some rather prominent states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Dakota
Oregon doesn’t allow college sports wagering at all — whether the school is inside or out of the state.
The future of sports betting in Ohio
Ohio finally passed a bill legalizing sports betting back in December of 2021. The official commercial launch will happen by Jan. 1, 2023, though there is a chance it could happen sooner.
The licensing application process for in-person and online sports betting operations begins on June 15 and closes July 15. As a result, experts project momentum to really pick up in October and November.
While the launch inches ever closer, the Ohio legislature is ironing out the final details of what exactly Ohio sports betting will look like. All responsible gaming plans, geolocation procedures, and house rules must be finalized and submitted 60 days prior to the launch.
We should know the full restrictions on Ohio’s sports betting regulations in the coming months. In the meantime, Ohio’s professional sports teams are inking partnerships with sports betting operators.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have partnered with Fubo Gaming and Caesars, the Cleveland Browns have partnered with Bally’s Interactive, and the PGA has partnered with betPARX.
Launching sports betting in Ohio by the start of the 2022 NFL season would be a boon to Ohio operators and state coffers. Week 1 of the NFL season is unlikely at this point, but a launch at some point during the 2022-23 NFL season is still possible.