Ohio Legal Sports Betting Kicks Off... With Pete Rose?

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

MLB icon Pete Rose gambled on the Reds while making Ohio's first legal sports bet.  The irony here is that Rose has been disqualified from entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame due to his prior gambling activity.   Rose has long claimed he never bet on baseball games. On August 24, 1989, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball's ineligible list.

But now Major League Baseball, one dead set against the legalization of sports betting outside of Nevada, has gotten into bed with the sportsbooks.


A parternship between BetMGM and MLB includes data usage in sports betting, promotion across MLB-owned media platforms, and much more.  Signage for sportsbooks can be seen throughout ball parks while ads for gambling companies are common during televised games.

The 81-year-old former Reds star placed Ohio's first sports bet shortly after it became legal in the state at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day. 

“I don’t know a damn thing about odds,” he told Spectrum News after placing the bet. “Go Reds! Go Bengals!”

The Reds have the third longest odds to win the 2023 World Series with a payout potential of $25,000 on a $100 bet.

Ohio has one of the most open sports betting markets with bars, bowling alleys and even Kroger supermarkets getting in on the action.

A total of 14 mobile sportsbook sites became available on January 1, 2023, though the Ohio State Buckeyes played their final game of the season one day before.  Ohio regulations allow for wagering on in-state schools and games that feature them.

The legal age to bet is 21.  Tax will be 25% of all winnings when providing a social security number and up to 28% should you prefer not to provide this information. A state tax of 4% will be docked from one's winnings as well.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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