Lawmakers introduce bill to legalize sports gambling in Ohio

COLUMBUS — Sports betting in Ohio took another step towards becoming legal after lawmakers introduced a new bill on gaming Thursday.

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The proposed Senate Bill 176 was introduced by three Republican state Senators, including Naraj Antani from Miamisburg. The bill aims to legalize sports gambling in the state, but also limit the places that can offer these kind of bets.

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“Ohioans want this, and they’ve made it clear to me, they want it now,” Antani said in a media release Thursday.

The state plans to offer two types of licenses, tabbed “Type A” and “Type B” licenses, and will offer 20 of each type for businesses to buy.

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A Type A sportsbook license applies to places like casinos or racinos that are able to “bank the bet.” Businesses, or casinos, with this license will be able to partner with operators of mobile apps and online gaming.

Type B licenses will apply for brick and mortar locations and could include pro sports teams that could offer gambling within the confines of their stadium.

A license would cost $1 million and would be good for three years. If passed by lawmakers, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will oversee the gambling operations. But because this falls under the casino control, and not the Ohio Lottery, individual businesses that offer the lottery and Keno won’t be part of where people can place their bets.

The bill calls for the state to get a 10 percent cut of the revenue of the operations with the profits going to public and private education. Two percent will go to funding gambling addiction services and problem gambling.

The sponsors of the bill said this type of gambling is already going on in the state, but Ohio isn’t taking advantage of it.

“Sports gambling is already here, Ohio just isn’t benefiting from it,” Sen. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville said. “This bill is fair, no one gets a special benefit and the state has expert level diverse oversight. It’s a win for taxpayers and the economy.”

“This is free market driven, and comes with oversight from existing Ohio agencies with gaming experience to make sure Ohioans are not being taken advantage of by illegal gaming,” Sen. Kirk Schuring R-Canton, said.

Lawmakers hope to have the bill passed by the end of June.

Sports gambling is currently legal in all states the border Ohio except Kentucky. Earlier this year, Gov. Mike DeWine said that it was “inevitable” that sports gaming would become legal in the Buckeye State, our news partners at WBNS-TV reported.

“Sports gaming’s already in Ohio. Ohio’s just not regulating it,” DeWine said. “This is something that I think is inevitable. It’s coming to Ohio.

“The members of the general assembly are working that process. I will have the opportunity to see what they came up with. I will have the opportunity to weigh in at the appropriate time. But sports gaming is certainly coming to Ohio.”

James Rider

James Rider

I was born in Virginia and have moved several times in my life as a member of an Air Force family. I've lived in Virginia, California, Germany, England, and Ohio. I graduated from Centerville High School and then went on to attend Ball State University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree.

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