After two years of work by the Ohio House and Senate in pursuit of legalizing the new gambling industry, the possibility of a compromise is still in question.
Competing measures both in the House and Senate would allow people to bet on sports in Ohio. However, there are many interested parties involved, this implies a great amount of money. According to Statehouse News Bureau, Senate President Matt Huffman said they are working with House leaders to come to an agreement.
One of the main issues of the debate is centered on which establishments are allowed to host gambling. Ohio’s professional sports teams and the casinos are making a play at being some of the first to be licensed. But other venues such as bowling centers want in as well.
“There are really one or two big issues which I think are fairly clear and fairly understandable, and I am optimistic”, he stated.
The recent proposal introduced before the summer recess would allow up to 25 licenses to host betting on mobile devices and 40 brick-and-mortar establishments; with another license type for self-service kiosks.
Senator Kirk Schuring said in a radio interview with 1480 WHBC that most of the bill is agreed upon, as both sides concur with 90% of the issues. Huffman said he would like to see movement on the bill in the coming days.
The members of the conference committee would discuss HB 29, which the Senate initially passed earlier this year. However, members of the House refused to agree on certain amendments to the bill on June 28, and thus discussion was tabled until the fall.
The legalization of sports betting in the state depends on negotiations around mobile operators. Mobile sportsbooks are key to keeping tax revenue in the state.
Ohio’s legislative session runs through the end of the year. Following approval from both bodies, the bill would have to wait 90 days before going into effect. That means sports wagering in the state would be slated for next year: according to Schuring, the Senate will suggest the application start date for sports betting licenses by Feb. 15, with applications approved no later than April 30, 2022.