Sports betting is finally legal in Ohio. This, after Governor Mike DeWine signed the Ohio sports wagering bill into a law on Wednesday.
Sponsored by representatives Scott Wiggam and Adam Miller, House Bill 29 allows Ohioans to engage in legal sports betting under the authority of the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery.
End of a Three Year Process
The legalization of Ohio sports betting marks the end of a three-year process that began when the United State Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. In the years that followed, the Ohio House and Senate came up with and filed several bills that ultimately did not come to fruition, until HB 29 last month.
Ohio thus becomes the 33rd state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling. Indiana, Michigan, and Pensylvannia are also among the recent states to allow legal sports wagering in their jurisdiction.
Legal Ohio Sports Betting
Under the newly-signed law, casinos, stadiums, bars, and restaurants in the state will have the opportunity to apply for a sports betting license. The industry will be regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. According to the commission, legal Ohio Sports Betting is expected to launch in one year.
A 10% tax will be levied on all sports betting revenues with 98% of the proceeds going to the funding or public and private K-12 education with the remaining 2% to be allotted for gambling problem assistance programs. According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Ohio sports betting is expected to fetch $3.35 billion in revenues per year by the end of the decade.
Still to Face Legal Challenges
Despite DeWine’s signature, the Ohio sports betting law is still expected to face legal challenges. According to Senator Niraj Antani, who was one of the lead sponsors of the bill, there are fears of litigation over the fact that the Ohio Casino Control Commission will take charge of sports betting rather than the Ohio Lottery.
Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Cranley also raised an issue claiming that gambling proceeds will have to go to public education unless they are for the benefit of the state’s four casinos.