Ohio sports betting bill passes legislature and heads to Governor’s desk for approval

The Ohio state legislature has passed a piece of legislation that would legalize land-based and mobile sports betting in the state.

The bill will now head to Governor Mike DeWine, who has been outspoken on his support to legalize sports betting in Ohio, for approval.

Ohio legislature passes bill

After several years of trying to get sports betting off the ground, the Ohio House and Senate managed to pass a sports betting bill.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio state legislature passed HB 29, a bill that would legalize online and land-based sports betting in the state of Ohio.

After a nearly four-hour delay, lawmakers moved quickly to pass the bill. With the conference committee reporting in favour of the bill in less than five minutes. From there it took less than 10 minutes for lawmakers to accept the conference report on the Senate floor.

The measure was approved by a vote of 31-1 in the Senate and a margin of 72-12 in the House. After receiving approval from the House and Senate, the measure will now head to the Governor for final approval.

Under the bill Sports betting in Ohio will start no later than 1 January 2023.

What’s covered in the bill?

The bill shares similarities with another piece of legislation that passed the Senate last spring, however, this bill permits both online and land-based betting.

Before being approved, several amendments were made to the bill, which is 225 pages in length. However, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission uploaded a synopsis of the amendments agreed on by the conference committee.

The main point of contention that slowed the passage of sports betting legislation revolved around mobile sports betting. The initial bill would have allowed sports leagues and teams to only get one mobile betting skin, while casinos and racinos would be allowed to operate two skins.

Now, the amended bill will allow sports teams, leagues, casinos, and racinos to launch one mobile betting skin, however, there will be an opportunity to launch a second. Under the bill, a second skin can be launched, but first, the license holder must prove it will have an economic benefit to the state.

According to the text of the bill, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will oversee the sports betting industry, and the sportsbooks in the state will pay a flat 10% tax rate.

The Casino Control Commission can begin accepting sporting gambling proprietor applications on 1 January 2022 and may begin issuing licenses as early as 1 April 2022.

There can be more than 25 mobile sports betting licensees, as long as those applying can demonstrate that the state of Ohio needs more online sportsbook products. After the initial 25 licenses have been issued, any other applicant may only receive one skin.

The amended bill includes esports betting and permits land-based sportsbook facilities in counties with less than 100,000 residents, and removal of a requirement that sportsbooks use official league data.

The legislature also removed a requirement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to dictate rules concerning the size and cost of a retail sportsbook. Now, applicants will be required to include that information in their applications.

Eligible lottery retailers that wish to host sports betting Kiosks and are recommended by the State Lottery Commission must be approved. Lottery kiosks will be able to offer spread, moneyline, over/unders as well as parlays of two-to-four bets.

However, bettors will be limited to spending $700 a week in bets via lottery kiosks.