Will I Be Able to Bet the NFL, College Football in Ohio for the 2018 Season?

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It is looking grim for those who wish to bet at the local casinos, sports bars and even gas stations in the Buckeye State of Ohio, at least where the 2018 NFL and College Football season is concerned.  Ohio residents and visitors can still access a few dozen internationally-licensed online sports betting sites for all their NFL and College Football wagering needs.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said Senate Bill 316 won't be vetted in a committee until after the November election and will not hit the Senate floor for a vote this year.  That rules out betting in casinos for the entire College Football season with only the slightest chance of wagers being taken on the Super Bowl in establishments that might be able to throw up a makeshift temporary sportsbook ahead of any change in law.

The US Supreme Court has already ruled against decades long sports betting prohibition.  It's up to the individual states to amend their own laws.  The odds are good that Ohio will act within the next 12 months.

Initially they said there was a chance Ohio would offer wagering on sports at convenience stores and in bars, but lawmakers appear to be taking a step back from that idea. 

Obhof believes the voters must choose whether gambling should be expanded in the Buckeye State.

He is skeptical over the revenue sports wagering can generate.

"First, I think that some of the numbers that some of the proponents are talking about are probably exaggerated," he said. "Whether it is a revenue generator or not I think is a second question before you decide whether it's legal or not, if it's constitutional or not."

There are test cases already, including New Jersey, where lines to place bets are being timed at up to an hour some days at the Meadowlands.  That sports book made $1.3 million in just 18 days.

For those living in the Western portion of Ohio, there are still options this Football season.  West Virginia's panhandle casino, Mountaineer, will have a sportsbook open in time for Football.  Youngstown, Canton and many smaller towns have relatively easy access to the Mountaineer Casino. Steubenville, OH is about 15 minutes away.

- Mary Montgomery, Gambling911.com

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