With a unanimous decision, Ohio’s Senate Gaming Committee approved last week a bill to allow sports betting in the state, including an amendment that would delay the market opening to 1 April 2022. The said amendment moves the licence application process kick-off to 1 January 2022, but also increases the number of licencees.
Committee Approves Ohio Betting Bill with Launch Delayed to April 2022
Ohio’s Senate Gaming Committee has unanimously approved a bill to permit sports betting in the state and delayed the initial launch from 1 October 2021 to 1 April 2022.
Ohio is officially up for sports betting launch in April 2022.
As Kirk Schuring, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming explained – a delay would allow all operators to begin on equal footing when the market opens. He said: “Everybody we’ve talked to says they want an equal start time, so applications for these licences will open up on January 1, 2022.”
Two Types of Licenses
Under the new legislation, Ohio will allow two types of licenses. Type A licenses will allow vendors to offer online sports betting under one brand name each, with a single controlling person not permitted to obtain more than five of these licenses.
Type B licenses, on the other hand, allow sports gaming agents to offer sports gaming at one retail facility. Likewise, these licenses will carry certain restrictions over the maximum number of licenses available in each city, depending on the size of the city. Initially, 20 of each license were set to be issued, but the latest amendment changed this to 25 Type-A licenses and 23 Type B.
Professional Sports Teams to Have Preference for Approval
Ohio professional sports teams are entitled to retail licenses, however, under the new amendment, these are to have a preference for approval. It includes the state’s NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL teams, as well as PGA golf courses and Nascar tracks.
Further adjustments to the bill deal with the provision to tolerate electronic bingo machines. As the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio has recently warned, these were effectively “underregulated slot machines” and said the bill could see the machines installed in 900 locations statewide.
The new amendment will see both the state Attorney General and the Casino Control Commission decide whether the machines could be considered slot machines, as well as increase the number of e-bingo machines permitted per location.