As Ohio Sports Betting Prepares for Launch, iGaming Could Be Next Frontier

As Ohio Sports Betting Prepares for Launch, iGaming Could Be Next Frontier
By Bill Ordine

While the state  is in the midst of trying to launch Ohio sports gambling, still another form of gaming has become a hot topic. 

Several states surrounding Ohio have either already launched or have been considering online casino, which is casino gambling, such as slots and table games, on personal devices.

And again, while the state is preoccupied with getting Ohio sports gambling underway by at least Jan. 1, 2023, and presumably already counting the tax money it will generate, the amount of tax revenues that iCasino would potentially deliver dwarfs whatever the state will realize from sports betting.

Some projections on tax revenues from sports betting have estimated that Ohio may collect about $90 million in a full year of operation in a mature market based on a 10% tax rate and taxable revenues approaching $1 billion.

Online Casinos Revenue, Taxes Would Be Huge

Even if sports wagering taxes do hit that mark, that number would be far less than taxes collected from Ohio online casinos, according to a recent report presented by gaming company Light & Wonder and prepared by gaming researcher VIXIO GamblingCompliance. The report estimated taxes from iCasino would be about $254.6 million annually for Ohio, which is almost triple the estimate for taxes from sports gambling.

Estimates on iCasino tax revenues are predicated on an assumed 20% tax rate and also on assumed gambling revenue of almost  $140 per adult.

The VIXIO GamblingCompliance projection of iGaming revenue and potential tax revenue in Ohio: 

State iGaming GGR Potential iGaming  Tax Revenue Potential
Ohio $1.273B $254.6M

Source: VIXIO GamblingCompliance


The report illustrated that nationally taxes for state and local governments would be $6.35 billion annually if iCasino, also known as iGaming, were legalized in all 42 states that already have actual casinos or mobile sports betting.

Ohio Needs to Catch Up

However, Ohio has typically been late in acting on gambling legalization compared to its neighbors.

Already, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia have launched iCasino play. Kentucky and Indiana have at least considered it. However, iCasino hasn’t been on Ohio’s radar in any meaningful way.

As an example of the impact iCasino can have on tax revenues, Pennsylvania reported that for June 2022, tax revenue generated from internet gaming play was almost $44 million. And that’s just one month. The gross taxable revenue from sports wagering was $12.77 million that month.

At the moment, the Buckeye State has its hands full launching sports gambling, which will include retail sportsbooks, Ohio sports betting apps and wagering at kiosks all over the state, by New Year’s Day — and long after its neighboring states have already offered sports gambling.  

So, it remains to be seen whether Ohio makes the move to the far more lucrative business of iCasino.

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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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