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Column: Ohio is missing out by dragging their feet on legalizing sports betting

The state just announced Jan. 1, 2023 as the first date sports bets can be placed in the state.

MGM National Harbor, Governor Larry Hogan And Joe Theismann Launch Sports Betting In Maryland With BETMGM Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images for MGM National Harbor

On Dec. 10, 2021, a bill legalizing sports betting in the state of Ohio was signed into law. Almost seven months later, we recently just found out the day when bets in the state will be able to be placed. Jan. 1, 2023 is the day when the first bets in the state of Ohio can be legally placed, which will be more than a year after the bill was passed to make sports betting legal.

I’m sure this won’t come as a shock to those that have followed my writing here on Land-Grant Holy Land or my Twitter, but I do enjoy to place a bet or two. So much so that I write two articles a week on the topic during the college football season — one picking the marquee national games of the week, and the other picking winners in all the games involving Big Ten teams.

Not that I’m the next Ace Rothstein, but I do alright with my wagers. I’ve had good years, bad years, and years where I break about even. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to bet within my means. If I do happen to hit some big winners, I try and cash out most or all of the winnings, where when I was younger I might think it would be easy to double that money and before you know it you are chasing just to get back to even.

Sometimes betting can get you watching some sports that might not normally be on your radar. Just a few weeks ago, I ended up winning $200 on a PGA Championship pool. In the past, I’ve hit on Wimbledon, NASCAR, soccer, and just about everything else you can think of. Branching off and looking for some different sports to wager on definitely helps pass the summer months before football returns in the fall.

I’m sure by now this sounds like a PSA for gambling. Obviously, you should only bet if you can control it. Not every bet you place is going to be a winner, and you have to know how to handle that. If you have the gambling prowess of Clay Travis, then it’s best to not gamble, since things will end badly. Just look at Clay, a grown man who of late has been proud of getting kicked out of a Little League game where he was a spectator. Don’t be like Clay.

What’s puzzling to me is just how long that it has taken Ohio to even announce a date for when betting will actually be able to begin. There’s still a lot that has to be decided before the first bets can be placed. Where will you be able to bet? What can you bet on? How much can you bet? All those questions and more will need to be answered. It’s not like Ohio hasn’t moved faster with more important issues though. I mean, it feels like the state is taking no time at all before pretty much anyone can carry a gun, permit or not. If anything, the state is actually losing out on revenue when it comes to that, since CCW permits are no longer required.

The biggest issue I have with Ohio taking so long from passing a sports gambling bill to actually being able to place a bet is how much revenue the state is missing out on. Even if bets were allowed starting on Sept. 1, Ohio would still be in before the start of Ohio State’s season, the start of the NFL season, and well before the start of the NBA & NHL, as well as the FIFA World Cup. Indiana was apparently bringing in $200 million a month during the 2020 football season. I feel like Ohio would have no problem topping that number.

Even though we won’t have sports betting in place in Ohio for the college football season, that doesn’t mean I won’t be back this fall with more winners. If you feel good about any of my picks, there are a number of surrounding states that would be happy to take your bets. If you win, I’ll be happy to drop my PayPal or Venmo as a little finders fee for helping you find the winners. I kid, I kid. Helping others stack some chips is victory enough for me.

All we have to do is get through the rest of this year and we’ll finally have the same luxury as those who play Keno do, where we can pretty much get our fix from anywhere. We will miss the boat on possibly betting on an Ohio State College Football Playoff semifinal game, but if the Buckeyes take care of business, we might be in line to drop a few wagers on the title game. Even if that doesn’t pan out, the NFL playoffs will soon follow.

Stay strong fellow Ohio bettors, we’ll all get there soon enough!