Ohio currently has two sports betting bills attempting to work their way through the state legislature. However, there has been little in the way of movement on the bills since they were introduced in March and April 2019. Only one has even been referred to committee yet.
The bills under consideration:
- HB194 is the more robust of the two bills and the one that has moved beyond introduction. It is a bill to legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering businesses.
- The bill, a product of Rep. Dave Greenspan, would place the Lottery Commission as the controlling body.
- Greenspan envisions sports betting occurring at normal locations, but also veterans’ and fraternal organizations.
- The bill is designed to create sports betting as more of a kiosk-based lottery function.
- SB111 has been introduced, but no other action has taken place since March 2019.
- The bill is the work of Sen. John Eklund.
- Sports betting would only be permitted at the 11 casinos or racinos.
- In this bill, the Ohio Casino Control Commission would be the regulatory body.
What still needs to happen?
Legislators need to come to an agreement about which bill and which avenue they plan to pursue. Right now, everything is in a holding pattern, and these two bills recommend very different approaches.
Projected sports betting launch date in Ohio
We’re targeting June 2020. The current legislative session doesn’t conclude until the Summer of 2019. It’s possible that things will come together during that time. However, given some of the disagreements going on (integrity fees, official data, and the like), it might take Ohio a bit longer to sort everything out.