Ohio Sports Betting Bill Passed By Legislature, Heads To Governor’s Desk

Posted on December 8, 2021
Written By on December 8, 2021

Sports betting in Ohio will start no later than Jan. 1, 2023, after the legislature passed HB 29 Wednesday afternoon.

The work went quickly for HB 29 after a nearly four-hour delay. The conference committee favorably reported the bill in under five minutes and it took fewer than 10 minutes to accept the conference report on the Senate floor.

The House passed the bill later in the afternoon.

The last bit of work is for Gov. Mike DeWine, who has been outspoken on his support to legalize Ohio sportsbooks.

Ohio sports betting bill changes

The amended HB 29 is 225 pages long, but luckily the Ohio Legislative Service Commission uploaded a synopsis of the amendments agreed upon by the conference committee.

The key negotiation point that’s dragged this issue on for months centered on mobile sports betting. The original bill had sports leagues and teams only getting one skin each while casinos and racinos could operate two.

Now, those teams, leagues, casinos and racinos can launch one skin each with a chance at a second. A second skin can be launched but the licensee must prove it will have an incremental economic benefit to the state.

There can be more than 25 mobile licensees as long as those applying can demonstrate Ohio needs more online sportsbooks. Any licensee approved after the first 25 will only get one skin each.

Another important note is that taxation did not change. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 10%.

Other tweaks to HB 29

There were a few other changes outside of the mobile betting updates:

  • Mobile and retail betting licenses will run for five years instead of three years.
  • There is now no requirement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to dictate rules concerning the size and cost of a retail sportsbook. Instead, applicants will include that information in their applications.
  • Any eligible lottery retailer that wants to host a sports betting kiosk and is recommended by the State Lottery Commission must be approved. Those retailers were capped at 20 previously.
  • Lottery kiosks can accept bets on the spread, moneyline and the over/under as well as parlays of two-to-four bets.
  • Bettors are limited to $700 a week in bets at lottery kiosks.
  • Official league data is no longer required for live betting.
  • Sports betting in Ohio must start by Jan. 1, 2023, but it can start earlier on a date set by the regulator. Provisional gaming licenses can be awarded through June 30, 2023.
  • Operators can no longer carry forward negative revenue for tax purposes.
  • A provision that would have let sportsbooks offer betting on horse racing was removed. Betting on professional esports, meanwhile, was included in the bill.
Photo by Michael Conroy / The Associated Press
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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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