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How is sports betting going in Ohio? Leading Edge host Jeff Smith talks to representatives from the Ohio Casino Control Commission and UBetOhio

Sports betting became legal in Ohio Jan. 1. We take a look at how the new gambling expansion is going.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Ohio planned for years and gamblers have been waiting eagerly. Now that sports betting is here in Ohio, how is it going?

For Leading Edge this week we talk to Jessica Franks from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, along with Tatum Lenavitt from UBetOhio about the state of sports betting around Ohio and here in the Toledo region.

In January -- the first month of legal sports betting in the state --Ohioans placed more than $1,113,251,403 in wagers, resulting in $208.9 million in revenue for providers.

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the vast majority of sports gaming wagers were placed online, with 16 operators accounting for $205 million in revenue. Additionally, Ohio’s 14 in-person, retail sportsbooks reported $3.2 million in revenue, with Ohio’s four casinos tallying $86 million in gaming revenues for the month of January.

Franks explains in this week's Leading Edge how the commission prepared for the sports betting launch, as well as how the agency is overseeing the newest gambling operations in the state.

"We often say cannot eliminate the risk," Franks said. "We are really in risk management, a little bit, making sure that controls are there that need to be there, but also enabling all of our licensees to conduct business in the state."

Along with the sports-betting apps and the sports gaming allowed at Ohio's casinos, the state's new sports-gaming law allows for another way to bet on sports that other states don't have.

UBetOhio operates 40 sports gaming kiosks around northwest Ohio. Marketing Director Tatum Lenavitt explains how the "Type C" license allows establishments with a liquor license to offer this kind of sports betting on the premises.

So far, she said the company is pleased with how Ohio's new sports betting is going.

"This is huge," she said. "We looked at the numbers with football and those were big and what we're seeing now with March Madness is huge. I mean, I can't wait to have a full season of football ahead of us."

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