The provision, which lawmakers added to the budget in response to a recent increase in threats against athletes, gives the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) the authority to investigate and take action against anyone who bets on sports in Ohio who engages in this behavior.
“We want to make it clear that there is no place for harassment or threats against athletes in Ohio,” said OCCC Chairman Matt Schuler.“This new provision will give us the tools we need to protect athletes and ensure they can compete without fear of being targeted.”
The provision defines harassment as “any communication that is intended to cause emotional distress or to interfere with the ability of an athlete to perform.” Threats are defined as “any communication that places an athlete in fear of physical harm.”
If the OCCC finds that a bettor has engaged in harassment or threats, it can take several actions, including:
- Permanently banning the bettor from placing sports bets in Ohio
- Placing the bettor on an exclusion list, which would prevent them from placing bets with any licensed sportsbook in the state
- Taking other disciplinary action, such as fining the bettor or requiring them to complete a treatment program
The new provision is expected to take effect with the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023.
“We believe this is an important step in protecting athletes and ensuring that they can compete without fear of being targeted,” said Schuler. “We will continue to work with law enforcement and other partners to take action against anyone who engages in this type of behavior.”
Athletes and their advocates are welcoming the new provision.
“This is a great step forward in protecting athletes,” said Lisa Borders, the CEO of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBAPA). “We know that harassment and threats are a real problem, and we appreciate the OCCC taking action to address it.”
Law enforcement officials are also praising the new provision.
“This is a valuable tool that will help us to protect athletes and keep them safe,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “We will not tolerate harassment or threats against athletes, and we will work with the OCCC to ensure that this provision is enforced.”
The new provision is important in protecting athletes from harassment and threats. It sends a clear statement harassing athletes over gambling losses related to sporting events won’t be tolerated in Ohio.
If you want to know more about gambling in Ohio, check out our latest updates at OH Betting.