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Sports Betting Market in Ohio Could Be Worth Around $8 Billion Once Mature

Experts believe that the sports betting market in Ohio could generate up to $8 billion in wagers. State governor Mike DeWine made this form of gambling legal in the state after signing HB 29 into law a few weeks ago. 

John Atkinson, director of business development at 888 Holdings, told the Cincinnati Business Courier that this new industry could bring over $90 in state tax proceeds once the market has matured in five years. 

“There’s a big opportunity in Ohio,” Atkinson said. “It’s a big state with a lot of sports fans.”

The executive told the newspaper that 888 plans on launching a sportsbook in the Buckeye state.

The newly approved betting laws will allow bettors to place action on professional sporting events and college games. The bill also stipulates that sports betting operators should be fully operational by January 1, 2023. However, many expect legal sportsbetting in Ohio to be given the green light before then. 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission stated that it could start accepting applications for businesses looking to enter the industry “in the summer or fall of 2022.”

The commission will allocate up to 25 five-year Type A sports betting operator licenses to applicants. The new bill also gives the OCCC the right to issue additional permits to applicants who demonstrate that the market needs more Type A operators. These licenses allow the holder to provide online sports betting services. 

Casinos, racinos, and sports teams in Ohio can partner with online gambling sites when submitting a bid. Successful applicants can initially operate a maximum of two online sportsbooks or apps – known in the industry as skins. The cost of one skin is $3 million; a second costs $10 million. 

According to the new legislation, sportsbooks operating in Ohio will pay a 10% tax on net revenue. If early estimates are correct, these operators could generate around $7 million during the first half of 2023 and over $24 million in the first full fiscal year for the state.  

Last December, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission claimed the market could be worth around $3.35 billion after several years of operation. PlayOhio also has high hopes for the industry, claiming that it could produce around $900 million in gaming revenue, $12 billion in wagers, and $90 million in state taxes once the market has matured. Regulators have earmarked 98% of the tax revenue to fund public and private K-12 education. The remaining 2% will be spent on problem gambling assistance services. 

Venues that want to provide sports betting options will also have to pay application fees. These fees will likely exceed $10 million statewide in the first few months. 

“Ohio is a large state that has embraced an open model, which will make it immensely attractive to both national and local operators,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com network. “The common element among the largest markets in the U.S. is that they all foster competition among many operators. Those markets are far more appealing to bettors, which in turn makes the industry a more reliable revenue producer for the state.”

Ohio has a similar population (11.7 million residents) to established sports betting markets in Illinois (12.6 million residents) and Pennsylvania (12.8 million residents). These two states have some of the biggest sports betting markets in the US. 

Therefore, many experts expect Ohio to become one of the larger states for sports betting. However, regulators haven’t finalized rules and are yet to issue licenses. Additionally, as bars and restaurants can also apply for permits – not the case in other states – establishing the regulations for this new market could take, at the very least, a few months. 

A total of 40 Type B licenses are available to land-based retailers. Initial license fees range from $90,000 to $140,000. There will also be 20 Type C licenses available for businesses working with an unlimited number of bars and restaurants. These will allow holders to provide clerk-operated and self-service gaming terminals.


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