The light at the end of the tunnel for Ohio sports betting may be coming closer into focus.

Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring, appearing with Pam Cook on 1480 WHBC this morning, said an agreement on the long debated Ohio sports betting bill has been made. The bill should be approved by a conference committee soon and appear on the Ohio House and Senate floors this week.

Ohio sports betting by January 2023

A representative from Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz’ office confirmed the “conceptual framework” of the bill has been agreed upon and that the program will go live no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

We have an agreement on sports gaming. I expect the conference committee to meet this week and for the conference report to be approved. It will then go to the house and senate floors this week. Everything is staged up,” Schuring said. 

If the bill, HB 29, is approved by both bodies and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R), it would have to wait 90 days before it could go into effect. It will be interesting to see if the framework of HB 29 remains and how much has been altered from the summer negotiations.

Schuring did not offer any specifics to the bill. He did say the negotiations for the bill have been difficult, trying to placate so many competitive parties who want a piece of the Ohio sports betting market. It’s been like trying to negotiate an agreement between the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Michigan Wolverines, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, he said.

“They’re just naturally competitive with each other and they want a piece of this new market. That’s what really has been holding everything up,” Schuring said.

DeWine, long a proponent of sports betting, will likely sign a sports betting bill into law.

What would legalized Ohio sports betting look like?

HB 29 includes three types of sports betting licenses. Type A licenses include state entities that have the ability to bank a bet, such as the state’s 11 casinos and racinos, and will include online sports betting licenses. Type B licenses will be for future brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Type C licenses allow for sports betting kiosks to be installed in retail establishments with D-class liquor licenses.

The bill allows for 65 total licenses; 25 online sports betting licenses and 40 retail sportsbook licenses.