Sports Betting Bill Introduced in Ohio

Ohio took its first steps towards regulated sports betting with the official introduction of Senate Bill 176.  The bill was introduced by Niraj Antani. For now, the Senate hasn’t set a date for any hearings for the bill. It also hasn’t been assigned to a committee.

What’s on the cards for Ohio sports betting? 

SB 176 details the legalization and regulation of sports betting in the Buckeye State, with the objective of opening the market as early as January 2022.

According to clauses in the bill:

  • Two types of licenses will be permitted in Ohio.
  • Type A license: Vendors will be allowed to offer sports betting through an online sports pool, under one brand name each. One person may not be allowed to obtain more than five licenses.
  • Type B license:  Sports gaming agents will be allowed to offer sports betting at one retail facility. The licenses will be capped at 20 per vendor.
  • In the case of both Type A and Type B licenses, there will be a non-refundable $1 million license fee. The fee will be deposited into a special fund – the Sports Gaming Revenue Fund.
  • Vendors will also have to pay a non-refundable $10,000 application fee.
  • There will be taxation rate of 10% on sports betting.
  • Ohioans will be allowed to bet on any professional sport or athletic event, international sports events such as the Olympics, collegiate sport and motor races.
  • The law approves a sports betting lottery to be run by the State Lottery Commission. Players 21 years and older, who are physically located in the state, will be allowed to play.
  • Traditional bingo will be allowed to be run by charitable organizations as long as all the proceeds go to specific charities such as veteran’s organizations or volunteer firefighter organizations.

Professional Sports Teams Also Want Gambling Licenses

Professional sports teams in Ohio aren’t guaranteed a license – a fact which the teams bemoan. They argue they provide the entertainment on which fans can bet.

As per the Ohio Professional Sports Coalition:

“Our coalition members produce the games that make sports betting possible, and it’s important that our businesses have fair market access to mobile and physical sports betting applications included in the Senate bill. There is no sports betting without sports.”

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