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Legalized Sports Betting Ohio’s Response to a National Trend

In May of 2018, a Supreme Court ruling allowed for individual states to determine the legality of sports gambling – and many states across the country didn’t waste time in taking advantage of the potential profit.

Eight states have already legalized sports gambling, two more have bills pending and NCPG expects up to 30 more states to propose bills in 2019. It appears that sports betting will eventually be legalized in Ohio. From an education and responsible gambling perspective, appropriate consumer protections should be the focus of advocacy efforts. Sports gambling will expose new audiences to gambling opportunities, and it may result in an increase in problem behaviors.

Ohio has a history of collaboration when it comes to this issue. The gambling treatment field began in our state. We’ve developed award-winning campaigns, drawn on national and international expertise and tracked statewide and community-specific data regarding gambling – including sports betting.

The behavioral health field and the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio have begun the process of working with state legislators to identify the kinds of regulations and consumer protections that could be put in place to address this evolution of sports betting. Regulation suggestions include:

Minimum Standards:

  • Must be 21+
  • Limited to Professional Sports Only
  • Appropriate Age Verification Measures
  • Self-Exclusion
  • Promotion of Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline on all Sports Betting Messaging
  • A Minimum of 2% of Sports Betting Revenue Directed to Support Prevention & Treatment of Problem Gambling

For Mobile Gambling:

  • Limit to Casinos/Racinos for Registration
  • Require Same Process (as casino/racino) for Self-Exclusion
  • Some Form of Slowing down play, with Inclusion of Problem Gambling Helpline and/or Statewide Campaign resources


For more information and resources about responsible gambling, visit BeforeYouBet.org.

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