Ohio sports betting officially underway

Ohio sports betting officially underway

Illustration of a basketball, baseball and football slot machine ending with three dollar signs.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Pete Rose’s play on the Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s got him banned from baseball. His latest on Sunday earned him the VIP treatment.

In-game status: Ohio’s long-awaited attempt at legal sports betting launched as the clock struck midnight to ring in the new year.

  • Rose placed the first bet at the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati, helping to spark a rush of bets in casinos, restaurants, bars and about two dozen flashy apps.

The big picture: We join a majority of states that have legalized sports betting since the federal ban was lifted in 2018.

  • Legalization has become a domino effect as states chase what has been an eye-popping tax revenue stream.

How it works: Most government bets will be placed on one of 25 online apps, most of which are already up and running.

  • There is also retail gambling in casinos, some sports arenas and in licensed restaurants and bars.

What they say: Ohio is unique in licensing so many phone apps and in allowing betting kiosks at local businesses, Covers.com analyst Geoff Zochodne tells Axios.

  • Ohio had the advantage of observing other states’ programs to develop its own rules and services, he says.

Meanwhile, operators have spent the past year flooding Ohioans’ TVs and social media feeds with promotional ads.

By the numbers: Ohioans are estimated to place more than $8 billion in games this year, equivalent to $2 per day per capita.

  • Ohio taxes most operators at 10% of their net income, with the proceeds going toward postsecondary education and gambling addiction services.
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The intrigue: Last weekend’s College Football Playoff semifinal had the potential to go past midnight, potentially locking up live play on the Buckeyes for the thrilling conclusion.

  • The heartbreaking missed kick ended up hitting the turf at the exact second the calendar turned to 2023.

😬 The bottom line: As sports fans well know, it wasn’t the first wave of athletic disappointment, and it certainly won’t be the last.

  • The only difference? Next time, Ohioans will have (legal) money on the prowl.

👋 Tyler here. Shortly after, the ball dropped both in Times Square and at the Peach Bowl I placed one of the first legal games in Ohio.

  • The promotional game “free” on an app made me a winner if a single yard was gained in the next day’s Browns game.

Before the night endedI also went to Hollywood Casino Columbus to check out the brand new kiosks, where I placed a small bet on the upcoming title game.

Reality check: I’m a big sports nut, but an amateur player. I plan to bet for fun, not profit.

  • Here is some advice if you want to jump in the water responsibly.

Shop around: “It’s a bit of a buyer’s market,” Zochodne says of the many options in person and online.

  • Each of them competes for your loyalty by offering a variety of promotions and bonus games, so take your time to shop around.

Read these bonuses carefully: These vary widely by sportsbook. Some offer instant free bonus money to bet with, while others require a deposit to unlock various rewards.

  • However, be careful with the word “free”. You usually cannot withdraw or withdraw this bonus money without wagering it several times first.
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Never bet on what you cannot afford to lose: This is an important axiom in all forms of gambling, but especially for a shiny new betting option on popular sports teams and leagues.

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