The Ohio House of Representatives reportedly overwhelmingly passed proposed legislation yesterday that could soon see the Midwestern state become the latest to legalize online and land-based sportsbetting.
According to a report from the Dayton Daily News newspaper, the Republican-controlled chamber approved House Bill 194 by a margin of 83 to ten on Thursday so as to give the Ohio Lottery Commission oversight over a new sportsbetting service that would allow anyone over the age of 21 to place wagers on a wide range of professional and collegiate sports.
The newspaper reported that the legislation sanctioned by the 99-member body has been over a year in the making and would allow sports wagering to be conducted over the Internet or within casinos, racinos and fraternal halls. The measure purportedly also calls for licensed operators to pay a 10% net revenues tax in hopes of raising up to $23 million every year to help fund government-sanctioned educational programs across ‘The Buckeye State’.
The Dayton Daily News reported that House Bill 194 is being supported by Penn National Gaming Incorporated, which is responsible for the state’s Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Casino Toledo properties, as well as the non-profit American Legion of Ohio. However, it is purportedly being opposed by the Cincinnati Reds franchise of Major League Baseball in addition to the Citizens for Community Values, the Bowling Centers Association of Ohio and the Professional Golfers’ Association with numerous private and public universities having also expressed reservations about allowing people to wager on collegiate sports.
The newspaper moreover reported that at least 19 American states have already legalized some form of sportsbetting in the wake of 2018’s revocation of the previous Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibition. These have included Ohio neighbors Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia although the American Gaming Association purportedly estimates that the nation’s illegal sports wagering market is still worth approximately $150 billion a year.
Finally, the Dayton Daily News reported that yesterday furthermore saw the Ohio House of Representatives pass House Bill 282 by a margin of 90 to two so as to reform the state’s laws on charity bingo. It explained that this piece of legislation would allow charitable organizations to offer both electronic and paper formats of the amusements and require the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to adopt new rules for the licensing of instant games.