bill in the Ohio Senate sets up legal sports betting in casinos, racinos and other places with video lottery terminals, Cleveland reports. The businesses could have online betting that players could do on mobile apps.
Senate Bill 111 is sponsored by Sens. John Eklund, a Geauga County Republican, and Sean O’Brien, a Bazetta Democrat. The Northeast Ohio lawmakers sponsored a “placeholder” bill last year that lacked specifics but was intended to help the legislature amass information on the industry, which informed them on this year’s bill.
Several states have beaten Ohio, and have legalized sports wagers months ago. However, Eklund said Thursday he’s not in a rush. He wants to get the law right, he said.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last,” he said. "The object is to be the best.”
Under SB 111, people must be 21 to bet.
Other aspects of the bill include:
Under SB 111, the Ohio Casino Control Commission would regulate the games of chance:
Sports wagering operators would pay a tax to the state of 6.25 percent of what Eklund said was the house’s “net take,” which means gross income minus some expenses that the law would allow.
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, who has the power to usher bills quickly through the legislative process or slow them down, has said he doesn’t think the legislature has the power to regulate sports betting. He thinks it should be decided by the voters in a constitutional amendment. Obhof said he personally wouldn’t vote for a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting because he’s not interested in expanding gambling in Ohio.
Eklund said that there are other lawmakers who are interested in hearing a debate and considering legalizing sports betting in Ohio.