Sports betting is legal in Ohio, but it isn’t operational yet. Once the sports betting market launches, gaming regulators in the state will not be allowed to wager on any games according to a Code of Conduct approved on Wednesday.
Gaming Regulators Banned From Betting on Games
At a monthly meeting, the Ohio Casino Control Commission voted unanimously to ban any member of the commission or an employee from placing wagers in the Buckeye State, as stated by Jessica Franks, the director of communications. These members can’t place wagers on mobile devices and even inside retail sportsbook locations.
At the meeting, commission chairwoman June Taylor stressed the importance of sticking to the rules regarding the importance of integrity and public trust. She stated, “If we don’t have trust, this can’t work.”
Ohio’s Goal to Launch the Sports Betting Market
Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 29 in December 2021, legalizing mobile and retail sports betting across the state. The new law states that the market must launch no later than January 1, 2023.
Those residing in the Buckeye State have been patiently waiting for legal sports betting to launch. Supporters of the operation are hoping that it could launch in time for the upcoming football season. The state is home to many college programs and many professional organizations.
The Cleveland Browns are looking to be a contender this season after acquiring QB Deshaun Watson in a trade. The Cincinnati Bengals aim to return to the Super Bowl after falling to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. The NFL season is usually the busiest time of the year as the average betting volume skyrockets during the fall.
Before sports betting can begin across the state, the commission must set the rules and regulations so the operation can run smoothly. The launch date is still unknown, as the next meeting is set for May 4. Ohio’s sports betting market could have up to 50 mobile platforms and 40 land-based sites. Still, there is doubt that there will be that many available, according to Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director Matt Schuler.
Retail sportsbooks could be located within four casinos, seven “racinos”, and ten professional sports venues. Kiosks will be available in bars and restaurants that have liquor licenses.
Ohio State University Wants Limits on College Sports Betting
Ohio State has written to the commission expressing concerns about college sports before the operation launches in the next couple of months. Many who support this, even those in other states, believe wagering on student-athletes would hurt their performance during a game and in the classroom.
Stacy Rastaukas, OSU’s Vice President for Governmental Affairs, submitted an email stating, “Both athlete and non-athlete students will be exposed to undesirable behaviors surrounding wagering on collegiate events, and we must work together to ensure the best outcome for both our student population and the state of Ohio.”
Some of the specific suggestions stated in the email included limiting college wagering to football and basketball. The university wants prop bets to be prohibited, as they pertain to what the individual student-athlete accomplishes for the game.
Restrictions on college sports betting aren’t a new thing. Some states don’t allow bettors to place wagers on in-state teams or only in specific areas like a gaming facility or casino. Should wagering on in-state programs be prohibited, Ohio would join Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin on the list of states implementing that rule.