Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bill to legalize sports betting. OH HB 194 will be put in the spotlight as stakeholders make their case to the House Finance Committee

  • OH HB 194 is an Ohio sports betting bill that would legalize land-based and online sports wagering.
  • Under the current terms of OH HB 194, the state lottery would be in charge of overseeing sports betting in Ohio.
  • Amendments to the bill include clarification for Ohio sportsbooks to comply with the Wire Act.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Wednesday, the Ohio House Finance Committee conducted their sixth hearing on the sports betting bill known as OH HB 194. The hearing involved stakeholders throughout the sports betting industry and gave them a chance to speak on the current form of the bill given some new amendments.

OH HB 194, if signed into law, would legalize sports betting at land-based venues and for statewide mobile betting apps in Ohio. It would also put the state lottery in charge of overseeing and regulating the industry within the confines of Ohio.

The four new amendments added earlier this week were summarized in a tweet sent out by former Ohio State Rep. Dan Dodd.

One aspect that was not added into the bill was a specific mandate for Ohio sportsbooks to use official league data from professional sports leagues. However, leagues have partnerships with sports betting operators that provide this type of information. An example would be the partnership between the MLB and FanDuel.

Attendees of the Wednesday meeting include Andy Levinson of the PGA TOUR, Adam Suliman of JACK Entertainment, Dave Jenkins of the NFL, and the members of the Cincinnati Reds.

Dave Jenkins, along with Bod Bedinghaus and Jocelyn Moore, all spoke on behalf of the NFL and testified as interested parties. JACK Entertainment would be one of the few places in which sports betting in Ohio would be allowed so naturally, they testified as interested parties as well.

To contrast, representatives from the PGA TOUR and the Cincinnati Reds testified as opponents of the bill.

In it’s six total hearings in the State House, OH HB 194 has seen support and opposition from various stake holders. But, it’s path to being signed into law may not be in the House at all.

Where Does The Bill Stand As Of Now?

OH HB 194 is one of two main bills seeking to bring legal sports betting to Ohio.

The other bill, OH SB 111, is currently sitting in the Ohio Senate. The provisions of the bill are much of the same as it’s counterpart in the State House. However, OH SB 111 would put the Ohio Casino Control Commission in charge of regulating the industry.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has already informed the legislative officials that he prefers giving the Casino Control Commission regulatory authority over the industry.

However, OH SB 111 has yet to have even a single hearing in the State Senate. Members of that legislative chamber are instead waiting on OH HB 194 to pass through the House before engaging in negotiations.

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