Lloyd: The gambling fury that gripped Ohio and how it might one day help build new stadiums

After one month of Ohio’s new gaming world, point spread and more back-up bets than Patrick Mahomes’ passing yards, early returns are about what to expect for this wild state of the sport.

In fact, this is not entirely true. Early predictions exceed my already huge expectations. I knew Ohioans would be drawn to legal gambling the way Browns fans are drawn to anger and grief, but I never thought Ohio could outshine the real Las Vegas.

Ohio could rank fourth in the country for money bet this year, according to PlayOhio, which closely monitors our state’s gambling market. They have Ohioans expected to spend about $8 billion in bets in the inaugural year of legalized gambling. If we get there, it will surpass Nevada ($7.7 billion) and every other state besides New York ($17 billion), Illinois ($11.4 billion), and New Jersey ($10 billion).

Ohio remains in the top 10 in terms of population but also ranks between 35th and 40th in median household income, depending on the study. It’s easy to see how this could become a problem.

We can now sit on our couch and bet on the outcome of every game and lead on every game NFL Game. We can bet on whether Donovan Mitchell will score more than 24 points or if Evan Mobley can grab more than six rebounds.

We can bet on the spreads before the match and then again and again as the line changes throughout the game – all from our smartphones without ever leaving the sofa.

Sports betting sites have flooded the market and throw millions into marketing, offering ‘free’ bets while attracting everyone from life-long gamblers to first-time football moms learning about the competitions at any time.

It obviously works.

I wandered into the new 10,000 square foot sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse before the last Cavs game. I felt the whole thing a little underwhelming. There’s a large bar upstairs, but the seating feels more appropriate for a frequent flyer airport lounge than Caesars Sportsbook in Las Vegas.

However, it is functional with a betting window downstairs, booths upstairs, and plenty of TVs for all the night’s games. Upgrades can certainly be made in the future if demand continues after sports betting has died down.

The Guardians will not have a sportsbook at Progressive Field – baseball’s rules are different from the NFL’s NBA It was forbidden before Major League Baseball to house a sportsbook within the confines of the stadium – but the team has partnered with Bet365 and is toying with the idea of ​​doing something right out of the gate. Bet365, while not yet a household name in America like some of the other more popular ones, is huge in England and with European football and is trying to grow its brand in the US.

Teams and their staff try to navigate this awkward dance and adjust to a life in which the leagues embrace gambling, but not for any staff member.

The most recent example was when it was Brown They had to part ways with Bernie Kosar after the legendary quarterback placed a $19,000 bet on the Browns to beat Steelers. The bets are yours, but not mine.

Now that sports gambling is here, it is not unreasonable to think that online casinos will not be far behind. There will come a day sooner rather than later when we will sit on our couch and bet real money on blackjack, craps and roulette while we take Brown to cover and bet. Nick Chubb parlay of 20 carries, 100 yards and a touchdown at any time.

I think gambling should be legal, but it also worries me that our state, which has a median household income of less than $90,000 by most measures, could be spending upwards of $8 billion a year in sports betting.

Where does all this money come from? And who is going to spend important dollars from their family that have to go elsewhere?

PlayOhio stated that BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings did indeed violate rules regarding advertising and promotion. Specifically, all three failed to display clear messages about responsible sports gambling and to post a gambling helpline within their ads. I likened it to the Surgeon General poster that all smokers shrug off every time they pick up a pack of cigarettes. It is noble, but completely ineffective.

With all this newfound revenue pouring in, I wondered in my recent Brown mailbag if Ohio laws could eventually be amended to allow some of this new money to be funneled back into the sports facilities that create this demand for sports gambling. All it takes is the right lobby to bring in the right legislation.

The FieldHouse has recently completed its major renovation and Guardians They just started a drastic facelift of their garden. The timing of the leases was too early.

I always thought FirstEnergy Stadium would be the next stadium to replace in Cleveland despite the fact that it’s also the newest stadium built. The location is terrible and the sight lines are terrible for some of the more expensive seats. Placing a dome on an existing structure is not feasible or cost-effective (estimates range from $500 million and up just for the roof), let alone for the available space required.

A number of Guardians executives would particularly like a domed stadium, but they never really listened to the idea during renovation talks for financial and logistical reasons. Money aside, Progressive Field is crammed into a tight 12-acre lot on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario in downtown. The property required only for the housing mechanism of a retractable roof in the field of progress, I am told, will extend all the way to the cemetery which is across the street on East 9th. It just isn’t feasible, at least not in the current location.

Right now, the bulk of the state’s tax share of gambling revenue goes to education, and smaller slices will go to things like gambling addiction programs and military veterans programs.

With teams netting cities, counties, and states hundreds of millions in new facilities, does it make sense for sports gambling-related revenue to finally pay for some of these facilities?

Minnesota, which has no legal gambling, has agreed to pay $348 million of the $1 billion price tag on Vikings US Bank Stadium primarily through tax revenue collected from charitable gambling – specifically from electronic tab tickets. Pull signs have been so popular that the country is in a position to pay its debts by the end of this year – 20 years ahead of schedule.

Ohio’s tax rate on gambling is 10 percent. Statewide legislation would allow the amount to be increased to 13 percent or 15 percent of the additional tax revenue to go to stadium construction and capital repairs.

Of course, there are several such facilities already in Ohio: FirstEnergy Stadium, Progressive Field, and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland; Cincinnati has soccer and baseball fields reds And Bengals; And Columbus has the Nationwide Arena, Value City Arena, and Ohio Stadium. There are also minor league facilities scattered across the state from Toledo to Akron, Youngstown, and all points south.

It won’t fix or replace gambling tax returns all together, but it can certainly help. As resistance to using public dollars to build sports facilities intensifies, this is a logical solution to a growing debate. Let the people who use it the most help pay for it. It is the only sure bet in the game.

(Photo by Cleveland Cavaliers CEO Nick Barlage speaking inside Caesars sports venue at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse: David Dermer/Associated Press)

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