Ohio Misses Out on Big Opportunity for Revenue

Jessie Bates #30 and Eli Apple #20 of the Cincinnati Bengals. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Super Bowl Opportunity Is Gone

While it is great that sports betting will finally come to Ohio — it will arrive by January 1st, 2023 — it’s sad for the state that it has not come yet. It must be a bitter pill to swallow to see the Cincinnati Bengals surprisingly make it to the Super Bowl and to lose.

Bettors will often wager on the teams that they support. Because the Bengals are based in Ohio, a lot of Bengal supporters would have bet on their team to win. One should have expected a lot of Ohioans to play the Cincinnati money-line all the more because it was available at plus money at the online sports betting sites.

Thanks to Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp’s last-second heroics, the Bengals lost. Ohio’s top sportsbooks would have netted extremely handsome profits from the Rams’ victory. In turn, the state of Ohio would have prospered as it collected all the sports betting taxes.

We’ve seen in other states where sports betting is legalized how states made advancements in education and other important aspects of public life as a result of the revenue generated by sports betting. It’s a pity that Ohio is not like these other states. But hey, while it’s rare for the same team to make it to the Super Bowl two years in a row, the Browns look okay, I guess.

Why Isn’t Ohio Ready Yet? ¬†

To be fair, Ohio came close to legalizing Sports Betting in the second half of 2020. The Senate and the House had distinct plans for sports betting. Both had similarities. For example, they would have allowed for online betting. However, they had important differences that they could not work out in time.

For example, the tax rate, licensing fees, renewal details, and the potential retail aspect were all debated to no avail. Such issues and more were negotiated for months in 2021. At the end of this year, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 29, thereby legalizing sports betting in Ohio and preparing for sports betting to launch by the start of 2023.

Hopeful Future 

Ohio has close to 12 million residents, which makes it comparable in population size to Pennsylvania where the betting market is already thriving and growing. There are a lot of professional and college sports teams in the state.

Hopefully, for Ohio-based sportsbooks and for the state itself, some of them will often feature in playoff games and in other primetime contests, both of which tend to draw extra interest from bettors.