A bill that will legalize sports betting in Ohio is heading to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk.
Ohio House Bill no. 29 was approved by the House and Senate last Wednesday after years of wrangling. Now, it’s in the hands of Governor DeWine. DeWine is a long proponent of legal sports betting, and is expected to sign the bill into a law. If he indeed does so, the new law would have to wait 90 days to before it would take effect.
The senate said earlier this week that it will suggest that the start date for the filing of application for legal sports betting licenses to be on February 15, 2022 with April 30, 2022 as the target for the last date of approval for the said licenses. Sports betting operations are expected to start no later than January 1, 2023.
House Bill 29
House Bill 29 provides for three types of legal sports betting licenses. Type A licenses include state entities that have the capacity to bank a bet, like the 11 casinos and the racinos in the state. These licenses will include a license to operate online sports betting. Type B licenses meanwhile will be issues to future brick and mortar sportsbooks while Type C licenses will allow for the establishment of sports betting kiosks in retail establishments with a D-class liquor license.
In all, House Bill 29 will allow a total of 65 sports betting licenses in the state. 40 of these will be for retail sports betting while another 25 will be for online sports wagering. Sports betting operations will be taxed at 10% with the proceeds of legal Ohio sports betting going to Ohio K-12 schools. Betting on Ohio po sports teams is expected to be allowed, although the final determinations will be made by the state Casino Control Commission.
Tweaks to HB 29
Before HB 29 was passed in both chambers, it still underwent numerous tweaks. The most notable change was on the item on online spots betting. The original HB 29 had sports leagues and teams getting only one skin each while casinos and racinos could get two each. Now, everybody gets only one with all of them having equal chance of getting their second skin by proving an incremental benefit to the state.
The validity of the sports betting licenses was also changed from three years to five years Also, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will no longer dictate the requirements on the size and cost of a retail sportsbook. Instead, applicants will include the information in their applications. Official league data has been removed as a requirement for live betting while sports betting operators will no longer be allowed to carry negative revenue for tax purposes. Bettors will also be capped at $700 per week in betting kiosks.