With less than eight-and-a-half months until Ohio sports betting is pledged to launch, a collegiate stakeholder has weighed in to comment: Ohio State University.
OSU, one of a number of Division I schools in the state, but the only one to comment so far, sent a letter to the Ohio Casino Control Commission with its own suggestions on how to proceed. The letter was sent by Stacy Rastaukas, OSU’s vice president of government affairs.
Rastaukas’ letter said the school was concerned about “untoward elements in the gambling world” putting undue pressure on their student athletes, and the university also expressed concern about student athletes and their roommates and/or friends, being forced or tricked into providing information and thus willingly or unknowingly becoming embroiled in potential scandal.
Ohio State’s request of the commission was to allow college wagering only on football and basketball and only on final scores — no prop bets, no live, in-game wagering. There would be no betting on the gymnastics team or the Ultimate Frisbee Club. OSU also would like to see strict penalties for any entities who break these rules or try to coerce information or a certain outcome from a player or anyone associated with the player.
“Outside gaming influences from those seeking to gain an edge in their wagering have used college students who are roommates, friends of, or the competitors themselves to create an advantage for themselves or even throw games,” Rastaukas wrote in her letter to the OCCC. “This must be prevented for the safety of the students and the integrity of the competition.
“Again, our concern is for the student athlete. Allowing an in-game bet on a kick or a free throw can lead to very bad outcomes for the athlete regardless of his/her success due to the ability of angered bettors to anonymize threats and ridicule via social media platforms.”
Law Allows for College Sports Wagering
As of now, Ohio HB 29, which was signed into law, allows for wagering on any collegiate sport or athletic event and includes prop bets in the types of eligible bets. As Ohio State has now voiced opposition and is sure to be able to gain support for their proposed restrictions from other Ohio-based universities, it seems clear the OCCC will have to take OSU’s suggestions seriously.
It would not surprise anyone in Ohio that Ohio State has a little bit of clout when it comes to state politics.
Ohio State did not go so far as to say that in-state wagering should be forbidden on contests involving in-state universities, as is the case in a number of states. You can’t, for instance, wager on Syracuse in New York or Rutgers in New Jersey. But based on the bill as it stands today, Ohioans will be able to wager on Ohio State vs. Michigan without having to cross state lines into Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia or New York, or cross Lake Erie into Canada.
Commission Holds Monthly Meeting
The Ohio Casino Control Commission voted at its monthly meeting Wednesday to ban any commission member or employee from wagering, according to Gambling.com. The restrictions include betting at on-site sportsbooks and using a mobile app.
The commission’s code of conduct for betting aligns with Ohio casino betting regulations for commission members or employees.
There was no update given on a launch date at the meeting. According to the state wagering law, the market must go live by Jan. 1, 2023. Previous updates have indicated it remains on track.
At its last meeting, the commission said it forwarded regulations to the Common Sense Initiative, another step in the process for approving regulations.