Casino Control Commission Approves More Regulations for Ohio Sports Betting

Casino Control Commission Approves More Regulations for Ohio Sports Betting
By Bill Ordine

The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved additional regulations at its meeting Wednesday that now advance to the Common Sense Initiative.The state has a complex multi-step process for approving regulations for Ohio sports betting with the Casino Control Commission and the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) being two of those steps. The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review being still another step.

For now, the Casino Control Commission approved the third of five batches of rules. The first two batches of regulations have been advanced to the CSI. The most recent regulations discussed and approved Wednesday included conditions of both involuntary exclusion and voluntary self-inclusion, and the approval for an outside independent integrity monitor.

The commission recently updated the FAQs on its website and remains on track to launch sports betting by the end of this year.

Involuntary exclusion for sports betting was simply a matter of carrying over the terms of such exclusions from Ohio’s existing casino industry.

Other Self-Exclusion Considerations

However, self-exclusion, usually an option a customer elects to help deal with dysfunctional gambling problems, necessitated some additional considerations.

For self-exclusion, a customer who self-excludes for, say, casino play may or may not elect to self-exclude for sports wagering. However, it will be possible for a customer to self-exclude for all gambling activities if that’s what the person wishes to do.

Also, the mechanics of self-exclusion are changing. Currently, those who want to self-exclude generally do so at a state agency facility for security purposes (although a state website says remote enrollment options are available). However, under the new regulations, adjustments will be made to an online process so those who chose to self-exclude conveniently from home can do so.

An additional issue that was part of the Batch 3 regulations was engaging an outside independent integrity monitor that would look for anomalies in wagering or for suspicious activity regarding sports events themselves to detect wrongdoing. The monitor’s duty is to report any such activities to agencies that have law enforcement powers, such as the Casino Control Commission or state or federal authorities.

The independent integrity monitors, most or all of whom are already at work in other jurisdictions, would serve free of charge.

What the Ohio Law Permits

Under the Ohio law signed last year, sports wagering will be permitted in the state’s casinos, through the internet, and at kiosks around the state. Kiosk wagering will be offered through the Ohio State Lottery with the kiosks expected to be in bars, restaurants and other locations.

Overall, gaming regulators in Ohio face a daunting task in having a deadline that is less than nine months away. By law, sports betting must launch by Jan. 1, 2023. There’s been no clarification on what would happen if the deadline is not met.

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Contributors

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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