(Estimated population as of 2013 — 11,570,808)
Land-based casinos made their way into Ohio for the first time a couple years back, and immediately the idea of iGaming was tossed around. That’s because some of those involved with the state’s four casino — most notably Rock Gaming and Caesars Entertainment Corp. — have interest in expanding into the virtual realm.
Unfortunately not much amounted from the conversation. Thus far Ohio hasn’t had any legislative movement on the iGaming front, unless you include their 2013 crackdown on Internet cafes, which basically let people into a shop where they could play slots on a computer. What exactly that means for the future is murky. Was the state trying to shutdown something they don't want or possibly looking to protect a future legalized asset?
Here’s the gist when it comes to Ohio. They resisted casinos for a long time, but when nearby states — most notably Pennsylvania — began to offer them, they jumped on board. They didn’t want their residents spending money out of state, so they got on board with the idea. It’ll likely be the same when it comes to iGaming, which bodes well considering Pennsylvania has been a forerunner in that realm.
Ohio is a domino that could fall. It won’t happen anytime soon, but with other states examining the issue and some casino entities pushing for it, don’t be surprised if you see some movement a couple years down the road.