Next State Stepping Into Legal Sports Gambling — Ohio

It's not a question of if any longer, it's a question of when for pretty much every state in the union.


Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state gambling bans across the nation three years ago, the process of most if not all states moving into some form of legalized casinos and sportsbooks became inevitable. Here’s the basic argument made by each state to their doubters — people are gambling in our state regardless, why wouldn’t we want them gambling at our own establishments to benefit our economy and tax revenues?

Of course, that is a standard argument for enabling any vice. It’s also very hard to refute. This will leave but a few states perhaps like Utah that have a majority will against gambling as the only state or states that continue to uphold a gambling ban. But not Ohio. They are the latest among an ever-growing number of states to begin the process of legalizing gambling within their borders.

Ohio is advancing forth on legal sports gambling enabling a series of commissions and bureaucracies and licensing processes to control the business as only government can — bloatedly. The Ohio Senate has put forth a comprehensive bill explaining how it will all shake out. A gaming commission will run the supervisory show. 40 sportsbook licenses will be passed out in the state to the tune of a $1 million upfront for a 3-year license plus ten percent of the take back to the state.

Locations of existing legal gambling in Ohio.

Licenses will be going to existing casinos and racing operations in Ohio, as well as half reserved for sports bars and other retail establishments. So if you’re wondering where the most fun sports bars in the country might be soon, try Ohio where they will have legal sports betting on top of the usual chicken wings and beer.

If you’re wondering if legal sports betting in Ohio is now a certainty, Ohio governor Mike DeWine essentially declared it so. The governor noted that sports gambling is already legal in almost all of Ohio’s border states and he intends to capture the almighty tax dollars generated by Ohio gamblers in Ohio. That tax money is sports gambling’s golden ticket. It’s going to be impossible to stop.

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