Ohio Senate Approves Legalization of Sports Betting
Just one day after being approved by the Select Committee on Gaming, Ohio’s sports betting bill was roundly approved by the Senate and now moves to the House for consideration.
The bill, SB 176, was approved by the Ohio Senate in a 30-2 vote, with one member abstaining. It now will be considered by the Ohio House of Representatives. If approved, it will then head to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature before becoming law.
If signed into law, committee chairman State Senator Kirk Schuring (R) said the bill would go into effect this October and the state would begin accepting applications for sports betting licenses on Jan. 1, 2022, with the goal of awarding licenses no later than April 1, 2022.
New Class of Ohio Sports Betting License Added
The ascension of the bill comes after members of the Select Committee on Gaming passed an omnibus amendment yesterday to incorporate changes from the whopping 45 amendments submitted to the committee last week.
Sweeping changes were incorporated into the bill before being approved by the committee. These include the creation of a new type of license available to providers in the state. These Type C licenses will allow for sports betting kiosks to be installed in retail establishments with D-class liquor license. The committee included the following details for Type C licenses:
- The Ohio Casino Control Commission will select no less than three vendors to operate the licenses and no more than 20 can be granted a license.
- The Ohio Casino Control will not give preference for Type C licenses to applicants that currently have contracts with the state lottery.
- A $100,000 initial fee and $25,000 renewal fee in 3 years.
- Hosts will be allowed no more than 2 kiosks in a retail establishment.
- Kiosks will only accept money line, over/under, and spread bets.
- Credit and debit cards will be the only accepted form of payment at the machines.
- A $200 day bet limit will be instituted.
Changes Incorporated for Type A, B Licenses
In addition to the new license class, the committee also instituted changes to Type A and Type B licenses. Type A licenses include state entities that have the ability to bank a bet, such as the state’s 11 casinos and racinos. Type B licenses will be for future brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. The maximum amount of Type A licenses in the state have increased from 20 to 25, and Type B licenses have increased from 20 to 33.
The following changes were also included for Type A and Type B licenses:
- Type B licenses will only be allowed in counties with a population of greater than 100,000, according to the 2010 U.S. census.
- Counties with 100,000 to 500,000 shall have no more than 1 Type B license.
- Counties with populations between 500,000 and 1 million shall have no more than two Type B licenses.
- Counties with populations of more than 1 million will have no more than three Type B licenses.
- Type B licenses shall be awarded to bidders with significant economic activity in the county where the license will operate.
- Type B application fees will be set at an initial price of $100,000 and a renewal price of $25,000 at 3 years. The license holder will go through the same process and regulations when reapplying for a license.
The state’s professional sports franchises will have preference for Type A and Type B license. These include franchises in the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS and the operator of a sports facility that hosts an annual tournament on the PGA Tour. Promotors of a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing conducted in the state will also be included, he said.