Ohio Sports Betting Launch: Where Will the Tax Revenue Go?

Ohio Sports Betting Launch: Where Will the Tax Revenue Go? article feature image

Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and his teammates take the field

The Ohio sports betting launch is less than one month away and bettors have already started taking advantage of the numerous pre-registration offers sportsbooks are offering in the Buckeye State.

Although in-person and online sports betting won't go live until midnight on Jan. 1, Ohio bettors can learn about where the tax revenue generated from their bets will go.

Here's what you need to know about legal online sports betting in Ohio, the taxes, and how the revenue is allocated to be spent by the state government.

Ohio will have a 10% tax rate on sports betting, which is low compared to many other sports betting states. Maryland, which saw online sports betting go live in the state in late November, has a 15% tax rate on sports betting — similar to other sports betting states like Illinois, Louisiana, and Virginia.

Ohio is surrounded by legal sports betting states on all sides, except for Kentucky. Michigan has an 8.4% tax rate; Indiana's is 9.5%; Pennsylvania's is 36%; and West Virginia has a 10% rate.

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. 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.

Ohio’s dense population, numerous professional and college teams, along with operator-friendly rules, is expected to make it one of the top markets in the country. Several different programs and ventures are set to benefit from sports betting's long-awaited legalization.

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