COLUMBUS, Ohio — A sports betting expert said Ohio could be losing revenue without legislation legalizing gaming before the Super Bowl. Sports betting is being legalized in Ohio, but it’s still not live, which means fans can’t legally place bets on Super Bowl LVI in the state.

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio is in the process of legalizing sports betting

  • Sports betting could be fully legal by next year’s Super Bowl

  • A sports gambling expert estimates that $90-$100 million would have gambled on the Super Bowl in Ohio had sports gaming been fully legalized this year managing editor Jill Dorson covers sports betting legislation across the country. Ahead of the Super Bowl, she did a thorough analysis into Ohio to learn how much money the state could miss out on without sports betting. 

“Ohio betters could wager between $90-100 million on a one-day event, which is a lot of money,” said Dorson.

Dorson estimates that 93% of bets would be paid back in winnings to gamers.

“Then, that would flow down into tax revenue, which is 10% of gross gaming revenue,” said Dorson. “So between $630,000 to $700,000 to the state of Ohio.”

Dorson and her team looked at states comparable to size and fan base to Ohio where sports betting is legal.

“If Ohio had live sports betting, it would have been among the first states to have a team in the Super Bowl and have live sports betting,” said Dorson. “So there’s going to be increased interest. There’s also, of course, that no team from Ohio has made the Super Bowl since 1989.”

Sports fan Ben Khan says he was happy to see sports betting legalized in Ohio in December. 

“When they gave it the green like, I was pretty excited to see it,” said Khan. “I think it’s going to do a whole lot as far economically for the state.”

He thinks it’s a lost opportunity for the state with sports betting not live yet. 

“I definitely know plenty of people, including myself. If sports betting was legal in Ohio, I’d be all over it, just for the Super Bowl alone,” Khan said.

The Super Bowl will be in Arizona next year, the first year it’ll be held in a state where sports betting is legal.​ It’s expected to become active in Ohio later in the year.