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After much previously reported speculation and foreshadowing, Ohio lawmakers finally approved sports betting bill on Wednesday that will provide the regulatory framework for both a mobile and retail sports gambling market in the Buckeye State.
As we previously reported, the Ohio state Senate and House of Representatives had to agree on various last minute changes to substitute House Bill 29, legislation that will be used to develop policy, implement requirements, and supervise compliance with sports betting regulatory rules and objectives in Ohio.
In the end, the Senate approved HB 29 by a vote of 31-1, and the House voted in favor of it by a vote of 72-12.
Senator Niraj Antani, a Republican from Miamisburg, told the press:
As the main sponsor of the original bill this year, I am very pleased we finally passed this bill to legalize sports betting. Ohioans want to be able to bet on sports and they will now finally be able to. Whether it’s rooting on the Buckeyes or the Bengals, sports betting will add that additional fun factor in enjoying sports.
The bill addresses three levels of the gaming market.
Over half the states in the US now offer some level of sports betting to their residents, but each differs in how they deliver the market to the bettors, some delivering retail or online wagering only, whereas other states give punters a choice of both.
In Ohio’s HB 29, these three gaming levels are covered:
According to the bill, the main regulatory agency that will oversee this new sports betting gambling program will be the Ohio Casino Control Commission, while the Ohio Lottery Commission will have a major role in dealing with kiosks and operating in lottery retail space.
Next, it will be up to the Governor to sign the bill into law.
Before the bill can become state law, it needs the Governor’s signature, so now HB 29 will travel to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk where he has already indicated that he will most likely sign it.
Once the bill is signed by DeWine, sports gaming in Ohio would reportedly begin by April 1, 2022, and no later than January 1, 2023.
The 10% tax that will be placed on sports betting revenues will go primarily to public education, though a portion would also be diverted towards problem gambling services and veterans’ services.
Ohio Senator Kirk Schuring, a huge proponent of legalizing Ohio sports betting, told the press:
This is much more than a sports gaming bill, it’s an economic development bill that addresses an issue already happening. This will make it legal and generate not only business development but revenue for the state.
Keep checking back for more updates on this ongoing story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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