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Addicted to the Game: Did Ohioans Win or Lose by Legalizing Sports Betting?

Ian Alexander Photography

Sports betting for adults over age 21 became legal in Ohio on January 1, 2023, and is now a $6 billion industry. Thirty-six states – plus the District of Columbia – now permit legal sports betting. Nearly every sports bet in Ohio – some 97% of bets – are placed online, although in-person bets can now be placed at casinos, stadiums, bars and restaurants. Overseeing the state’s enormous sports gambling industry is the Ohio Casino Control Commission; with jurisdiction over Ohio gambling, the Commission has already levied fines on the industry for gambling advertisements that don’t comply with the state’s strict rules. The industry’s explosive growth has come with a human cost too, with calls to one support line for problem gamblers up 150% in the first seven months of 2023, according to WOSU Public Media. With the Super Bowl right around the corner, we dive into the impact of a full year of legal sports betting in Ohio to ask: who’s winning and who’s losing?

Featuring Matt Schuler, Executive Director, The Ohio Casino Control Commission, Dan Dodd, Vice President of Government Relations, ZHF Consulting LLC, Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Chief, Office of Prevention & Problem Gambling, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, and Oyauma Garrison, President & Chief Executive Officer, Maryhaven, Inc, with host Rob Oller, Sports Reporter & Columnist, The Columbus Dispatch