Ohio Sports Betting Bill Sees Multiple Changes At Introduction

Written By Matthew Waters on May 13, 2021
Ohio sports betting

The Senate co-sponsors of the proposed Ohio sports betting legislation introduced the bill Wednesday with a few changes.

Unfortunately, some of the changes caused more confusion about what OH sports betting might look like than they answered.

The 15-minute hearing also lacked an update on what timeline to expect for the legislation. Sen. Kirk Schuring said he wants to pass the bill before the end of June at a press conference last week.

Ohio sports betting bill changes

Sen. Nathan Manning laid out multiple changes to SB 176. He also noted this is a working bill and expects more adjustments to come:

  • Type A mobile licensees must have a physical presence in the state. The licensee can also sub-contract with unlimited mobile betting skins.
  • Type B retail licenses are now available for racinos and casinos. The Casino Control Commission can also use a “regional factor” to help create economic growth when deciding who gets the licenses. Schuring originally told LSR the Type B licensees would not have to “bank” the bet. That is now changed according to Manning’s testimony.
  • Language concerning first-come, first-served licenses was removed.

Unchanged details include the tax rate of 10% and the 40 total licenses, with 20 for both categories.

Unlimited mobile licenses under one operator?

The Type A license was already a bit confusing, only to become more muddled Wednesday.

Anyone who wants to offer mobile betting in the state of Ohio must “bank the bet,” in the words of Schuring. As he explained to LSR, that means accept the risk for the bet.

So there can be as many mobile betting skins under one licensee as desire, but the bet must come back to the licensee no matter the platform, according to the changes. What that means in practice remains to be seen.

Still another OH sports betting proposal coming

SB 176 is the only Ohio sports betting proposal on the table for now, but it will not stay that way for long.

Legislation in the House is still under construction, Rep. Brigid Kelly told LSR:

“It’s still a work in progress. There was a lot of work that had been done. I think [last year’s bill] laid a good foundation but certainly, when you get new people involved in the mix, you know, it’s different perspectives, new conversations. So we’re still working on it.”

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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