Legal sports betting is set to go live in Ohio as early at 12:01 a.m. local time on New Year’s Day, and according to a poll commissioned by Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer released Thursday, the majority of respondents from Northeastern Ohio are excited.
From Oct. 7-18, 504 residents from Cleveland and the surrounding area were surveyed, and 60.9% said they support legal wagering, compared to 20.5% of respondents who said they were opposed and 18.7% who said they were unsure. Those surveyed live in the most populous region of Ohio, including Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located.
That majority will have a chance to start betting on college and professional events at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and kiosks in an array of locations, as well as mobile platforms. The new law set Jan. 1, 2023, as a go-live date, and many operators have plans to take their first bets just after the stroke of midnight. Ohio baseball legend Pete Rose will place the first bet at the Hard Rock-Cincinnati location, while digital operators, including Barstool Sportsbook, FanDuel, and Hard Rock Digital, plan to launch their digital sites at the same time.
Ohio’s inclusive law means that professional sports venues, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, casinos, racetracks, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and grocery stores will be able to offer sports betting. For the pro sports venues, HOF, casinos, and racetracks, in-person wagering will likely involve betting in sportsbooks that contain self-service kiosks, teller windows, video screens, and a lounge area. For smaller or more unusual locations, like bars and grocery stories, wagering will be offered through lottery kiosks.
According to the poll, which had a 5% margin of error, only a small group — 7.2% — said they strongly oppose legal betting. While members of both major political parties appear to be on board, 70.9% of Republican respondents said they were in favor, compared to 60.3% of Democrats and 54.5% of independents. In terms of gender, 70% of male respondents and 53% of women support legal wagering.
Additional survey results
49 and under: 64.5% support
50-64: 57.4% support
65 and over: 56.4%
With college degree: 59.4% support
No college degree: 61.4% support
Less than $50,000/year: 56% support
$50,000-$99,000/year: 68.5% support
Over $100,000/year: 59.9% support
White: 61.7% support
Black: 57.3% support
Those who didn’t identify as white or black: 60.5% support