Ohio GOP lawmakers unveil plan to legalize sports betting and mobile apps
Ohio State’s GOP legislature unveiled a bill on Thursday aimed at legalizing sports betting in casinos and bars, as well as in cell phone apps.
The bill calls for 40 sports betting licenses across Ohio, 20 of which are for mobile app betting and the other 20 for sports bars and other similar locations.
State Senator Kirk Schuring (R), who drafted the bill, introduced the measure together with joint sponsors Sens. Niraj Antani (R) and Nathan Manning (R).
“Gaming is already there, but not legal,” Schuring said in a statement Announcement of the bill on Thursday. “My priority is to ensure that this bill focuses on broad economic development that does not provide special privileges for gambling companies or organizations.”
“This is being driven by the free market and is being monitored by existing Ohio agencies with gaming experience to make sure the Ohioans are not being taken advantage of by illegal gaming,” he added.
Ohio lawmakers sought laws to legalize sports betting in the state after a 2018 Supreme Court ruling lifted the federal ban on states that allow the practice.
Ohio’s neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana already allow sports betting in casinos.
Under the Ohio bill, each sports betting license would cost $ 1 million, would be valid for three years, and would be issued on a first come, first served basis.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission would oversee the licensing and sports betting regulations when the measure is passed and legally signed.
The law also calls for a 10 percent tax on net betting revenue, which is what Schuring said in his press release on Thursday that it would go into public and private education.
In addition, 2 percent would be directed to services for people with gambling addiction or other gambling problems.
Schuring told The Associated Press that it was not yet clear how much money would be made from the proposal in total, although he added that the legislation “not about generating income. ”
In a statement, Antani said: “This bill will legalize sports betting and nonprofit e-bingo in Ohio through a free market approach while safely expanding gambling in our state.”
“Ohioans want this, and they made it clear to me that they want it now,” he added.
Meanwhile, Manning called the bill “a win for taxpayers and the economy.”
“Sports betting already exists and Ohio just doesn’t benefit from it,” he added. “This bill is fair, nobody gets a special benefit and the state has a wide range of supervision at expert level.”
The bill, which, according to Schuring, was developed with the help of eight hearings and testimony from 50 people, is due to be presented to the state Senate committees next week.