US Sports Betting: Local Sports Betting Operations in Ohio and Minnesota

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Sports betting in the US is starting to become widespread with more states signing up to regulate local operations within their territories. In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the US has stricken down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 that made sports betting federally legal. Each state is now given the choice to regulate local sports betting and so far, there are over 20 states that made this decision.

Some of the states with legal sports betting today are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Connecticut, and Illinois. While not all states already have sports betting, everyone in the US can still place bets online including placing bets on sportsbooks that are based offshore. Much like legal betting from India, there are no laws that prohibit Americans from placing bets on online casinos or bookies that are based outside the country.

However, with people placing bets offshore, certain states are missing out on potential tax revenues. It’s also no secret that people placing bets on offshore casinos and bookies are prone to problems that the US laws can’t protect them from. This is why many states are choosing to regulate the industry instead. It could be a win-win situation with having the local consumers protected and at the same time bringing in more revenues in their states.

Ohio Governor Signs Bill to Legalize Sports Betting

Ohio just recently joined the long list of states with legal sports betting. Governor Mike DeWine has finally signed House Bill 29 that will allow the locals to place bets on professional, college, and esports within the state. The tentative launch date of sports wagering in Ohio is on January 1, 2023.

Senator Kirk Schuring spoke about the recent development and said, “We want to get this up and running as soon as possible, but we’re building a whole new industry. We’re hoping it can be done sooner (than 2023.)”

While that’s a possibility, it’s not quick and easy to come up with rules and regulations that will run the industry. The Ohio Casino Control Commission said that it could take months and estimates that they will only be ready to accept license applications in the summer or fall of next year. The application fees are projected to exceed $10 million within the first few months.

According to Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the state’s sports betting market could reach a value of over USD 3.35 billion after several years. Based on the bill passed, 10 percent of the industry’s net revenue will be charged as tax and this means that the state could get as much as $7 million on the first half of 2023 and as much as $24 million on the whole fiscal year.

Regarding where the funds will go, 98% of that is earmarked for public and private K-12 education. Meanwhile, the 2 percent will go towards problem gambling assistance programs. Aside from these, 0.5 percent of the application fees will go towards programs related to the state’s veterans and their families.

Minnesota Might Also Have Legal Sports Betting Soon

Minnesota is looking to move towards regulated sports betting. Senator Karla Bigham recently spoke about this and said, “We no longer can be an island. Thirty-three states and territories have legalized sports wagering. It is time for Minnesota to join that group.”

The states surrounding Minnesota are all moving towards the same thing. In Wisconsin, a second Native American tribe has already signed an agreement to legalize sports wagering. Both North and South Dakota also have forms of legal sports betting. The same goes for Iowa.

This is why Republican Representative Pat Garofalo also agrees with Senator Bigham’s sentiments. Rep. Garofalo said, “It’s past time for us to bring safe and regulated sports gambling to the state of Minnesota.”

It is known that both of them have authored legal sports betting bills before, they are only in the minorities of their respective bodies. Fortunately for the people hoping to finally regulate betting in the state, DFL Commerce Committee Chairperson Zack Stephenson and Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain are in the process of authoring new bills to be ready by the next session in January.

Stephenson spoke about this plan recently and said, “Many Minnesotans are already engaging in sports betting. The fact that we don’t have legal sports betting in Minnesota doesn’t mean we don’t have sports betting in Minnesota.”

This also seems to be a good time to finally discuss this because the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) also recently spoke about their willingness to consider agreeing on legal sports wagering.

MIGA’s executive director, Andy Platto, said in a statement, “The tribal governments making up MIGA have been examining the various ways sports betting has been implemented across the country and its impacts on tribal communities. As gaming experts, tribes stand ready to share this expertise with lawmakers considering the future of sports betting in Minnesota.”