A Closer Look at What the Ohio Sports Betting Law Permits

A Closer Look at What the Ohio Sports Betting Law Permits
By Howard Gensler

HB 29, the bill legalizing Ohio sports betting, that Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law on Dec. 22, 2021, has given the Ohio Casino Control Commission a little less than a year to enact its provisions, with a set start date of no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

So, if all goes according to plan, Ohioans will be legally betting on Ohio State, in Ohio, before the Buckeyes make their run at the 2023 College Football National Championship. Maybe even in time to wager on the Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals during the 2022 NFL season.

Key parts to the Ohio sports betting law are as follows:

Who Can Get a License?

The new legislation in Ohio allows for three different tiers of licensing:

There will be a maximum of 25 Type A licenses reserved for mobile gaming and professional sports. The state’s existing casinos and racinos may apply for these. The bill does, however, allow for more Type A licenses if more are needed. Type A licensees will be granted one branded skin, but again, more can be allotted if a need is shown that will benefit the state.

There will be a maximum of 40 Type B licenses, which will be allotted to brick-and-mortar sportsbook facilities. The number of Type B proprietors in each county will depend upon the size of the county. The maximum number of licenses in a county is five, but more than 2/3 of Ohio’s counties will get none. Type B brick-and-mortar casinos may team up with Type A online casinos.

There will be a maximum of 20 Type C licenses. Those will go to proprietors of self-service terminals, who have D-class liquor licenses.

Licenses will expire in five years. License fees must be completely paid within that time period and are non-refundable.

Where Will the Money Go?

Ohio is banking on sports betting becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry. The state will tax net revenue at a rate of 10% with the bulk of that money going to fund public education, and smaller amounts for veterans’ services and to fight gambling addiction.

Ohio becomes the 33rd state to legalize sports betting.

What Can You Bet On in Ohio?

The law will allow for wagering on any professional or college sport, international sports and Olympic sports. Betting on high school sports remains a no-no.

The bill also allows for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to approve of betting on special events, so it may not be long before Ohioans will be wagering on the biggest cow at the state fair.

With the law in place, the next steps will be for the OHCC to create regulations before it can start accepting applications from operators. Although it can start no later than Jan. 1, 2023, there is hope that it can be up and running during the 2022 NFL and college football seasons.

But with more than 70 licenses available at different levels (from pro teams and casinos to convenience stores and bars/restaurants), it will take time for the commission to approve applications.

You can expect the biggest sportsbook operators — DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers, FOX Bet and others — to want into the seventh-largest state by population. Ohio would be the fourth-largest state to have legal sports betting.

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Contributors

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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