YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In just over three weeks, sports betting starts in Ohio.
When the bowl schedule came out, Ohio was included in the national championship picture but just a little too late for bettors. Ohio State plays in the Peach Bowl on December 31, four hours and one minute before sports betting begins in Ohio.
“I mean, you would have had a lot more people that were itching to bet on Ohio State these past couple months. They may only have one opportunity for the national championship to do so with this schedule,” said Robert Linnehan, a writer with Sports Betting Dime.
Lawmakers could’ve checked the sports calendar and picked an earlier start to sports betting, figuring the Buckeyes would be in the college football playoff. Linnehan feels that decision was costly.
“It would be millions of dollars in potential handle and hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue that the state would lose just from that one game,” he said.
Ohio decided to wait for the calendar year to begin sports betting. The first day of wagers will be a normal NFL Sunday, and the next weekend will include a Browns-Steelers game.
Ohio has aligned with sports books and casinos for legal wagering, plus over 900 betting kiosks have been approved for bars and restaurants where you can place a bet while watching a game.
“That’s definitely a unique wrinkle that a lot of states, you know, certainly have not jumped in with to the extent that Ohio has,” Linnehan said.
Every indication is sports betting remains on schedule. Linnehan feels Ohio has rabid fans of its teams, and that gives it the potential to be a top-five sports betting state.
“January 1 is an interesting time, start time. So, it’ll be wild to see,” Linnehan said.
The Ohio State game versus Georgia game will be ending right about the time sports betting goes legal in the state. And Linnehan feels many sports betting operators and affiliates are rooting hard for the Buckeyes, so those fans can start making bets for the national championship game on January 9.