Ohio looking to legalise sports betting

Viktor Vangelov | Published 1 Jun 2020, 2:51 p.m.

It is hardly surprising that we are, once again, brining you news regarding sports betting in the US, this time Ohio. Towards the end of last month, we gave you a sports betting updates on the situation in Louisiana and Washington. Earlier, we reported on the Michigan gaming market.

Not all initiatives progress at the same pace and not all states are looking to legalise certain forms of gambling, but it is clear that the number is growing.

The bill passed the House Finance Committee

Towards the end of last week, the Representatives at the Ohio House met to discuss whether sports betting in the state should be legalised. It is known that illegal betting and gambling happening in the country, so it is expected that many would be in favour of legalisation.

The potential tax revenue which could serves states as a useful tool to fill their coffers and thus fund multiple projects, seems to be the key motive for most US states, along with the desire to protect players.

Many states are facing a decrease in revenue, especially when it comes to tax revenue, so this will give them an option to recover a fraction of these funds. The legislative chamber has already voted on and approved House Bill 194 and will now be sent to the Senate.

The Finance Committee at the State House was passed with 29 votes in favour and 1 against. The bill was then moved to the Senate, where it got supported and was passed with 83 votes and 10 against.

Representative Brigid Kelly is one of the co-sponsors of the bill and he gave a motivational speech before the vote. Representative Dave Greenspan is another sponsor of the bill. Kelly said that sports betting is currently happening in the state, but it is done illegally. He added that the state should be collecting tax revenue and monitor this activity. He claimed that the system in Ohio will be one of the strongest in the country.

Senate will likely pass the bill into law

Let us look at some of the other details. According to the bill, the tax on receipts from sports betting will be 10%, which means that the state will be gathering about $15 million in revenue during the first year since sports betting is legalised. It is the Ohio State Lottery Commission that should be in charge of regulating betting and the Casino Control Commission will be in charge of enforcement.

All of the current gambling facilities in the state that are currently open will be permitted to apply and acquire a license that will enable them to organise sports betting. Online betting will also be enabled.

Still, it is expected that the Senate will make certain amends, especially since a similar version of a sports betting bill is already in front of the Senate. This is the Senate Bill 111 and according to this piece of legislation, a tax rate of 6.75% is more likely to be imposed.

The most important aspect is the Ohio legislators tend to agree that sports betting in the state should be legalised, especially since most neighbouring states have already done so.