Competing Ohio Sports Betting Bills Could Slow Down Progress In The Buckeye State

“Blue Öyster Cult once recommended, “don’t fear the reaper”, a mindset that Indiana sportsbooks should adopt concerning legal sports betting in Ohio. In this context, the “reaper” is represented by Ohio’s legalized sports betting.

The legalization process in the Buckeye State has encountered a hiccup. Currently, it’s uncertain how long this postponement will last.

What is the reason for the delay in legalizing sports betting in Ohio?

Four out of the five states bordering Ohio have legalized sports betting. As Ohio, also known as the Buckeye State, attempts to do the same, there are varying views on how this should be carried out.

The proposal put forth by the state House dictates that the state lottery must oversee the activity. Conversely, the Senate bill contends that the responsibility should fall on the state’s gaming commission.

Determining who assumes leadership can carry significant consequences, despite both parties being able to participate. This decision could influence which Ohio businesses are implicated.

The Senate and the House have different plans for sports betting in Ohio.

Casinos, due to their direct affiliation with the commission, support the Senate bill. However, the lottery track might also allow other establishments such as bars and restaurants to participate.

However, the difference between the two bills is not just one. The House bill suggests a tax rate of 10%, whereas the Senate bill proposes a rate of 6.25%.

At present, it seems unlikely that a compromise will be reached. Larry Householder, Speaker of the Ohio State House, recently stated his belief that the Senate strongly supports the casino model.

Meanwhile, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine appears uninterested in leveraging his influence to champion the issue. He merely states that there are problems the state needs to address.

At present, there are no scheduled hearings for either bill. Until such hearings are planned, both bills will remain inactive.

Despite the legislature beginning to take action, there is no assurance that the process will be swift or ultimately triumphant. However, this scenario is nothing but positive news for casinos and sportsbooks in Indiana.

Indiana continues to expand its lead in regional sports betting.

The revenue report from last month demonstrates why Indiana sportsbooks are inclined to maintain the status quo. Hollywood Lawrenceburg put on a remarkable show in December 2019.

The Lawrenceburg casino, which houses a legal Indiana sportsbook, is the closest to the metropolitan area of Cincinnati. In the previous month, this Hollywood casino registered more retail transactions than any other physical sportsbook in Indiana, with one exception.

Despite the potential participation of Kentucky residents, if Ohio residents can legally gamble in their own state, it may not be beneficial for the casino. This suggests that there might not be much activity at Hollywood.

Both Ohio bills that could potentially significantly affect handle in Indiana authorize online betting. This feature has encountered little opposition from the wider community.

Until the Ohio legislature sets a timetable for its bill hearings, there’s no cause for concern. The opportunity for more Ohio residents to participate remains available.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling, a 2013 graduate from the University of Iowa, serves as the primary writer for PlayUSA and the manager at BetHer. His writing primarily focuses on the intersection of sports, business, and law.

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