State Senate Passes Ohio Sports Betting Bill

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After months of talking about passing an Ohio sports betting bill, the Ohio Senate did just that today.

By a vote of 30-2, Senate Bill 176 now goes to the House.

If the bill passes the House and Governor Mike DeWine signs, as expected, interested parties could begin submitting applications on Jan. 1, 2022. The Ohio Casino Control Commission and the state attorney general would begin awarding licenses by April 1, 2022.

Changes To Ohio Sports Betting Bill

The bill looked significantly different from the version that was introduced just last month. 

There are now three types of licenses: Type A, Type B, and Type C.  

Type A licenses are for online apps and would be limited to 25. Type B is for retail establishments, or brick-and-mortar facilities, and would be limited to 33.  

Type C, added yesterday during the final committee hearing on the bill, is for facilities with a liquor license, to offer sports bets at kiosks. It will be pre-authorized by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. An unlimited amount of businesses can apply for the license, but they would be restricted to two kiosks per establishment. There will be a $200 daily limit as to how much a bettor can wager on these types of machines, and they will only take bets on spread, moneyline, and over/under wagers.

The cost of the application for the licenses varies.  Type A costs $1 million, Type B costs $100,000 for the first three years, then $25,000 annually.  Type C costs $100,000 for the sportsbook operator and $6,000 for the facilities that host the kiosks.  

Ohio Teams Get Special Treatment

While professional teams in Ohio would have to meet all the same criteria as any other applicant for a Type A or Type B license, they would get special treatment once the process is complete and would receive one over similarly qualified applicants. 

If the team leaves the state they would automatically forfeit their license. 

Ohio Casino Control Commission Has Control Over Age Restrictions

Another new provision added on Tuesday was to allow for sports wagers on events where some of the participants are under 18.

According to the summary of changes to the bill provided by state Sen. Kirk Schuring’s office, it would be up to the OCCC if wagers are allowed on events or teams when a player is under 18. Schuring chaired the Senate Select Committee on Gaming and helped shepherd the legislation throughout the year.

The OCCC would also be responsible for ensuring that anyone who places a bet is at a minimum 21 years old.  

 

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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