- Legal States
Heidi Specter March 15, 2019 3 min read
Ohio Drops Senate Betting Bill, Starts Legalization Process
With West Virginia almost enforcing its sports betting bill just across the state’s border, Ohio is now looking to catch up. A much-anticipated sports betting legislation was revealed on Thursday.
Ohio Sports Betting Bill Makes an Appearance in Senate
All of Ohio’s neighbours are tentatively toying with the idea of kick-starting their sports betting operations. Emboldened by West Virginia, Ohio has joined Illinois and Connecticut in pursuit of a future in which the state has legalized sports betting.
It doesn’t seem too difficult now that SB 111 has hit the Senate floor, offering new opportunities for those Ohio residents who wouldn’t mind placing a wager in person at a land-based betting facility.
The announcement coincides with the release of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget, which hints that lawmakers may be in fact seeking to pour fresh money into the creaky bones of the state’s finances.
What’s Ohio’s Spots Betting Bill?
Ohio’s legislation is no different than what neighboring states and other places in the United States have been offering. The bill expects all of the state’s 11 racinos and casinos to start accepting wagers.
- Licenses fees of $100,000
- Land-based casinos can partner with online brands
- GR tax of 6.25%
- No royalty fees
With its 12 million people, Ohio is definitely a runner-up for being one of the most important states in terms of sports betting potential. Places like New Jersey and Nevada have already been posting great results, with Pennsylvania also doing well in the past few months.
Sports betting is a stepping stone for the legalization of online gambling as it happened in Pennsylvania. The bill also specifies that only one management service operator would be allowed per a sports betting facility.
At the same time SB 111 mentions the possibility to run online sports betting along with a mobile app to further facilitate betting. It’s not immediately clear if players will have still to be present on-site at the designated sports betting venues or they would be able to play from anywhere in the state, relying on geolocalization software used by the websites to track their current location.
The Future for Ohio’s Sports Betting
There’s no strong opposition against the bill in Ohio, although Ohio Senate Larry Obhof has said that it should ultimately be left to voters to decide whether there should be such activities taking place in full:
I think there is a pretty serious legal question of — irrespective of the federal court decision this year – whether or not we could even have sports gaming here, if that’s something the legislature could even authorize, even if they wanted to.
Mr. DeWine has been a vociferous supporter of the bill and he recently said that sports betting will be arriving in Ohio in the near future and it was a process already set in motion and largely irreversible.