Ohio state senators approve SB 176 to legalize sports-betting

Ohio state senators approve SB 176 to legalize sports-betting

Taking the first major step towards the legalization of retail and online sports-betting in Ohio, the State Senators passed Senate Bill 176 (SB 176) by voting 30-to-02 in support of the measure.

The SB 176 has specifically designed to allow gaming entities in the Midwestern state to apply for one of 58 land-based and remote sportsbetting licenses that the state government has plans to issue in the coming years.

The measure, which still needs to be ratified by the Ohio House of Representatives as well as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, would not only legalize retail and online sportsbetting but also electronic instant bingo.

The measure envisions making nearly three dozen bricks-&-mortar sportsbetting licenses available to any of the Buckeye State’s casinos, racinos and businesses authorized to sell alcohol  and a further 25 licenses for the provision of online wagering. An unlimited number of entities with liquor licenses would also be able to apply for a $6,000 "Type C" sports gaming license. It would supposedly also institute a $1 million licensing fee for class of authorizations and placing the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) in charge of selecting fitting applicants and regulating their consequent operations.

Earlier in 2021, Ohio State Gov. Mike DeWine said that it was not a matter of if the state would legalize sportsbetting; rather it was a matter when the state would legalize sportsbetting. At the time he stressed that it was just inevitable.

Speaking on the topic, DeWine said, “Sports gaming's already in Ohio. Ohio's just not regulating it. This is something that I think is inevitable. It's coming to Ohio … I will have the opportunity to weigh in at the appropriate time. But sportsbetting is certainly coming to Ohio.”

The bill actually seeks to allow betting enthusiasts to place bets on broad range of professional as well as collegiate sports, including events from the likes of National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Moreover, it would endeavor to spread licensed retail sportsbooks throughout the state by allowing more counties to host various betting-friendly facilities.

If the legislation gets passed by the Ohio House of Representatives and signed by Gov. DeWine into a law, betting enthusiasts in the state would be most probably be able to place bets on the favorite sports as soon as early 2022.