Dueling Sports Betting Bills Introduced

Dueling Sports Betting Bills Introduced

The Ohio House and Senate have each introduced their own version of how sports betting should be regulated in the state. The Senate came first, introducing Senate Bill 111 in March. The House followed by introducing House Bill 194 in early April. There are differences between the two bills. Among the differences:

  • The Senate bill calls for the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) to regulate sports betting, where revenues would go to the state’s General Revenue Fund. The House bill would put control under the Ohio Lottery Commission, which would direct revenues towards K-12 education;
  • The Senate bill imposes a 6.25% tax on revenues while the House bill calls for a 10% tax;
  • The Senate bill would allow online betting. The House bill doesn’t address the issue;
  • The Senate bill calls for each operator to pay a nonrefundable $100,000 application fee and an additional $100,000 every five years to continue operations. Additionally, each operator would have to apply for a management services provider license from the OCCC for a nonrefundable $10,000 fee and an annual nonrefundable renewal fee of $1,000. The House bill would require each operator to obtain a sports gaming agent license for a nonrefundable $100,000 application fee plus an annual renewal fee which would be the lesser of $100,000 or 1% of the licensee’s handle over the previous one year license term. Fraternal and veterans organizations would contract with a sports gaming agent to offer sports betting on a single terminal at the organization’s establishment. Each organization would pay a nonrefundable $1,000 application fee and an additional nonrefundable $1,000 fee annually to renew its contract.

Both bills would prohibit sports betting by anyone under 21. Betting on professional and college sporting events would take place in Ohio’s casinos and racinos. The House bill would also allow betting in any place with an approved sports gaming terminal.

Legislative researchers estimate annual revenue of $30 million.

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