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Ohio House passes sports betting bill


The Ohio House of Representatives has passed a bill that would legalise both retail and mobile sports wagering in the US state.

First introduced by State Representatives Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly in April of last year, House Bill 194 passed the House by a vote of 83-10 yesterday (May 28).

Ohio’s Statehouse had debated the bill for more than a year prior to this week’s vote, with the House’s approved version setting out plans for the Ohio Lottery Commission to take responsibility for regulating the market.

Operators that secure a sports gaming agent license in the state would be subject to a tax rate of 10% on sports wagering receipts.

Funds collected from taxing regulated sports betting would be used to support elementary, secondary vocational, and special education programs in the state.

Only a casino operator or a video lottery sales agent would be permitted to apply for a sports gaming agent license, with the Commission to set the application fee at a non-refundable $100,000

Operators that wish to renew their license would need to pay a fee of $100,000 or 1% of their gross sports betting receipts from the previous year of operation in the state, whichever is less.

In terms of mobile betting, the bill would permit certain veterans’ and fraternal organizations to offer on-site wagering through an approved state vendor.

HB194 now moves to the Senate for further scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s House yesterday also voted to approve House Bill 282, which would make it legal for charitable organizations in Ohio to operate electronic bingo machines.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 91-2, would expand existing laws in Ohio so that charities could offer these new games, in addition to paper-based bingo.