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Ohio Sports Betting Bill Signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, 33rd State to Legalize

Posted on: December 23, 2021, 06:44h. 

Last updated on: December 23, 2021, 10:59h.

Ohio sports betting is officially legal, though it will be some time until the first sanctioned wager is placed.

Pre-game ceremonies at an Ohio State Buckeye football game in 2019 are pictured. The Buckeyes play the Utah Utes in the Rose Bowl on January 1. Despite the Ohio sports betting bill being signed by the governor, Ohioans will need to wait before they can place a legal wager on their home turf. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed House Bill 29 last night. The legislation allows casinos, racinos, and professional sports stadiums to seek retail and mobile sports betting licenses. Bars are permitted to partner with third-party gaming firms, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, to place self-service sports betting kiosks in their establishments.

The statute allows oddsmakers to offer lines on professional and college sports, plus esports. The bill additionally allows the Ohio Lottery to partner with a sportsbook firm and place sports wagering kiosks in watering holes, convenience stores, and restaurants.

With DeWine’s signature, Ohio becomes the 33rd state to pass a sports betting bill. That’s since the US Supreme Court gave states such rights with its landmark sports betting ruling in May of 2018.

Second Half 2022 Launch

DeWine signing the sports betting bill is a monumental day for Ohio’s gaming industry. But gamblers wishing to place a bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the upcoming Rose Bowl Game won’t have a legal outlet in time in their home state.

Before sportsbooks can open, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) is tasked with determining rules and regulations that will oversee the expanded gambling. The only concrete detail, along with sanctioning betting on pro, college, and esports competitions, is that gross revenue from sports gambling will be subject to a 10 percent tax. The majority of that money will go to K-12 public education.

HB29 requires that such operations go live before January 1, 2023. But lawmakers expect the first legal wager to be made around the middle of 2022.

We want to get this up and running as soon as possible, but we’re building a whole new industry,” Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) explained to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Upon market maturation, the Ohio Legislative Service Commission projects that around $3.35 billion will be wagered on sports in the state each year.

Licensing Costs, Details

While the state casino commission will dictate governing rules for sports betting, HB29 set out the associated costs interested businesses will need to pay for such rights.

Casinos, racinos, and sports stadiums will need to pay a one-time $2.5 million fee to the state in exchange for a Type A sportsbook license. The permit allows such entities to build an on-site sportsbook and partner with up to two online sportsbooks.

The first mobile sportsbook skin runs an additional $3 million. The second costs $10 million.

Forty Type B licenses are available for brick-and-mortar small businesses, such as convenience stores and restaurants. They cost between $90,000 and $140,000, depending on the location and associated population.

Finally, HB29 sets aside 20 Type C licenses for restauranteurs and chains. That allows them to place sports betting kiosks operated by the Ohio Lottery into their locations. Since most of the revenue generated by the kiosks will go to the state, Type C licenses cost only $1,000 per location.

All of the licenses run for five years. Renewal rates will be set by the OCCC.

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