A signature from Gov. Mike DeWine is the only hurdle that stands in the way of legalized sports betting in Ohio.
According to a report from local media, lawmakers added language that would legalize sports betting to a bill regarding veteran ID cards, which was then passed in both chambers of the legislature. It now heads to DeWine’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.
The move was expected as it comes shortly after legislators announced they agreed to a sports betting deal in principle, but had yet to pass a bill.
Under the proposal, casinos, racinos, professional sports franchises, and any business with a liquor license will be able to operate a betting operation of some sort. Both online and brick-and-mortar betting would be available to gamblers.
The legislation will allow for thousands of different licensees split into three tiers. There will be 25 Class A licenses up for grabs and, 40 Class B licenses, and numerous Class C. Class A licensees would be eligible to operate an online sportsbook, Class B would allow for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, while Class C would permit businesses with a liquor license to set up betting kiosks.
Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10% and would be used to fund the state’s education system. The Ohio Casino Control Commission would be given regulatory duties over the new market.
Negotiations over which body would be entrusted with regulatory responsibilities was one of the main issues that kept the issue from being passed earlier. While most lawmakers in the Senate wanted to put the Casino Control Commission in charge, most of the House wanted to give authority to the Ohio Lottery.
If signed into law, the state could launch its market by early 2023. Ohio would be the 27th state to make sports betting legal.