Ohio Lawmakers Amend Proposed Sports Betting Legislation

Ohio Lawmakers Amend Proposed Sports Betting Legislation
© USA Today

The first hearing for Ohio’s new proposed sports betting legislation — SB 176 — on Wednesday was short and to the point.

Just two state senators testified — joint sponsors Sen. Nathan Manning (R-District 13), vice chair of the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, and Sen. Ninaj Artani (R-District 6) — and announced changes to the proposed bill.

RELATED: More about Ohio sports betting and gaming

Those changes included that casinos can now apply for Class B sports betting licenses. The bill will maintain 20 Class A and 20 Class B licenses. A Type A license must have or create a substantial Ohio presence and then the holder would subcontract with as many mobile apps as they want. In other words, there will be no cap limit.

No other state has a current setup like the one Ohio has proposed.

When the bill was unveiled last week, details included that a Class A license will be for a facility already in place — casinos and racetracks — where they can bank the bet. In turn, they then can partner with a sports betting platform for a mobile application, such as DraftKings or FanDuel. There are 11 facilities that can bank bets right now, should they choose to do so.

Class B will be for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks that can offer prop bets.

A license would be $1 million for three years. Sports teams and their stadiums/arenas in Ohio can apply for licenses if they want.

There will be a 10% tax on transactions, where revenue generated will be for public/private education and gambling addiction; gaming will be under the auspices of the Ohio Casino Control.

Lawmakers Want Bill Approved By End of June

Last Thursday, state Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), chairman of the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, laid out a 252-page plan for what he calls “a powerful bill that no one has seen before.”

Lawmakers want legislation to be on Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk by the end of June.

“This bill is about the free market. It’s about saying to those that want to get into sports gaming, eBingo, lottery form of gaming, iLottery — everybody is going to have to participate and be a part of the process,” Schuring said last week. “There is not going to be any prescriptive language in the legislation that would give someone special preference.”

The Ohio legislature is in session until Dec. 31, but it looks like lawmakers want legislation completed and signed far before then.

Although not confirmed, the next hearing will likely be May 19.

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