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Commission on the Future of Gaming in Ohio Explores Prospects for iGaming Expansion

Commission on the Future of Gaming in Ohio Explores Prospects for iGaming ExpansionAs more than one year has passed since the legalization of online sports betting in Ohio, the Study Commission on the Future of Gaming examines if there is room for more iGaming opportunities. Looking at the state of brick-and-mortar sports betting revenue, prospects look gloomy for Ohio’s four physical casinos.

With more than 97% of sports wagers placed online, and retail sports betting operators paying out more in winnings than they took in in bets in February 2024, many have shared their apprehensions that the same would happen to the state’s land-based casinos.

If iGaming is brought to the table, Ohio’s residents could wager real money on games such as roulette, poker, and blackjack through their phones. The Ohio Study Commission on the Future of Gaming has delved into the matter, seeking opinions from multiple industry participants as regards various online products such as horse racing, bingo, lotteries, and casino games. Many have shared clashing views on the subject, especially concerning the latter.

As News 5 reported, PENN Entertainment’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Jeffrey Morris, shared his support for the legalization of iGaming “as a key catalyst for growth.” He said that iGaming opportunities could complement “existing brick and mortar businesses and drive gaming and associated tax revenue.”

Daniel Reinhard, with Jack Entertainment, however, was of the opposing view, stating that online gaming would be a threat to the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos. He said that if iGaming is legalized, Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos would suffer a decrease in revenues by more than $220 Million a year.

Amy Ankerson, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Eldorado Scioto Downs, demanded for a “level playing field with Ohio casinos through the introduction of table games” in the state’s racinos. That amendment would be beneficial for “the entire parimutuel industry and the state of Ohio”, she added. MGM Northfield Park also supported the introduction of electronic and live dealer table games at racinos in a written statement to the Study Commission.

These changes, however, would require the vote of Ohio’s residents, as, currently, the state’s four brick-and-mortar casinos have exclusive rights on the provision of casino games.

Ohio Legislators May Consider Lowering Back Sports Betting Taxes from 20% to 10%

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Reinhard further noted that similar to the decline in retail shopping due to the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, the state’s land-based casinos and racinos might face the same destiny. He concluded that Ohio’s sports betting market was “oversaturated, unhealthy for operators, and of little benefit to Ohio’s businesses.”

Jack Entertainment proposed considering the lower rate of taxation for sports betting, or at least for retail businesses. Additionally, the company emphasized that other states that had already approved online gaming saw a decline of more than 10% in brick-and-mortar revenues.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.