Ohio lawmakers look for sports gambling support
By Bob Garcia
The state has already legalized sports gambling, but the activity has yet to be introduced
Ohio has decided to join the growing number of states that have established legal sports gambling markets, but hasn’t yet launched the activity. Lawmakers in the state are trying to put together the legal and regulatory framework that will be used once everything’s in place, although there is no set timetable for getting it all wrapped up. According to one state lawmaker, there’s only a “50/50 chance” it will happen before the end of the year.
Ohio’s sports gambling market will be limited to its existing casinos and racinos. There are 15 of these in the state, and they will be the only ones allowed to open sportsbooks. Ohio’s casino commission will oversee the activity and it, along with lawmakers, are trying to hash out all the details. According to Senator Sean O’Brien, who helped draft the sports gambling bill, “I would say 50/50” something will be ready before the beginning of 2021. He added, “We are on dash-17 on that bill, substituting and changing things. So it’s gone through a lot of changes.”
Once it’s all set up, a gambling property that wants to launch a sportsbook will pay $100,000 for a five-year license. It will also have to be prepared to give up anywhere from 8-10% of its net revenue to the state. Operators will be allowed to run two skins, more than likely one at their physical venue and another through an online portal. As has been established in all states so far, the operators will have to implement geofencing to ensure that only Ohio residents can access the sites.