Austintown Racino Tops $100M for Second Month

DeWine Signs Legislation to Legalize Sports Gambling

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday signed legislation to legalize sports gambling in Ohio.

Ohio lawmakers approved legislation earlier this month that will allow people to place sports bets online, at casinos, racinos, and at stand-alone betting kiosks in bars, restaurants and professional sports facilities – including Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

People will be able to place wagers on professional sports teams, motor sports, Olympic events, golf and tennis and major college sports such as football and basketball.

Ohio joins more than 30 states that have passed legislation since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a federal ban on states legalizing sports wagering.

Ohio’s legislation requires that sports betting be available by Jan. 1, 2023. It’s expected to take months for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to formulate rules and regulations on sports wagering before accepting license applications.

“The commission will ensure that all licensees are complying with all applicable laws and regulations and are also following their internal controls that govern many of the procedures involved in sports gaming,” says Jessica Franks, director of communications for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “This is done through regular audits and reviews by both commission staff and independent third parties.”

Franks says House Bill 29, which led to this legislation, contains a number of sustainability factors that all licenses [except Type C gaming hosts and occupational license holders] will be evaluated on, including their criminal and regulatory history in Ohio and other jurisdictions as well as their financial sustainability.

“Proprietors of sports betting must also meet a number of economic development factors, including infrastructure, taxable income paid to employees, and local or statewide economic development,” she says.

Franks adds licensed sports gaming proprietors will need to adopt internal controls and house rules that cover a number of areas, such as procedures for proprietors to accept wagers, identity verification, a sports gaming voluntary exclusion program, advertising restrictions and consumer protections. 

“All internal controls must be approved by the commission,” she says. “Additionally, all licensees are required to follow applicable state/federal laws and rules on subjects such as anti-money laundering.”

Operators will pay a 10% tax on net revenue to the state to help fund K-12 education and problem gambling programs.

“The fees associated with sports gaming in Ohio are based on the type of license,” Franks says. “Using a racino facility as an example, if it wished to partner with a mobile management services provider, the license fee for a Type A Proprietor license is $1.5 million for a five-year license for both entities.If the property also wished to have a physical sportsbook, they would need to also apply for a Type B Proprietor license at a cost of $140,000 for a five-year license. In addition to these license fees, applicants will also need to pay an application fee, which will be set by commission rule.”

The Legislative Service Commission estimates that sports betting will eventually become a $3.35 billion industry in Ohio.

John Vargo contributed to this story.

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