Ohio Becomes 33rd State to Legalize Sports Betting; Bettors Will Be Able To Place Wagers By Jan. 2023

Ohio Becomes 33rd State to Legalize Sports Betting; Bettors Will Be Able To Place Wagers By Jan. 2023 article feature image

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (29) and safety Bryson Shaw (17) tackle Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Isaih Pacheco.

Ohio became the 33rd state to legalize sports gambling in some form on Wednesday when Gov. Mike DeWine signed the state legislature's online sports betting bill into law.

The parameters of the bipartisan House Bill 29 stipulate that bettors will be able to place wagers on professional, college and esports by Jan. 1, 2023 at the very latest.

But, state legislators, sportsbook operators and bettors alike have expressed an interest in expediting that process.

The earliest bettors can expect to place bets will be the second half of 2022.

DeWine had indicated that he would sign the bill into law after the Ohio Senate and Ohio House passed it with overwhelming numbers. The online sports betting bill cleared the Senate by a 31-1 margin and the House by a 72-12 mark.

Roughly 98% of the total tax profits will go toward funding public and private K-12 education. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission has estimated that revenue from sports gambling in the state is expected to total about $3.35 billion per year later in the decade.

The 10% tax on sportsbooks could bring in about $7 million for the state government during the first half of 2023 alone and $24 million total during its first fiscal year of legalization, according to that commission's study.

Ohio would become the 18th state to legalize online sports gambling, joining this list of states:

Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and New York have legalized some form of brick-and-mortar sports betting. New York is scheduled to launch online sports betting at some time in the first quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, legalization in Maryland, Wisconsin and Nebraska is pending further action but has been approved.

Finally, Florida had initially approved online sports gambling but the state of legalization there is currently in limbo.

The licensing process in Ohio regarding which sportsbooks will be able to hold bets will take place throughout next year.

It's unclear which major American or international sportsbooks may stake their claim in Ohio just yet, but expect many of the major players to be involved. Only a total of 25 five-year licenses will be made available.

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