Will Ohio Sports Betting Bill Pass By The End Of June?

Written By Matthew Waters on June 10, 2021
Ohio sports betting

The Ohio Senate is sticking to its plan to get sports betting in Ohio legalized by the end of this month.

Sen. Kirk Schuring, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming, held a brief meeting Wednesday afternoon to introduce a substitute bill. The committee met again Thursday to hear testimony, mostly from problem gambling groups and people focused on electronic bingo.

A committee hearing on SB 176 is scheduled for Tuesday for final testimonies and to consider amendments submitted to Schuring’s office before 4 p.m. Friday.

Schuring hopes Tuesday is the beginning of a fast track to legalization for OH sports betting:

“Our goal is to vote the bill out on Tuesday, put it on the Senate floor on Wednesday and move it over to the House because we want to get something done by June 30.”

Big changes to mobile Ohio sports betting licenses

The potential mobile market created under the Ohio sports betting proposal is pretty different after the substitute.

SB 176 now allows just two mobile skins for each type A license instead of an unlimited amount. The license holder can launch one app and then apply for a second after one year.

The name of the license holder must also appear on the mobile app, similar to mobile Illinois sportsbooks. That law in Illinois led to multiple casino name changes to keep brands like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook front and center.

Type A licensees also cannot trade or sell sports betting access in Ohio, Schuring said. That could be problematic because market-access deals that include Ohio already exist.

Penn National and Rush Street Interactive traded access to multiple states in February that included entry into Ohio for BetRivers as a second skin.

Other changes in sub bill

Schuring rattled off a few other changes pertaining to sports betting:

  • Type A and B licensees and their sportsbook operators now must pay $500,000 in years two and three of its license, along with the $1 million license fee. Those funds will go to education and problem gambling, Schuring said.
  • Fixed-odds horse racing betting can take place through mobile and retail sportsbooks. Schuring did not specifically mention fixed odds but the substitute still says pari-mutuel betting is not sports gaming.
  • Esports betting is allowed as a betting option.
  • There is no tax deduction for promo credits through the first five years. That increases to 10% for years five through 10 and 20% from year 11 on.
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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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