HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 26Issue 36OHIO LIKELY TO LEGALIZE SPORTS BETTING BY DECEMBER

This week, PlayOhio reported in an article that Ohio lawmakers are “confident” a sports betting bill will pass following the November election. Ohio Representative Dave Greenspan and Senator John Eklund told PlayOhiothat substitute language for H 194 has been worked out.

“It’s not going to get done before the election because we’re not in session in October,” Rep. Greenspan told PlayOhio. “I feel good about our prospects for passage this general assembly.”

Legislators have disagreed on who should be the regulatory body for sports betting in Ohio. While Sen. Eklund, co-sponsor Sen. Sean O’Brien, and Senate leadership wanted the Casino Control Commission to be the regulator, Rep. Greenspan, co-sponsor Rep. Brigid Kelly, and the House relied on a Legislative Services Commission (LSC) opinion stating that the Lottery Commission was the only option.

The LSC issued a second opinion indicating that either the Casino Control Commission or the Lottery Commission could be the regulator. Rep. Greenspan reached a compromise among legislators that the Casino Control Commission will be the regulator, but revenue from sports betting will go toward education.

The substitute bill limits sports betting to the 11 casinos and racinos in the State, in addition to online sports betting. Veteran halls and fraternal organizations were originally permitted to have sports betting kiosks in H 194, but are now excluded in the substitute.

The substitute bill includes an 8% tax rate, an initial license fee of $100,000, three skins allowed per casino or racino, no requirement of official league data, and an exclusion for wagering on high school sports.

Governor Mike DeWine has also been a proponent of the legislature passing sports betting in the State. The Governor has indicated that he would prefer that the legislature take action on sports betting rather than by a third party through a referendum. He also supports the Casino Control Commission as the chosen regulator.

H 194 has not yet been assigned to a committee in the Senate. Once it passes in the Senate, it will return to the House for concurrence.



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