Ohio Sports Betting Vote Could Happen By the End of October, but Launch Date Remains Elusive
Listen up, sports fans! The Ohio vote on sports betting could happen by the end of October!
According to LegalSportsBetting.com, Ohio state senator Kirk Schuring has recently established a special committee specifically to work on improving and fine-tuning an existing bill that would both legalize and regulate sports betting in Ohio.
This committe will focus on preparing the bill to present it to both the Ohio Senate and House. Schuring told a local radio station last week that the committee will convene multiple times in the upcoming weeks, and that he expects a floor vote to take place at the end of October.
This committee is reportedly composed of three senators and three house representatives. If the bill is voted on and passed by the end of the month like Schuring expects, it will then be sent to Governor Mike DeWine for his signature, and it is expected that he will sign off on the bill, as he has been vocal about his support of legalizing sports betting and kickstarting that moneymaking industry in the state of Ohio.
Schuring went on to lightly outline the licensing plan for the Ohio sports betting industry. There will be 40 Class A licenses issues for mobile apps and big sportsbooks. Class B licenses will go to “Topgolf-type quality businesses,” and different casinos that offer their own sportsbooks. Class C licenses will be for kiosks in already-existing locations.
If that is the path this takes, then the Ohio sports betting industry could potentially be launched by April 2022, unfortunately after the Super Bowl and the World Series, but hopefully in time for college basketball.
“Unfortunately at this point I’m not hopeful we’ll be able to get it done by the Super Bowl,” Ohio state senator Niraj Antani said during an interview with a local news station.
“Hopefully by Christmastime we’ll have this legalized and by the first of April, maybe by March Madness, you know, we will be able to place the first bets in Ohio.”
Ohio’s journey to legalizing sports betting began earlier this year, and many people thought the process would be much faster than it was. The Senate Select Committee on Gaming passed bills regarding the legalization and regulation of sports betting in the early spring, and the Senate passed those bills a few months later, in early summer.
However, when the legislative efforts reached the House, that’s where the momentum slowed. Other issues took priority over sports betting in the House, so when they adjourned for the summer, the issue of legalizing sports betting was not solved.
Luckily for sports bettors in Ohio, most of their border states offer legal sports betting, and Ohio’s slow process of making it happen is a detriment to the amount of revenue they could be pulling in. Instead, that revenue is going to states like Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Fortunately, it seems like the people directly involved with making sports betting legal in Ohio are extremely optimistic about getting the bill signed by the end of October. Although it will take a handful of more months until the sports betting industry is officially launched in Ohio, bettors in this state have a lot to look forward to, and finally, a tentative release date.