Finally, the journey to legalize sports betting in Ohio is about to come to an end. Governor Mike DeWine has been in support of legal sports betting for months, and his signature is all that is left before this becomes a legal option.
House Bill 29 has passed through both houses of the Ohio legislature, and it is expected to reach DeWine’s desk soon. There will be a 10-day window for the governor to sign the bill, and he is expected to give his signature after looking over the latest changes.
Once the bill officially becomes a law, both retail and online sports betting will be available in the state of Ohio. This process started all the way back in 2020, and it has been quite the journey up to this point.
The U.S. sports betting industry has continued to grow, and Ohio is surrounded by states with this legal betting option.
Lawmakers Finally Reach Agreement
There have been numerous bills introduced to legalize sports betting in Ohio, and lawmakers struggled to come to just one conclusion. Ultimately HB 29 emerged as the clear winner, but it is a bill that has had more than 50 amendments made to it.
After HB 29 was unanimously passed through the committee earlier this week, both chambers in the legislature gave overwhelming approval for the bill. The vote was 31-1 in the Senate for approval, and it was 72-12 in the House.
The path to getting this bill ironed out was long and difficult, but it appears that it is finally one that everyone agrees with.
Plenty of Betting Options
When Ohio does finally launch sports betting, there is going to be no shortage of options available for sports bettors. There are three sets of licenses set to be made available, with Class A licenses going to the professional sports teams, casinos, and racetracks to offer online sports betting.
Another 42 Class B licenses will be made available to casinos, racinos, and sports teams to offer retail sports betting on-site. Finally, Class C licenses are available for bars and restaurants that have a liquor license and meet the other requirements to receive a license.
Ohio may be joining the sports betting industry much later than anticipated, but it could soon become one of the biggest markets in the United States.
What is the Target Date?
According to the bill, sports betting will be available no later than January 1, 2023. That will give the state plenty of time to get everything in order for a launch, but that’s also a longer wait than many want.
Other states that have legalized sports betting have been able to get sportsbooks up and running much quicker than a 12 month turnaround time. Ohio is expected to look to expedite the process as well, with the ultimate goal of being ready by September 2022.
The NFL is the biggest betting market in the United States, and sportsbooks would get off to a great start if a September launch is a possibility.