Ohio lawmakers are working on new efforts to legalize sports betting


Hio lawmakers are working to pass a bill that will legalize sports gambling, and experts say it could be operational in Ohio in a year.

“Ohio has the potential to be one of the best sports betting markets in the country,” said Nick Wojcik, Chicago-based analyst for sports betting advisory and analytics firm Odds.com, as reported by Cincinnati Business Courier.

Local venues including Hard Rock Cincinnati, Belterra Park Cincinnati, and Miami Valley Gamingare eagerly awaiting the start of the legal sports betting market. Hard Rock has already started building a sports betting website for gamerswho are likely to bet on sports on their mobile devices as well.

Estimates placed illegal sports betting in Ohio at $ 5 billion a year. And Money flows into neighboring states where it is legal. Therefore Ohio Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Hyde Park, co-sponsored a bill to legalize sports betting that was passed at Ohio House last year. That never became law, however Also this year she is co-sponsoring the legislation to legalize it.

“We’re running out of time,” said Kelly of last year’s efforts. The Ohio Senate has also set up a gambling committee to look into the problem. The basic plan at this point, she said, is based on where the house bill left off last year:

The Ohio Casino Control Commission would conduct sports betting. Last year’s bill was led by the Ohio Lottery Commission, while the Senate favored the Casino Control Commission.

Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 8%, although a Senate proposal provides for 6.5%. Betting would be available at Casinos, Racinos and on mobile devices. Tax dollars would be used to fund after-school activities at schools in Ohio. However, the Senate plan provides for money to go to the general income fund for wider use. The The Senate plan would also charge a license fee of $ 100,000 every five years for venues that host sports betting.

Kelly feels like The two legislatures don’t have the differences they had last year. “We both have the same goal, which is to legalize sports betting,” she said.

Ohio Late. Cecil Thomas, D-North Avondale, is one of five members of the Senate Selection Committee on Gambling Who is studying the situation and working to close a deal. “Let’s find the best solution and get something done,” he said.

Thomas would not set a timeline for a bill to be approved by Ohio lawmakers. But he feels the surge of support and expects one soon. “Based on the comments I’ve heard, I’m confident we will get it based on the economic standpoint,” he said. “It just makes practical sense. Everyone who came and spoke said it could be very profitable for the state of Ohio. Let’s get to the point where we all want to make it. “

Kelly sure wants the laws passed soon. “I think it’s something we need to respond to as soon as possible,” she said. “The longer we wait, the more money we leave on the table. We don’t want people to go to other states. “Whenever it passes Kelly expects it will take another six months to get systems in place and betting up and running.

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