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Ohio Senate Moves Sports Betting Bill Forward

Ohio is desperate for legal sports betting. Border states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan have taken over the sports betting industry, which has caused Ohio to lose tax revenue.

Ohio is in the process of legalizing sports betting to compete with the states. On Tuesday, the Senate Select Committee on Gaming moved the sports betting bill forward. It was the committee’s seventh hearing about the wagering bill.

One Step Closer

Sports betting passed a massive hurdle on Tuesday following the move by the Senate’s Select Committee on Gaming. SB 176, the state’s betting bill, passed by a 7-0 margin. The next step in the legislative process is for the Senate Rules and Reference Committee to overlook the bill.

In addition to passing the bill, the Select Committee on Gaming gave a timeline for legal sports betting in the state. They expect wagering to launch by the middle of 2022 in the state. This extensive timeline will not allow the state to collect any tax revenue during this football season or March Madness in 2022.

However, any forward progress is beneficial for the state, considering how much momentum sports betting has gained throughout the nation since the COVID-19 pandemic started improving.

Senator Kirk Schuring, who heads the committee, spoke after they unanimously passed the bill.

Look, if we get this passed by June 30, which is our goal, or before, it will take effect right around Oct. 1, 2021. Obviously, you are not going to hit the ground running as there are rules and applications that have to be designed and distributed. Everybody we talked to said they want an equal start time and so applications for all of these licenses will be opened up on Jan. 1, 2022, and the regulatory authority that is in charge of those licenses will be awarded by April 1, 2022.”

Details of SB 176

There have been some changes made to SB 176 since it began being discussed in the legislative process.

The original bill designated multiple tiers of sports betting licenses in the state. However, the latest updates have raised the number of permits that will be available in the state. Type A licenses will be increased from 20 to 25, and there will now be 33 Type B permits instead of 20.

There will also be Type C licenses, but these will just give liquor businesses the ability to establish betting kiosks in their stores. Type C and Type B licenses will cost the same amount.

Sports franchises and significant sports venues will have the choice of Type A or B licenses. The current bill allows for statewide mobile betting, but there is still plenty of time for this to change. With the number of retail sportsbooks and betting kiosks, it would be manageable for the state not to allow internet betting.

Although, this would be financially costly considering the prominence of the border states in the sports betting industry. The legislature’s goal is for Governor Mike DeWine to sign SB 176 into effect by the end of June. Nevertheless, there is no rush because the legislature is in session until December 31.

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