Ohio Projected to Be a Top Sports Betting State in 2023
Gaelen Morse/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio Stadium.
The Ohio sports betting launch is less than three weeks away, and anticipation is as high as ever.
On Jan. 1, Ohio will join many of its neighbors in going live with legal sports betting — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia also offer in-person and online wagering.
The only neighboring state that has not launched legal betting is Kentucky, but Ohio can expect to see many Kentuckians cross state lines to place their bets.
Why Ohio Is Projected to Be a Top Sports Betting State
With a 10% tax rate, Ohio's rate is still slightly higher than its neighbors except for Pennsylvania. Michigan has an 8.4% tax rate; Indiana‘s is 9.5%; West Virginia has the same 10% rate; and Pennsylvania leads the group with a 36% tax rate.
Ohio is a favorable market for sportsbooks and bettors considering the state boasts a big population, eight pro sports teams, and high-profile universities to go along with offering operator-friendly rules. These characteristics are expected to make it one of the top markets in the country.
Various reports have projected that Ohio will generate between $8-10 billion in sports betting handle in the first year that betting is live. If those projections hold Ohio would rank No. 2 among sports betting states behind only New York.
In terms of taxable revenue that sports betting will generate, those estimates range from $30-$50 million in the first year, depending on which source you read. It's also realistic to project that the Buckeye State could pass the $50-million mark before the end of 2023, given the favorable market conditions.
That revenue will go toward several different initiatives, like Ohio’s Sports Gaming Revenue Fund, which will receive some of the proceeds from most forms of sports betting.
Additionally, tax revenue will benefit education in the state as well as local youth sports programs. A small portion of the revenue — 2% — will help with addiction and problem gambling. There will be a new nine-person panel created as well that will look at how legal sports betting is impacting mental health among people in Ohio.
Legal Ohio sports betting will go live just in time for many bettors as the sports calendar is packed in January and February with major college football bowl games, the College Football Playoff National Championship, the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl, UFC 284, the Australian Open, and the Daytona 500, among other events.
The following month is one of the top betting months of the year with the NCAA March Madness men's and women's tournaments. For the first time, Ohio bettors will even be able to bet on the First Four games to be held on the University of Dayton's campus.