Ohio’s sports betting bill could become the standard for other states, expert says

Ohio passes sports betting bill in both house, senate
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WXIX) - Ohio’s bill to legalize college and professional sports gambling for Ohioans could wind up being the standard other states follow, according to one attorney devoted to sports wagering laws.

On Wednesday, the Ohio House and Senate voted in favor of a bill, HB29, that would allow betting on college and professional sports as well as esports events.

The bill, if signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, would allow for 25 Class A licenses. These licenses could be given to Ohio’s casinos and online/mobile betting services (i.e., DraftKings, FanDuel).

Type B licenses would allow for in-person betting to be offered at brick-and-mortar stores.

Attorney Daniel Wallach runs a law firm devoted to sports wagering and gaming laws. He thinks the legislation will allow more places to make a bet in Ohio compared to any other state in the country.

“What got accomplished here is I think, the most open and competitive sports wagering marketplace in the United States,” Wallach explained. “I mean, Ohio has a large status, the seventh-largest state, you’re going to have 25 Class A licenses, 40 Class B licenses and sports betting kiosks in bars and restaurants that could literally be in thousands of establishments statewide, where if you’re a sports bettor, you’re not limited to going to a casino or professional sports venue.”

Wallach adds that he thinks HB29 is going to be “the most prevalent and expansive gambling in terms of the number of locations, and the number of operators in the United States.”

A 10% tax would be assessed on the sports gaming industry, with proceeds going mostly toward schools.

Comparing states with legal sports gambling like Michigan and Illinois, Wallach said those states see between $800 million and $1 billion per month.

“Historically, sports betting revenues are roughly you know what, they’ve been in the range of between 6% to 8% of the handle, so do the math,” said Wallach. “And I think we’re ultimately looking at operator revenues of very close to $1 billion, which is a significant piece, and that’s annual.

“The state’s tax collections based upon that 10% of a billion dollars in revenue pushes you very close to the $100 million annual thresholds for state tax collections.”

If Gov. DeWine signs the bill, the program will launch no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

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