Bill to legalize sports gambling introduced in Ohio Senate

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(Watch previous coverage on sports betting in Ohio in the video player above)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– A group of lawmakers introduced a bill in the Ohio Senate that would legalize sports gambling.

Committee hearings on Senate Bill 176 will start next week.

“Gaming is here today in Ohio. All we want to do is put guardrails around it to make sure it’s done correctly and make sure that folks that are working in the black market cannot hurt Ohioans,” said Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) during the news conference on Thursday.

The bill would set up two types of sports betting licenses. One would allow the state’s 11 casinos and racinos to partner with mobile apps like DraftKings and FanDuel. The other permits the creation of sports books, which Schuring said would be an economic development tool. The state would offer 20 of each license at the cost of $1 million. They would be overseen by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

“If there’s another entity out there right now, not withstanding the 11 we’re talking about right now, that can come up with the money to bank the bet, come to Ohio. We want you to come to Ohio,” Schuring said.

It also includes provisions for iLottery and eBingo, which is a digital upgrade from the pull tabs used in veterans’ halls and fraternal organizations. Sports gambling would be also be permitted through Ohio Lottery retailers with wagers up to $20.

The state of Ohio will receive 10 percent of the net revenue of these operations. The majority of the money will go towards education, under SB 176.

Schuring was joined Sens. Nirah Antani (R-Miamisburg), Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati)

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