Will I Be Able to Place Bets From Canton, OH (This Thursday)

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Canton, Ohio is home to the first NFL game of the season, albeit a preseason and pretty meaningless one.  Unless of course you are a sports bettor.  As in past years, those watching the game from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium or anywhere else in the United States for that matter, will be able to place bets on the Hall of Fame game from their computers or mobile devices using any number of international gambling sites.

Soon they may be able to bet from the stadium with a site originating from Ohio.

The Buckeye State is one of a number contemplating offering legalized sports betting following a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court in May that abolished prohibition on sports wagering. 

Each state must amend their own laws, however.  Ohio is considering doing so but probably not until some time after this NFL season.  While legislatures in a number of states have recessed for the remainder of this year, Ohio lawmakers are still in session this summer and contemplating two bills before them.

The process, however, is expected to be lengthy.

"We've had two bills introduced called placeholder bills expressing the intent of the general assembly to investigate sports wagering in Ohio and if we're to do it, how is it going to be done," said State Senator John Eklund, a Republican from Geauga County who sponsored the Senate version with State Rep. David Greenspan introducing a similar bill in the house.

"What we're doing over in the Senate is we're assembling a list of parties who might be interested in this particular type of legislation, anticipating that we will take a series of meetings with them to sort of get the lay of the land and to sort of see where people's temperature is," Eklund said. "Starting with that process do the necessary investigation we have to do to come up with a concrete proposal that we would then present to the general assembly in some sort of an amended bill or a substitute bill."

The good news is that Ohio may be one of the few states to permit bars and convenience stores to offer a form of sports betting, at least there has been some initial discussion in this regard.

And while there won't be any establishments taking bets for the upcoming Hall of Fame Game, there's a strong chance Canton area sports bettors will be able to place wagers some time after the start of the 2018 NFL and College Football season at the Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia, just a one hour drive from Canton. 

- Ean Lamb, Gambling911.com

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