Ohio Sports Betting Bill: What You Need to Know

Ohio Sports Betting Bill

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2 months ago
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Governor Mike DeWine legalized sports betting in 2021, following several years of discussion between lawmakers in the Buckeye State. And with January 1, 2023, confirmed as the launch for online and in-person sports betting options in Ohio, we take a closer look at the bill that made it all possible. 

What is the Ohio Sports Betting Bill?

The Ohio sports betting bill, also known as HB 29, passed on December 22, 2021, when Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law. If you take a cursory look at the bill, you will find that it deals mainly with procedures relating to issuing ID cards to veterans. 

But when you take a closer look, you will also see that an amendment to the historic bill legalizes sports betting in the state of Ohio. The way the bill was written opens up the possibility of sports betting at multiple brick-and-mortar venues and online. 

As such, when the bill is launched at the start of 2023, Ohioans will be able to bet in multiple ways in the Buckeye State. Let’s take a look at the nuances of the bill and what it means for the legalization of sports betting. 

Summary of the Key Points of HB 29

Primarily, the bill sets out the options available to companies that wish to apply for a sports betting license in Ohio, and there are three categories: 

Type A

The state has agreed that 25 Type A licenses will be issued in Ohio. These licenses are reserved for companies that are currently operating within the state. While the bill isn’t particularly clear when it comes to applicant eligibility, it’s certain that Type A licenses will be issued to the major casinos and professional sports entities in Ohio. 

If other businesses want to offer on-site sports betting, they will be required to apply for Type B or C licenses (more on these below). A Type A license enables each business to apply for one casino skin, but they can potentially apply for a second should there be a viable economic need to do so.

Type B

In Ohio, Type B licenses will be reserved for physical sportsbooks operating in the state. The Ohio Casino Control Commission can issue up to 40 Type B licenses.

The legislation states that a county must have at least 50,000 residents to host a sportsbook. What’s more, regardless of the size of a county’s population, no more than five licensed sportsbooks can operate in one area. 

Type C

Last but not least, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will issue numerous Type C licenses throughout the Buckeye State. These are specifically for Type D liquor license holders and will enable bars, restaurants, and other establishments to offer sports betting alongside serving alcohol.

Type C licenses essentially pave the way for forming sports betting kiosks. Presently, the Commission accepts applications from any vendor selling Ohio state lottery tickets. 

What about online betting?

In addition to these brick-and-mortar sports betting options, sports betting will be permitted online in Ohio from January 2023. 

Online providers will have the chance to partner with Type A license holders to launch an online betting skin. There are likely to be as many as 25 online sportsbooks operating in Ohio from the outset.  

The application window for online sports betting in Ohio closed on July 15, 2022, for those wishing to launch on January 1, 2023. 

This is great news for sports fans, as there are likely to be a huge range of online and in-person betting options when legal sports betting launches at the start of 2023.

What Does the Bill Mean?

The passing of HB 29 means that sports betting in Ohio is now legal in the state. However, sports betting won’t officially launch in Ohio until January 1, 2023, as the rules, regulations, and licensing agreements need to be finalized before the industry can launch. 

Therefore, from the start of 2023, Ohioans will be legally permitted to bet on a whole host of sports and competitions, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB. Ohio is well represented in each of these sports, offering you a great chance to back your favorite team in more ways than one. 

Although the bill has been eagerly anticipated for a while now, it has been a long time coming, as we illustrate with the timeline below. 

Ohio Sports Betting Bill Timeline

2018

In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a federal law that banned commercial sports betting in most US states. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibited states from authorizing sports betting, and it had been challenged in court by New Jersey. 

As a result of the ruling, states throughout the United States were permitted to legalize sports betting. West Virginia followed New Jersey and several other states acted quickly to ensure they could pass laws relating to the legalization of sports betting for their populace. 

2019

Ohio proposed several bills in 2019, and H 194 was a leading early contender. However, S 111 was supported by Governor Mike DeWine, who has been a vocal supporter of sports betting since the start. 

Eight hearings were held on the bill by the House Finance Committee, but nothing was passed before the year ended. 

2020

On its ninth hearing, the House Finance Committee opted to advance the Ohio sports betting bill. And just before the summer recess, the House passed the bill. 

However, following another year of debating the terms of the bill, lawmakers could not agree on the details of its tax rate, and they couldn’t get sufficient votes to pass the bill through the Senate. 

2021

After two unsuccessful years, State Senator Kirk Schuring started the application process from scratch. He introduced a new sports betting bill, SB 176, which passed through the Senate after several months of discussions but stalled following its early progress.

To expedite proceedings, he saw an opportunity to draft the measures of the bill into HB 29, which was ultimately passed in December 2021, when Governor DeWine signed it into law. 

2022

Following Governor DeWine’s signature on HB 29, the Ohio Casino Control Commission began laying out the structure and processes for the legalization of sports betting. They opened applications for licenses between June and July for those wishing to offer sports betting in the state. 

In the summer of 2022, the Commission announced that sports betting in Ohio would finally be launched on January 1, 2023, almost five years after the repeal of the federal law that made sports betting possible in the Buckeye state.

Final Thoughts

The passing of HB 29 is a landmark for legal sports betting in Ohio. From January 2023, Ohioans will be able to back their sports teams by placing wagers in-person and online, marking the end of a five-year process to get the bill in place. 

We hope you take advantage of the legalization of sports betting and enjoy the opportunity to place your bets on your favorite sports teams.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Sports betting in Ohio has been legal since the passing of HB 29 in 2021. However, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is yet to issue licenses and has recently confirmed that Ohioans will be legally permitted to place their sports bets from January 1, 2023. 

Who regulates sports betting in Ohio?

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is responsible for regulating sports betting in Ohio. The Commission is also responsible for issuing licenses in the state. 

What is the legal betting age in Ohio?

Any person over the age of 21 will be legally permitted to place sports bets in Ohio. You will be required to show proof of your identification before placing your bets. What’s more, the law only permits in-person and online betting within the state boundaries. 

Is it legal to bet on college sports in Ohio?

In addition to professional sports, bettors will be able to place wagers on collegiate sports in Ohio from January 2023. All major collegiate sports will be covered by the sportsbook of your choice, providing you with ample choice when selecting your markets. 

Are online casinos legal in Ohio?

Online casinos are not currently legal in Ohio. You can only place bets at online casinos in six US states - Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It remains to be seen whether Ohio will legalize online casinos any time soon.