Following a last-minute overhaul of the legislation, Senators have voted by 30-2 to pass Senate Bill 176 that will see legal sports betting coming to Ohio in 2022. Once signed into law, the legislation will allow Ohio gamblers to place wagers on all sporting events both professional and collegiate.
In order to pass, the bill was heavily amended to increase the number of licenses while also including a new license option for bars that could have up to two sports betting kiosks per location. However, the number of kiosks permitted could change in the future depending on how the industry grows.
Overall, the legislation allows for the issuance of up to 58 sports betting licenses with the state’s casinos and racinos along with other businesses permitted to make an application. 33 of those licenses are designated for retail sports betting outlets and kiosks while 25 have been set aside for mobile and online sports betting operators.
Ohio’s professional sports teams, the Memorial Tournament, and an Ohio NASCAR event will get preference in the application process.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will oversee the market and issue all licenses with application fees set at $1M. Type C licenses for bars will cost $6,000 per license with each business paying a $100,000 application fee.
One of the changes to the bill now sees licenses issued on a geographical basis. What this means is that counties with higher populations will receive more licenses.
Sen. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton spoke of the geographical restriction saying:
“That’s our way of saying we want to spread the economic value that we think goes with the B license.”
Net revenue from all sports betting will be taxed at 10% and is expected to earn the state somewhere in the region of $17M to $23M per year. The majority of state taxes from the industry will be used to fund education programs while 2% of tax revenue will be put towards gambling addiction programs.
If everything goes to plan, Ohio could have legal sports betting in place by April 1st, 2022.
Image credit: Alexander Jonesi / CC BY-SA 2.0