After an amended version was given the green light by the Senate on Nov. 29 and being approved for the second time by the House on Tuesday, a bill that legalizes and regulates paid-entry fantasy sports in Ohio now sits on the desk of Governor John Kasich (pictured).
The twice-elected Republican is Ohio’s 69th governor and if he signs House Bill 132, would be the 19th to put pen to paper regarding the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry. The 17th, Gov. Tom Wolf, signed a sweeping gaming package on Oct 30 that among other things formally legalizes paid-entry fantasy sports in Pennsylvania.
The 18th, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, signed a bipartisan bill that includes provisions to legalize and regulate DFS. However, the law passed as part of a state budget and before it can take effect requires the approval of the state’s Native American tribes.
If Gov. Kasich gives the legislation his stamp of approval, the law would give authority to the Ohio Casino Control Commission to regulate fantasy contests and also exempt them [fantasy contests] from gambling laws, according to Cleveland.com.
Other specifics of the bill include:
- Players must be 18-years-old and over.
- Purchase by operators of a three-year license maxing out at $10K a year.
- No operational tax
- Fantasy contests based on youth, high school or college sporting events are prohibited by the bill.
- The law would not be applicable to office pools or contests, where all monies collected, are paid out in prizes.
Currently, Ohioans are able to partake in daily fantasy sports websites because there exists no law on the books prohibiting it and it is not regulated by the state.
So far, 18 states have passed DFS legislation and others including Michigan and Pennsylvania currently have active bills up for discussion.
What makes Ohio’s proposal especially attractive though, according to Legal Sports Report, is that the legislation stands alone. It is not tied up in budget discussions for years such as was the case in Pennsylvania.