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The new sports gambling bill proposed by the Ohio Senate aims to be passed by June end

The journey to introduce authorized sports betting to Ohio has gained momentum after the lawmakers in the Ohio Senate Select Committee inaugurated the new sports betting bill this year.

Ohio Senate

Image Source: Jeremy Pelzer.

The journey to introduce authorized sports betting to Ohio has gained momentum after the lawmakers in the Ohio Senate Select Committee inaugurated the new sports betting bill this year.

The legislators decided that there will be 40 betting licenses up for grabs. Also, a fee of $1 million was proposed for three years. Twenty of those licenses would be graded as Class A licenses. The first 20 Class A licenses would be owned by the existing seven racinos and four casinos in Ohio. The other 20 Class B licenses will be offered to brick-and-mortar sportsbook venues.

Most of the state’s sports team have been backing the bill, advocating in-person betting in the Senate Select Committee. So people can enjoy betting alone through mobile apps or enjoy the thrill by betting at licensed sports betting operators next to sports venues such as stadiums and halls. Some Ohio pro teams advocated for this during the hearing on the sports betting bill in April 2021.

The Class A license holders can take the idea of mobile sports bookies such as FanDuel, Barstool, or DraftKings on board. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), a member of the Ohio Senate and the bill sponsor, stated that the eleven Ohio-based racinos and casinos might have aimed for dominance. But, they didn’t get to carry off this ambition. Extra licenses are also being issued considering the possibility of other big players entering the picture.

Schuring also affirmed that they put their faith in the free-enterprise economy. Therefore, any big company out there with the financial resources to fund the stakes is welcome to Ohio.

Previous sports betting bills were divided between two choices: who would oversee the gambling regulations: the Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery.

Schuring made it known that lotteries do not qualify as regulatory agencies but as a marketing agency.  According to him, the Ohio Casino Control Commission should be the one guiding the gaming dept.

State lawmakers have decided to levy a tax rate of 10% on all legalized winnings after the sports bets are settled. This is applicable for all the states in the USA except Pennsylvania, which charges a steep 36% tax on sports betting. The extra amount of tax that the Pennsylvania state levies on sports gambling can go towards Ohio’s education and gambling addiction problems. Sports bookies don’t generate as much tax revenue as the other gambling forms. Thus, sponsors think that this change is not about the revenue it makes.

The Ohio Senate Select Committee’s hearings on the bill concerning issues of I-lottery and E-bingo will be conducted very soon (preferably next Wednesday).  Schuring mentioned that input from the governor’s office as well as the two houses is critical. This course of action will help the bill get sanctioned faster, preferably by June end.

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