The effort to bring legalised sports betting to Ohio took a significant step forward when state lawmakers rolled out a new bill two weeks ago, and another at the stakeholder hearing last Wednesday.
Provided the latest iteration of the bill hammers out all the issues that have been holding it back for months, Ohio residents could expect to place their bets at sportsbooks partnering with the state’s racinos.
The legislation will allow Ohio’s gambling institutions to affiliate themselves with an unlimited number of online operators – one of the first uncapped bills of this kind in the country. Net revenues from sports betting would be taxed 10%, with some of the proceeds directed to educational and problem gambling awareness programs. Some of the state’s most popular sportsbooks, such as Caesars, TwinSpires, and Barstool, would all likely get market access, as well as operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
The new gaming bill gives the Ohio Casino Control Commission Regulatory Authority control over sports gambling in the state. Those seeking a license would have to cash out $1 million for three-year permission. This steep price point could turn eligible businesses away, but organisations that can cover the cost could open brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
As Sen. Kirk Schuring’s press release states, “Gaming is already here but not legally. My priority is to make sure this bill focuses on broad-based economic development that provides no special privileges for any gaming business or organisation. This is free-market driven and comes with oversight from existing Ohio agencies with gaming experience to make sure Ohioans are not being taken advantage of by illegal gaming.”
The bill is sponsored by a trio of Republican Sens.: Niraj Antani, Nathan Manning, and Kirk Schuring, who together form a majority in the Senate. The bill’s supporters promise to work through its issues and rough edges if it passes the full floor.
While they wait for the bill to pass, bettors can stretch their fingers and brush up on their sports betting skills.