Ohio Gaming Officials Banned From Betting On Sports

Once legal sports betting in Ohio is live, gaming regulators won’t be able to wager on any games, under a Code of Conduct approved Wednesday.

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At a monthly meeting, the Ohio Casino Control Commission voted unanimously to ban any commission member or employee from participating in sports gaming in the Buckeye State, said Jessica Franks, director of communications.

The ban includes in-person betting at on-site sportsbooks or the use of a mobile app to wager on games.

The Code of Conduct aligns sports wagering guidelines with the commission’s current rules on Ohio casino betting.

At the meeting, commission chairwoman June Taylor stressed the importance of integrity and public trust.

“If we don’t have trust, this can’t work,” she said.

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NFL Games On The Horizon

In December, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing on-site and mobile sports betting in the state.

The new law stipulates that sports betting be live in Ohio no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

However, supporters hope sports betting can start at least in time for football season this year.

In addition to major college football teams, the state is home to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.

The AFC champion Bengals appeared in the Super Bowl this year on Feb. 13, falling to the NFC’s Los Angeles Rams, 23-20.

NFL games are usually the most heavily wagered single-game contests in the country.

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Mobile and Land-Based Betting Allowed

Before sports betting can begin, the commission must first put the rules in place to govern the industry.

The commission did not indicate Wednesday when legal sports betting might be live across the state. The next commission meeting is May 4.

In some states that have recently legalized sports betting, including Louisiana, the process has taken four to six months or longer.

Once sports betting is legal and live in Ohio, as many as 50 mobile apps and 40 land-based sites could be in operation.

However, Matt Schuler, the Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director, recently said he doubts there will be that many mobile apps available.

The land-based sportsbooks can be located at four casinos, seven racinos and 10 professional sports venues, according to a Casino Control Commission report.

Sports betting also will be available on kiosks in bars and restaurants with liquor permits.

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Ohio State University Raises Objections

With the rule-making process underway, Ohio State University has written to the commission expressing concerns about the state’s sports betting program.

In the recent letter, the Big 10 university’s Office of Government Affairs asked that betting be limited to football and basketball games, according to News 5, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland.

The university also wants wagering restricted to a game’s outcome, with no prop bets permitted.

“Our concern is for the student-athletes,” the letter states. “Allowing an in-game bet on a kick or a free throw can lead to very bad outcomes for the athlete regardless of his/her success due to the ability of angered bettors to anonymize threats and ridicule via social media platforms.”

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