The Ohio legislature took one of the first steps in passing a bill that would legalize sports betting in the Buckeye State.
Last Thursday, the Ohio House voted in favor of HB 194 by an overwhelming 83-10 margin. The bill was sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators and will use revenue from sports betting to further fund public education services.
It would allow those 21 or older within the state’s borders to bet on both pro and college sports at both brick-and-mortar locations and via online apps. Both casinos and racinos could qualify for retail betting locations under the bill.
Unlike the Louisiana sports betting bill, which was sent to the governor’s desk last week, this bill lays out specifics about how the market would be regulated.
Under the House version of the bill, the Ohio Lottery Commission would act as the regulatory body, sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10 percent. The Senate, however, is mulling over whether to give regulatory authority to the Casino Control Commission.
According to estimates from the Legislative Service Commission, the state would reap $17.7 million in tax revenue in 2022 and as much as $23 million when the market matures.
According to the Dayton Daily News, the bill has support from Penn National Gaming and the American Legion of Ohio. Penn National Gaming currently has four of the 11 gaming properties in the state.
Ohio’s gambling market has been mostly closed since mid-March in response to the coronavirus outbreak. There is still no timeline for a reopening for casinos, but horse racing resumed on May 22.
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