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Ohio bill would legalize sports betting


A bill to legalize sports betting – allowing 20 land-based and 20 online licenses plus an offering from the lottery – has officially been introduced in the state of Ohio.

Senate Bill 176 was introduced by Niraj Antani and details the legalization and regulation of the sports betting market, which may open on  January 2022, within the state.

Two types of license are permitted under the new legislation. Type A licenses allow vendors to offer sports betting through an online sports pool under one brand name each, with a single controlling person not permitted to able to obtain more than five of these licenses. Type B licenses (capped at a maximum of 20 per vendor) allow sports gaming agents to offer sports gaming at one retail facility.

Both license types require a nonrefundable $1m license fee, deposited into the Sports Gaming Revenue Fund. There is also a $10,000 nonrefundable application fee.

Sports betting will be taxed at 10%.

The new bill allows for betting on any professional sport or athletic event, collegiate sport, Olympic or international sports competition event, motor races, and any other special event the appropriate commission authorizes for sports gaming.

The bill also requires the State Lottery Commission to operate a sports gaming lottery whereby the Commission accepts wagers on sporting events from individuals who are at least 21, and physically located in Ohio.

The lottery will be conducted as a pool in which participants pay a fixed price of $20 per ticket, and the Commission retains a fixed fee.

The bill also permits the regulation of bingo “conducted by charitable organizations for charitable purposes”.

Traditional bingo, instant bingo, raffles and punch boards are all permitted ,so long as the proceeds are given to either a public charity, a veteran’s organization, a fraternal organization or a volunteer firefighters organization.

The Senate has not yet set a date for any hearings for the bill, or assigned it to a committee.