A state legislative vote on Ohio sports betting may be tricky to pull off by Halloween, but sports bettors in the Buckeye State could be in for a treat next week.
That’s when Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming Chair Kirk Schuring of Canton expects a conference committee could report on amendments to sports betting legislation that has been pending since the bill passed the Senate 30-2 on June 18.
Schuring today told News-Talk 1480 WHBC that Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Robert Cupp are planning to meet this week to discuss next steps between the two chambers. A conference committee vote, Schuring said, could follow next week.
“If we can get this meeting with Speaker Cupp this week, the conference committee should be able to do something as early as next week,” said Schuring, one of six lawmakers on the conference committee. “We’re reaching a point of critical mass where we can finally get this done.”
Next Steps For Ohio Sports Betting Legislation
Schuring told WHBC that any meeting between Ohio’s top state legislative leaders this week will “be very telling” on what, if anything, will happen in the conference committee in the coming days.
If the bill does get a pass vote by the committee next week, it would go to both the Senate and House for approval. After passing that test, it would go to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
If DeWine signs sports betting legislation by early next month, Schuring said the licensing application process for Ohio sports betting could begin on Feb. 15, 2022, with approval or denial of licensing granted no later than April 30, 2022.
That would be about 30 days later than Schuring and fellow Ohio lawmakers pushing for sports betting had originally hoped, he told WHBC. But, he said, it’s a timeline that lawmakers can meet if they work quickly.
“We still have time,” he said. “If we get it done next week, that means it goes right to the governor to sign.”
What’s Being Proposed In Ohio?
The conference committee is working off a Senate bill that would create three types of sports betting licenses depending on location and betting type. Details in the bill are expected to be amended by the conference committee in the coming days.
As now written, the Senate proposal would create the following licenses for Ohio sports betting:
- Type A licenses for mobile apps. There would be 25 of these, each licensed at $1 million.
- Type B licenses for retail sportsbooks that Schuring has described as “Top Golf-type quality restaurant” businesses. There would be 33 of these licenses under the Senate bill. Each would carry a $100,000 license fee for the first three years, with a $25,000 annual renewal fee.
- Type C licenses for kiosk sports betting in bars and restaurants with an alcohol permit. These licenses would supposedly be unlimited, with a $100,000 licensing fee for the sportsbook operator and $6,000 fee for the host facility.
Gaming Today reported on Sept. 13 that a sports betting proposal passed by the House earlier this year was not expected to advance in the Senate. Both chambers instead are expected to work on amendments to the Senate-backed plan.