Ohio is in a position to be the next state to legalize sports betting. A key state legislative committee has come to terms with a bill that has kept the process moving forward.
State Senator Kirk Schuring remains confident that the road to legal sports betting will clear all of the remaining hurdles it has to face. Attempts to pass the proper legislation in the past never made it all the way to the finish line. However, as more and more support for legal sports betting expands, this time around may be the charm.Jump to
Moving Legislation Forward for a Full Vote
Earlier in December, Sen. Schuring told local media sources in Canton about the deal being reached. Once the conference committee was able to approve the language of the bill, it moved onto to the full House and Senate for a vote.
Behind some strong support, passage by the full state legislature now moves the measure onto Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for his signature. He has already come out in support of legal sports betting in the state.
Schuring was so sure that the measure would pass, he stated that the long stalemate at the statehouse “could be coming to an end.”
The senator likened the struggle to some famous sports rivalries. Similar to the heated rivalry between the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, negotiating a bill that meets everyone’s needs has been as equally heated at times.
These snags in negotiations have only stalled the process in the past. Timing is everything in sports and the time for legal betting in Ohio appears to be just right.
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Key Provisions of the Sports Betting Bill
The piece of legislation that was under consideration offers some specifics as to what the sports betting industry might look like in Ohio.
The retail sports betting industry would offer up to 40 land-based licenses. This list would include in-state casinos, sports stadiums and arenas, and other forms of stand-alone retail sportsbooks.
Ohio has four land-based casinos and another seven racinos with horse tracks. The venues at horse tracks only offer slot machines. According to the American Gaming Association, the casino gaming industry in Ohio has an economic impact of $3.61 billion across the state.
Legal online sports betting in Ohio would be limited to 25 mobile betting licenses. These licenses would be tied to in-state casinos, racinos, and sports venues. This would give customers 21 and older legal access to online sports betting across the state.
Ohio Legal Sports Betting: Next Steps
If everything goes according to plan, legal sports betting in Ohio could be up and running by the end of 2022. Following legislative approval and the governor’s signature, the regulatory process would begin.
Ohio currently borders four states offering legal sports betting. Pennsylvania sportsbooks, Indiana sportsbooks, and Michigan sportsbooks are among some of the biggest markets in the US. You can add West Virginia sportsbooks to the list.
The state is also home to major pro sports franchises in Cleveland and Cincinnati as the two biggest cities. The NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals would be an attractive draw for potential sportsbook operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM.