Senator Kirk Schuring

  • Ohio has finally gotten a glimpse of its first sports betting proposal for 2021.
  • The legislation on the table would regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks in the Buckeye State.
  • Should the measure be passed before the end of the year, it would officially go into effect on January 1.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Senate Select Committee on Gaming (SSCG) of Ohio was formally introduced to sports betting legislation on Thursday, which was a combined effort of their nine weeks of research on the subject. It was a nail-biter until the very end as to the regulatory body that would be picked for the sports gaming industry of the Buckeye State but in the end, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) was chosen over the Ohio Lottery.

The Key Points Of The New Proposal

Senator Kirk Shuring, the sponsor of the new measure for Ohio regulated sports betting has said the bill is 250 pages in length and will need plenty of edits and amendments along the way to becoming law. However, the great thing about it is that it was drawn up in such a way that it can be molded moving forward but the Senator hopes that all of the changes it might endure be done by July.

The framework for a regulated sports gaming market for the Buckeye State has been laid out through a number of bullet points within the draft. The goal of getting the industry up and running is the main focus, not the small details that can be ironed out after the proposal is approved.

Two kinds of licensing will exist under the measure brought to the SSCG. There is the Class A License and the Class B License. Class A licenses will be for sportsbooks at casinos and racinos. Class B licenses will be for prop betting sportsbooks at professional sports venues. A cap of 20 licenses for each class has been set for a combined total of 40.

Mobile sports betting would be available and the retail licensees would be able to choose which sports wagering operator they’d like to use for these applications. With the OCCC regulating the market, the measure allows for them to decide whether to include collegiate sports.

A 10% tax rate on all GGR from each outlet is stipulated within the bill. There is also a licensing fee of $1 million but a renewal fee has not yet been written as it’s undecided if there should be fees annually or every three years.

Now What?

Proponents will argue that The OCCC was always the more favored regulator for a sports wagering industry in Ohio as they have more experience with gambling matters that are not just strictly lottery games. The lottery differs greatly from casino gaming and sports betting is more like that of casino gaming.

More introductions of the bill will need to be made but Senator Schuring says its first official hearing will take place on May 12.

The Ohio Legislature holds sessions year-round yet it is the hope of lawmakers to get this measure passed in 2021 and sooner rather than later. Should the proposal find passage and the signature of Governor Mike DeWine, the regulated sports betting industry of Ohio would not become official until January 1, 2022.

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