Ohio Governor Mike Dewine recently signed House Bill 29 (HB29), a bill that will legalize sports betting in the Buckeye State. This followed a three-year process that included several false starts after the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018.
The Ohio House and Senate both created and even passed separate bills since then in an attempt to make sports betting legal. None of the previous bills on the table came to fruition prior to HB29.
The bill stipulates that sports gaming, including the ability to wager on college and professional games, be made available by 1 January 2023. Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson Township) said he is hopeful that Ohioans will be able to place bets before then.
"We want to get this up and running as soon as possible, but we're building a whole new industry," Schuring said. “We're hoping it can be done sooner [than 2023]."
Under the state's new law, casinos, stadiums, bars and restaurants will have the ability to apply for gambling licenses, with the industry being regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Rick Anthony, Ohio Casino Control Commission deputy executive director, laid out a potential timetable for Ohioans to place bets, and he said the time it will take to get everything started is necessary.
“We have a year, and we do feel a year is needed,” Anthony said. “Because of the across-the-board universal start date, including the retail components in the bill, we feel that will be the date.”