Ohio Lawmakers Are Preparing a Sports Betting Bill

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Ohio legislators are working on a sports betting bill to allow state residents to bet on more sporting events and place bets at casinos, racetracks, and possibly in bars and through mobile devices.

Legislators in Ohio Want To Keep Tax Revenue in the State

As more states legalize sports betting, Ohio legislators are in the process of creating a sports betting bill, which would allow state residents to place bets on Cavs, Browns, and Indians games, among other events. The state could have sports betting legalized a year from now. The lawmakers are working on a bill allowing Ohioans to place bets at casinos, racetracks, bars and possibly permit mobile wagering. Team lobbyists are now discussing who should control sports wagering, stating that it could hurt the small businesses.

Regulated sports wagering is a $13 billion business in the US. Many Ohio neighboring states permit sports betting, such as West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. More states are willing to consider regulated gambling and betting since the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of regulated betting in 2018.

Ohio legislators want to keep sports bets and the tax revenue in the state. They have been holding hearings for months to figure out a way to do it. According to Gov. Mike DeWine, sports betting in Ohio is imminent.

When testifying before the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, MGM Resorts Vice President of Government Affairs Rick Limardo said that “Ohio is at the cusp of catching up with its neighbors” in terms of legalizing sports wagering. The state will provide a regulated and sage gambling environment to players and move them away from the black market.

Professional Sports Teams Want Sports Betting in Ohio

Professional sports teams in Ohio, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, anticipate sports wagering regulation and want to license official real-time game statistics and league data to sports wagering services.

When testifying, Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski stated that professional sports are the entities that create the sports betting market in the first place.

Everyone in Ohio Wants a Piece of the Pie

According to big gaming companies, they should be the ones to control betting in the state since they collaborate with online betting services. They believe that 90 to 95% of sports betting will happen through those betting services.

Senior Vice President of Penn National Gaming Eric Schippers stated that the operation of retail and mobile betting should be in the hands of licensed gaming operators since they are the ones who have invested billions in Ohio’s economic development.

Casino operators, who are currently in charge of all table games and slot machines in the state, believe they should control all forms of gambling. Some of them own the state’s horse racing tracks, featuring Ohio State Lottery Commission’s slot machines.

Bars, taverns, bowling centers, and other facilities also want a piece of the pie, and maybe open bar kiosks, similar to the one’s that the Lottery Commission offers with Keno machines.

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