Ohio Sports Betting Bill Introduced to Support Wagering in Casinos, Racinos and Their Mobile Apps

The long-awaited sports betting bill finally made its appearance in Ohio on Thursday, March 14. Ohio was one of the last large market potential states without active legislation on file on legal sports wagering.

The SB111 bill is sponsored by State Senator John Eklund and democratic State Senator Sean O’Brien. Senator Eklund says that he would rather take his time and get the legislation right than rush.

According to an earlier study made by Oxford Economics, Ohio has the potential to make more than $9 billion in annual sports betting handle.

What will the SB111 legislation cover?

  • In order to place a bet, one must be 21 of age.
  • If you are an employee in the legal sports wagering business you cannot place a bet.
  • The host server of a betting website must be situated in a legal and secure US facility and owned and operated by the sports wagering operator or its management.
  • Sports betting operators are allowed to have mobile apps to go along with their wagering sites but are not eligible for an application if they only have an online platform.

Both casinos and racinos will be allowed to offer sports wagering. There is a total of 11 in the state of Ohio. Licensees must pay an application fee of $100,000 and they are allowed to partner with operators for retail and online wagering. Signing up remotely is also allowed.

What about mobile sports betting in Ohio?

All of the state’s neighbors have already legalized mobile betting or are at least in the process of doing so. Only in February, for example, in New Jersey, mobile bets accounted for 80% of all the wagers and for $320 million in bets.

Eklund was at first skeptical about mobile wagering but as soon as he got more information, he changed his mind.

His comment for US Bets:

“When I first contemplated the idea, I thought it was kooky, frankly, because I was ignorant, but I am learning more and more that there are many vendors out there who profess to have the means by which to maintain the security in that space, to maintain integrity. So I guess I am to the point where now I would say, yeah, I see where that would be something worth considering.”

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof has power over legislative bills and in his opinion, the SB111 bill doesn’t have the power to regulate sports betting. He believes that this matter should be decided by voters in a constitutional amendment.