Senator Kirk Schuring unveils details for new Ohio sports betting bill
Senator Kirk Schuring (R-29) today unveiled details for a new Ohio sports betting bill with 40 available licenses for in-person and online sports betting. The bill also includes iLottery and E-Bingo opportunities for the state.
Sports betting will be under the auspices of the Ohio Casino Control Commission rather than the Ohio Lottery Commission, which was a point of contention in testimony during the development of the bill.
Schuring, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming, stressed the bill is not about “revenue generation,” but will act as a safeguard from Ohio black market gambling and will be a powerful economic development tool for the state. The bill will be formally introduced this week and put in front of the Ohio Select Committee on Gaming
“I think we have a powerful bill. I think we have a bill that has not been seen before, it’s a whole new way of doing things,” Schuring said during a press conference.
Schuring hopes to have approval of the bill before the end of June. If approved, sports betting could begin on Jan. 1, 2022.
Ohio Sports Betting Bill Details
The bill will include two types of sports betting licenses. Type A licenses will 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. Twenty licenses of each type will be available for interested parties. Each type of license will cost $1 million for three years and a 10% tax rate will be set on sports betting revenue.
As part of the application process for a Type B license, interested parties must be able to show economic development opportunities for the state of Ohio.
“They need to show that they will be able to help the people of Ohio,” he said.
The number of available licenses is malleable, he said, and could be increased or decreased depending on committee discussions.
Both Type A and Type B licenses will allow for online sports betting partnerships. These partnerships will be decided by the free market and no special considerations will be made for any entities in the process.
Schuring noted that the professional sports franchises would likely be more interested in applying for a Type B license to build brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at their facilities, but would not be precluded from applying for a Type A license if they desired to do so.
The bill will be a standalone piece of legislation and cannot be included in the state budget document. Revenue from the bill will be used to fund public and private education in the state, as well as gambling addiction resources.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will determine restrictions, if any, on wagers for in-state collegiate events or Ohio colleges.
Who Gets Control of Ohio Sports Betting?
The bill put to rest the question of who in the state will have control over the sports betting program. The decision for sports betting to fall under the auspices of the Ohio Casino Control Commission instead of the Ohio Lottery Commission was an easy one, Schuring said.
“I would never give an odds making risk to the Ohio Lottery for fear that if they couldn’t bank a bet, the bank of last resort would then be the Ohio people,” he said.