History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Ohio

Here’s what you need to know about Ohio sports betting:

Industry experts believed that 2020 was going to be the year that Ohio enacted a sports betting bill. Unfortunately, bettors in the state will have to wait until at least 2021 for a chance to legally bet in Ohio. Sports betting was illegal in the United States from 1992 until 2018 because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA was passed in 1992 and it wasn’t deemed unconstitutional until 2018.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 that PASPA was unconstitutional. After this decision was made, countless states were quick to bring legal sports betting into their respective territories. This rush was due to the massive financial impact that sports betting could create for American states.

Ohio has been trying to pass a sports betting bill for a couple of years. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia were three states that propelled Ohio legislators to draft sports betting legislation. Ohio has an emerging gambling economy which would be taken to new heights with sports betting.

In 2019 and 2020, the House and the Senate couldn’t agree on a bill. Each legislative body pushed forward similar bills, but some key differences prevented a deal from occurring. Additionally, COVID-19 derailed the legislative process, but a sports betting bill is realistic in 2021.

What Sports Betting Bill in Ohio Says

The 2021 sports betting legislation should be similar to bills that were negotiated in 2019 and 2020. The House and the Senate both drafted a bill last year. H 194 was proposed in the House. The bill was sponsored by Representative Dave Greenspan. S 111 was legislated in the Senate and it was sponsored by Senator John Eklund.

H 194 gained some traction in the Senate. Senator William Coley, who served as the President of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States supported to the House’s bill. However, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine favored S 111 which gave this bill a more realistic chance of passing after it was negotiated.

DeWine needed to sign off on the legislation to make the bill official, so his approval was critical. The bills were very similar. In fact, both sports betting bills proposed retail and widespread mobile gambling. The mobile gambling was necessary for Ohio sports betting to prosper because Ohio borders four states that offer online wagering.

There were two major differences between the bills. H 194 designated sports betting oversight to the Ohio Lottery Commission. The bill also made the sportsbook tax rate 10%. The tax rate for S 111 was much lower at 6.25%. The Senate also put the Ohio Casino Control Commission in charge of sports betting.

What’s Holding Back Sports Betting Bill in Ohio

Ohio felt the same issue that other states did in 2020 when it came to passing any legislation. The COVID-19 pandemic was the final nail in the Ohio sports betting coffin in 2020. Sports betting negotiations were halted because other issues were more important in the wake of the virus. COVID-19 put a gaping hole in state economies throughout the nation. Ohio felt the full effect of the virus, so this could be beneficial for sports betting in the 2021 legislative session.

The financial necessity from sports betting could help solve the differing opinions between legislators in the Ohio House and Senate. The biggest point of contention between H 194 and S 111 was what group would be the governing body residing over sports betting. The House bill gave this power to the Ohio Lottery Commission and the Senate bill awarded this to the Ohio Lottery Commission.

Governor Mike DeWine wanted to see a bill passed by November, but this didn’t happen. The leaders of each bill in the House and Senate didn’t attempt to resolve their differences quick enough for any legislation to be signed into law. COVID-19 didn’t help this cause, but in 2021 leaders from the House and Senate will need to come together in order to create a bill that the majority supports.

Sports Teams to Bet on in Ohio

The state of Ohio has eight professional sports teams across five leagues. In addition to this, the state has numerous colleges that participate in major Division I athletics. The two biggest schools in the state are The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.

There are two NFL franchises that play in Ohio. These two teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. Both teams are members of the AFC North. The Browns have been superior in the past few years. Hopes were high for the Bengals in the 2020 season because Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, was drafted by the team. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the middle of the season which ended his rookie season early.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only NBA team in the state of Ohio. The Cavaliers were built by LeBron James during across two separate stints. James brought back a title to his hometown team in 2016. This was the team’s first NBA Championship in franchise history. The Columbus Blue Jackets are the only NHL team in Ohio. The Blue Jackets have been operating since 2000, but the team doesn’t even have a division title on their resume.

The MLB and MLS each have two clubs that play in Ohio. The Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians compete in the MLB. The Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati play in the MLS. All four of these teams are very popular in their respective regions of the state.

FAQ for Betting in Ohio

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

No sports betting legislation has been passed in the state of Ohio. The legislature has been trying to get a deal done since 2019. However, differing opinions and the COVID pandemic prevented a bill from passing in 2020.

Is sports betting realistic in the state in 2021?

Yes, sports betting seemed likely in 2020, but COVID ended the chances of implementation for the form of gambling during the year’s legislative session. The future of sports betting is promising in 2021.

Will there be mobile gambling as well as retail sportsbooks in the state?

Yes, there will be retail sportsbooks and mobile gambling operating in the state. Even though there hasn’t been a bill passed yet, the Senate, House, and Governor agree on this proposal.

How many professional sports teams compete in the state?

There are eight professional sports franchises across five leagues in the state of Ohio.

What’s the legal betting age in the state of Ohio?

To place a bet in Ohio, you will need to be 21 years of age.

What’s holding back sports betting in Ohio?

The Senate and the House will need to agree on a tax rate and a governing body for sports betting in the state. These are the two biggest disagreements when it comes to the form of gambling in Ohio.