• OH SB 111 was introduced and it will legalize sports betting
  • It will legalize land-based and mobile sports betting
  • Not clear where tax revenue will go to yet

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A brand new sports betting bill was introduced on Thursday in Ohio and it aims to legalize both land-based and mobile sports wagering.

The legislation is OH SB 111 and it was filed by senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien. The bill will allow the Ohio Casino Control Commission to regulate sports betting in the state.

Where Can You Bet?

OH SB 111 allows for residents in the state to bet at brick-and-motor locations, along with mobile device and online portals. The land-based locations that sportsbooks are going to open at are the casinos and racinos in the state.

Due to the success that New Jersey and other states have had with legal mobile betting , Ohio has decided to include mobile betting from the start.

Some states that have mobile wagering have the stipulation that customers must be on the casino grounds for mobile betting to work. Or they have the rule that bettors must register at the sportsbook to begin sports betting. Lawmakers are currently looking into allowing residents to register for mobile and online sports betting remotely.

Including mobile wagering will allow Ohio to be competitive compared to the surrounding states. Almost all the states around Ohio have bills filed for sports betting or they have already legalized gambling on sports.

Allowing people in Ohio to sign up for mobile wagering remotely means visitors will not have to travel very far to get started with legal Ohio sports betting and that will generate interest.

Big Revenue Potential For Ohio

By legalizing sports betting in the state and including mobile wagering, Ohio is looking at a large potential annual revenue. A 2017 study by Oxford Economics revealed that Ohio could potentially take more than $600 million in taxable gaming revenue.

It is unclear whether or not Ohio will eventually reach that $600 million annual benchmark that Oxford has predicted. The bill currently states that sports betting will be taxed at a 6.25 percent rate of the handle. That is a lower amount when you compare it to how much other states tax sports wagering.

Lt. Governor Wants Sports Betting To Help Kids

The bill also does not lay out how the tax revenue will be allocated. Lt. Governor Jon Husted is interested in reducing or eliminating fees on extracurricular activities in schools. There are fees that students need to pay to participate in band, art, sports, and other activities. Husted doesn’t believe that sports betting will generate too much revenue, but if sports betting helps eliminate these fees, he is all for it.

“It’s through extracurricular activities that students develop teamwork and discipline and sort of the grit skills that are most commonly attributed to success in life,” said Husted.

Now that Ohio has filed legal sports betting bills where they previously had placeholder bills, the state can begin discussion on legalizing sports gambling in the state. Governor Mike DeWine plans on introducing his budget plan soon and the timing could indicate that he is going to include sports betting in it. DeWine might be able to answer where the tax revenue from sports wagering will go to.

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