The state of Ohio has made several attempts to legalize sports betting in 2020, but it now appears that some real progress is being made. A pair of senators recently revealed that a new sports betting bill was ready, and it could ultimately be the bill that makes it all the way through to the governor.
Senator John Eklund spoke in front of the Senate General Government Agency Review Committee and explained some of the key points of this new bill. At the end of his explanation, Eklund made it clear that this bill was ready to be moved forward and presented to the entire legislature.
It appeared at Ohio was set to legalize sports betting earlier this year, but there was a battle about which group would ultimately regulate the industry. Lawmakers were split, and it ended up killing both of the bills that were in committee.
Ohio has a strong sports culture in the state, and legalizing sports betting would bring in a ton of revenue for the state. Other surrounding states have legalized sports betting recently, and there is now plenty of pressure on Ohio lawmakers to do the same.
What’s Included in the Legislation?
In this new bill, the Ohio Casino Control Commission would be the regulatory body, and there would be 11 sports betting licenses available. The 11 licensed casinos and racinos in the state would be eligible to apply for a license to offer both retail and online sports betting.
One significant change is that each brick and mortar casino would be limited to just one sports betting skin, which is down from the three that were originally proposed. These licenses would be available at a cost of $400,000 every three years, and that price has gone up substantially as well.
Steps Still Ahead
It is unclear when the Ohio Senate General Government Agency Review Committee is set to meet again, but it could come as early as next week. This committee will continue to review the amended bill with hopes of passing it forward in the early part of 2021.
Two of the three major sponsors of the sports betting bill were not re-elected, forcing some significant delays in the process. If this bill isn’t passed before the new legislators take office, an entirely new bill would need to be introduced.
US Smashing New Records
The United States sports betting industry could go over the $3 billion in sports betting handle in October, assuming that the state of Illinois stays on track. Illinois has not yet announced its October numbers, and they likely won’t be in until the middle of this month.
Currently, the sports betting handle for October is more than $2.9 billion in October, and going over the $3 billion mark is a real possibility. Out of the 15 states that did post in October figures already, 13 states set new records during that month.
With more states set to launch sports betting in 2021, it appears that $4 billion is now a real possibility at some point in 2021.