With one of the league’s first games for the season between Seattle Sea Dragons and St. Louis Battlehawks due on Thursday, February 23, the betting options in Ohio are limited. In fact, the state’s residents will not be allowed to back any game whatsoever, as lawmakers did not anticipate for the league.
One Major Event Missing from the Calendar
In fact, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the regulator in the state, has given the go-ahead to all sorts of sports contests but decided that the XFL is way too new perhaps to make it on the regulated market. No specific information as to why the XFL has been turned down has been given, although the league is known to have petitioned the regulator to reconsider its stance.
This will not happen this year it seems. The XFL is an interesting “filler” league that is “less professional” than the National Football League (NFL) but still cuts very close to the real thing. It’s also designed to be a worthwhile addition to the year-long football season, with the idea being that XFL games can take place in the NFL offseason.
To have a chance to get a go-ahead, the XFL may need to take itself a lot more professionally though. There are several main criteria that a sports body needs to meet – including a solid integrity program. Transparency is mandatory and the XFL must make sure that its governing body is open to the public and regulators the same way other major sports leagues are.
Then, XFL’s touting its more streamlined playfield which lets more players audit and makes the cut – if they miss the NFL that is – could be another problem. Even though XFL styles itself as a professional league, there could be some level of doubt about the professional status of athletes and their actual level.
Desire to Be Seen as a Professional and Upstanding League
The XFL was brought back in 2018 and had to temporarily hit the pause button during the 2020 pandemic, like most other sports at the time. Still, the XFL has known a few bankruptcies in its time, promising that it would be different this time.
Having the league as a viable betting market is one way to guarantee its longevity in the United States, as sports gambling is generally associated with a sustained interest in the competition.
The league recently signed a partnership with Genius Sports, a sports tech and data company, to leverage its data with sportsbooks, and advertisers, and create a dedicated Pick’Em Game for further engagement with fans and audiences.