Ohio Could Pass a Sports Betting Bill Before 2021

Ohio’s sports betting bill passed the House vote in May this year. On Wednesday this week, the bill was heard by the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee. Now the legislature can either pass the bill by the end of this legislative season or introduce a new bill in 2021.

Sports Betting Bill in Ohio May Pass by the End of This Year

Senate Bill 111 which would legalize sports betting in Ohio was heard by the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee on Wednesday this week. After passing the House vote in May, the bill is now getting closer as the legislation moves forward. If the bill is passed by the state legislature, there is a chance for sports betting to be legalized before the end of the year in Ohio.

Now state officials can pass the current sports betting bill proposals which include HB 194 either this month or during December. Introduced back in March 2019, if SB 111 is not passed during this legislative season, state officials will have to start from scratch next year by introducing a new bill that needs to have sponsors as well.  

However, if the bill is passed, it is expected that the initial licensing fee would be $100,000 with a license valid for 5 years. The taxation on net gambling revenue would be between 8% and 10%. Furthermore, the version of the bill from September calls for reducing the total number of licenses from 33 down to 22.

Last but not least, the sports betting bill calls for the establishment of “skins” for the operators. Ohio gambling operators will have one “skin” which may be used by the land-based casino. The second “skin” is one which may be used for online sports betting website which only residents from Ohio can access.

Senator Sean O’Brien Is Hopeful That the Bill Will Pass This Season

According to one of the sponsors of the sports betting bill, Trumbull County State Senator Sean O’Brien, the chances for the bill to pass before the end of the year are 50/50. Speaking for WKBN earlier this week, the Senator said that the bill is still in process with things being changed and substituted. He added that SB 111 has: “gone through a lot of changes“.

O’Brien outlined that after speaking with the president of the Senate it seems “optimistic” as well as “promising” to “get something moving” within this year’s legislative calendar. He acknowledged that there is little time left and the passing of the bill may be “a close one“.

The Senator revealed that he thinks the sports betting bill is a “great opportunity” which will stimulate growth. In conclusion, he acknowledged that besides Kentucky, all neighboring states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan have already legalized sports betting.

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