Ohio Passes Bill to Ban Bettors for Harassing Sports Participants

Ohio Passes Bill to Ban Bettors for Harassing Sports Participants article feature image

Via Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: The Ohio State Buckeyes marching band spells “Ohio” prior to a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Ohio Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio has taken a major step in punishing bettors for threatening players, coaches and referees.

On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the Ohio state budget bill which included language granting regulators the power to, "Exclude a person from participating in sports gaming in Ohio if the person has threatened violence or harm against a person who is involved in a sporting event, where the threat was related to sports gaming and made before, during or after a sporting event."

It allows for bettors who are caught threatening violence or harm toward players, coaches or referees to be prohibited from using any regulated sportsbook controlled by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

The commission now has the authority to place individuals on a sports betting exclusion list. Individuals named will be shared with all of the sportsbooks in the state.

Ohio is the first state to pass legislation of this nature to address the issue of targeted harassment. West Virginia introduced similar legislation this year.

In January, Dayton head basketball coach Anthony Grant expressed concerns over threats that were directed at his players. Online sports wagering in Ohio became legal in January of 2023.

"When we have people that make it about themselves and attack kids because of their own agenda, it sickens me," Grant said in a press conference. "They have families, they don't deserve that."

Anthony Grant delivered an emotional speech in his postgame press conference. Dayton players were the target of hate online from losing gamblers after the game Friday vs. VCU. pic.twitter.com/l0XgKE8Vsa

— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) January 18, 2023

Targeted harassment has become a clear issue in the sports gaming world and other regulators, commissions and integrity monitoring companies are expected to take additional steps to put a stop to it.

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