Ohio’s Senate Bill 176, which would allow sports betting to be licensed in the state, has been passed to the state assembly’s finance committee for approval.
The bill was first introduced in May by Ohio senator Niraj Antani, and would allow for 20 land-based and 20 online sports betting licenses to be issued, in addition to allowing a sports betting offering from the state lottery.
After being approved by the Ohio Senate Gaming Committee last week, the bill has now been passed onto the House finance committee for approval.
An amendment made before passage by the Gaming Committee saw Ohio’s scheduled market opening pushed back to 1 April, 2022, rather than the original plan to open the market from January.
Under the new schedule, the licensing application window will open in January with licenses to be approved from April.
Kirk Schuring, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming, said the delay would allow all operators to begin on equal footing when the market opens.
The bill allows for two types of license to be issued. Type A licenses would allow vendors to offer online sports betting under one brand name each, while Type B licenses would allow sports gaming agents to offer sports wagering at one retail facility.
Ohio’s professional sports teams will be eligible to apply for retail licenses, and under the amendment approved last week will have preference for approval.
A further amendment will see the Ohio Casino Control Commission conduct a study into problem gambling as part of the legislation.