Where Does Ohio Legalized Sports Betting Stand?
The state of Ohio is losing money by not offering legal sports betting. The rust belt is developing into a major sports wagering market in the United States. Although, Ohio is still on the outside looking into the market.
The Ohio legislature is attempting to pass a sports betting bill during the 2021 legislative session. Last week, a sports betting bill passed in the Senate with ease. However, the bill’s momentum has been derailed as problems are already being encountered.
The language in the bill could remove some of the businesses that hoped to control Ohio sports betting from the future market.
Ohio Sports Betting: Current Bill
The Ohio sports betting bill was sponsored by Senator Nathan Manning. Then language in his bill states that brick and mortar sportsbooks are limited to counties with over 100,000 people.
Ohio’s bill features Type A and B licenses. Manning revealed that if all the professional sports franchises in Cincinnati and Cleveland applied for the Type B permits, which do not include mobile skins, the casinos in these counties could be locked out of sports betting.
The casinos in Cincinnati and Ohio wanted to control the sports betting business, so this provision in the bill will likely cause it to die.
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Although, Manning is content with his bill. After it passed last week, he said,
“We really have to see how many of those sports franchises apply for it before we know who would be shut out. But it’s certainly a possibility, and that’s why we’re certainly looking at it.”
Ohio Sports Betting: Early Complaints
The casino complaint has not been the only issue with the bill. The Senate passed the legislation by a 30-2 margin with one lawmaker abstaining. Senator Matt Dolan, a partial owner of the Cleveland Indians, chose to remove himself from the ballot.
The Casino Control Commission was made the governing body over sports betting in Manning’s bill. Many people were hopeful that the Casino Control Commission would manage sports wagering in the state.
These critics voiced their opinions on this decision, but they also clarified that the population limit in the bill is a problem. Only 27 of the 88 counties in Ohio will be able to offer sports betting under the 100,000-person minimum.
The casinos will not allow this bill to pass if there is a risk of not offering retail sports betting. Greg Beswick, an employee of the Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio, wants the casinos to have a larger role in sports wagering.
The Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio supports small businesses that sell lottery games. Beswick wants these businesses to offer betting, but the way for this to happen is to increase the casino’s stake in the industry.
He said, “Let the casinos and racinos have sports betting. That’s where the large bets can go. But let the 10,700 small businesses that are lottery providers be able to participate at this at the keno kiosks that you see in businesses throughout the state.”
Manning said all issues would be viewed and amended, if necessary, in the Senate. The Ohio legislative session adjourns on December 31, so there is plenty of time for lawmakers to find a solution.