Legislation that would authorize sports betting continues to progress through the legislative process in Ohio. SB 111 was introduced in March of 2019, but has not gained much traction to date. A competing bill, HB 194, was introduced in April of 2019, passed the Ohio house in May of 2020, but to date has not progressed in the Senate. One of the major differences between the bills is that the Senate version proposes to have the Ohio Casino Control regulate sports betting, whereas HB 194 proposes to have the Ohio Lottery regulate sports betting. 

At a recent Senate Government Agency Review Committee meeting, SB 111’s sponsor, Senator John Eklund, provided an update at the request of Committee Chairman Senator Kirk Schuring. Senator Eklund noted that he is working on a substitute bill that has resulted from input from a number of constituencies, including colleges, pro sports leagues, Ohio regulators and industry players, including discussions with the sponsor of HB 194, Representative Dave Greenspan.

Any legislation must be passed in the lame duck session as the Ohio legislative session ends at the end of the year. Both the Ohio House and Senate are scheduled to meet at least two more times, with three additional sessions if necessary.

 

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