by J.D. Davidson
Sports bettors in Ohio are a step closer to being able to stay in state to place a wager after the Ohio Senate passed a bill legalizing sports betting and e-bingo.
If passed by the House and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, Senate Bill 176 brings Ohio in line with neighboring Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania by allowing sports bets through retail or online sportsbooks.
The legislation passed Wednesday with a 30-2 vote.
The bill, which now heads to the House, calls for mobile, brick-and-mortar and kiosk licenses to be available. The state will receive 10% from the net revenue of the operations, which will be directed to public and private education, gambling addiction and problem gambling.
“This bill will spur economic opportunities for businesses in Ohio,” Sen. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, said. “Ohioans want legalized sports betting, and this bill will provide that with a safe expansion of gaming in our state.”
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will provide gaming oversight and be responsible for upholding regulations of license holders. It will begin accepting applications for licenses Jan. 1 and begin giving licenses by April 1.
The legislation would create 53 sports betting licenses broken into to Type A and Type B categories. The bill originally called for only 40 licenses. Twenty-five licenses would be available for the state’s casinos and horse racing tracks to allow for partnerships with outside companies for betting online or on mobile apps. Thirty-three would be for brick-and-mortar locations such as existing casinos, sports bars or betting businesses.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished in this comprehensive gaming bill for Ohio. It is fair, it creates opportunity for economic development and it’s a win for taxpayers and our economy,” Sen. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, said.
The bill also calls for e-bingo to become available to charitable organizations. The machines will be authorized by the Ohio attorney general’s office, and the OCCC also will have oversight.
The Senate also approved a bill Wednesday that allows college athletes to earn money based on the use of their name, images and likenesses. Ohio State football coach Ryan Day had testified in support of the bill.
– – –
An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Cleveland Browns” by Erik Drost CC 2.0.