In May of 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law that prohibited the vast majority of states from regulating sports betting. Since then, at least twenty states have legalized sports betting within their borders.
Ohio has not yet passed such legislation.
However, there are currently two bills pending at the Statehouse that would legalize sports betting, including mobile betting. The Governor has previously stated that sports betting is coming to Ohio and that it is just a matter of working out a few key public policy questions, such as addressing problem gambling, whether betting on collegiate sports will be allowed, and which regulatory body should govern the process.
Prior to the COVID-19 state of emergency, sports betting was on track to be legalized in Ohio in 2020. COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation or delay of most major sports and created a host of other health and economic issues demanding legislators’ attention. However, as the state of emergency lifts, Ohio legislators may see sports betting as a new stream of revenue and quickly legalize it to enable Ohio to quickly capitalize on Ohioans’ interest in sports betting when major sports resume.