HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsOhio Sets Precedent By Banning Sports Bettors Who Intimidate Athletes

Ohio Sets Precedent By Banning Sports Bettors Who Intimidate Athletes

Ohio has become the first state in the United States to ban sports bettors from placing bets if they have threatened violence or harm against athletes or others involved in a sporting event.

Image: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The ban was included in Ohio’s 2024-2025 operating budget, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law on July 5. The new law gives the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) the authority to prohibit anyone who has threatened“a person involved in a sporting event, where the threat was related to sports gaming” from engaging in wagering at any Ohio sportsbooks — retail or online.

The OCCC will be able to determine whether a threat is severe enough to warrant a ban. Factors that the commission will consider include the nature of the danger, the context in which it was made, and the likelihood that the threat would be carried out.

The ban is designed to protect athletes, coaches, referees, and other sports officials from harassment and intimidation. It is also intended to deter sports bettors from making threats in the first place.

“We want to create a safe and welcoming environment for all athletes and sports officials,” said Matthew Schuler, chairman of the OCCC. “This ban sends a clear message that threats of violence or harm will not be tolerated.

The Incident Behind the Sports Betting Ban

In January, during a basketball game featuring the Dayton Flyers, Head Coach Anthony Grant publicly spoke out against individuals who had made threats against members of his team.

The Flyers had been leading by 14 points at halftime but ultimately lost 63-62 to Virginia Commonwealth.

The ban is effective immediately.

Here are some additional details about the ban:

  • The ban applies to all sports bettors, regardless of where they live.
  • The ban can be imposed for any threat of violence or harm, regardless of whether the threat is made directly to the athlete or another person involved in the sporting event.
  • The ban can be imposed for any threat made before, during, or after a sporting event.
  • The OCCC will have the discretion to determine whether a threat is credible enough to warrant a ban.

The ban is a significant step forward in guarding athletes and others involved in sports from harassment and intimidation. It is also a solid deterrent for Ohio sports betting fans who may be tempted to make threats.

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