Three Ohio senators introduced what they call “the first comprehensive gaming bill for Ohio” on Thursday in a bid to legalize sports betting and other wagering.
Sens. Kirk Schuring (R-29-Canton), Niraj Antani (R-6-Miamisburg) and Nathan Manning (R-13-North Ridgeville) introduced the bill, which covers three distinct gaming levels.
If the bill passes, the state will offer 20 licenses each for mobile app online gaming and brick-and-mortar sports wagering. Each license, distributed on a “first come first serve” basis, will cost $1 million and be valid for three years. The Casino Control Commission would have oversight authority of the betting.
The bill would also create a sports wagering system through the Ohio Lottery. Each wager would be $20, with winnings divided from losing wagers. It would also allow e-Bingo to be used by charitable organizations, with oversight through the Ohio attorney general’s office.
Shuring said that the bill is “free market driven.”
“Gaming is already here but not legally,” Schuring said in a statement. “My priority is to make sure this bill focuses on broad based economic development, that provides no special privileges for any gaming business or organization.”
Ohio would receive 10 percent of the revenue from the betting. The revenue would be directed toward education, with two percent directed toward gambling addiction.
“This bill will legalize sports betting and charitable E-Bingo in Ohio through a free market approach, while safely expanding gaming in our state,” Antani said in a statement. “Ohioans want this, and they’ve made it clear to me, they want it now.”
Manning said that the bill is “a win for taxpayers and the economy.”
“This bill is fair, no one gets a special benefit and the state has expert level diverse oversight,” Manning said in a statement.
The senators encouraged the public to read the bill and submit in-person or written testimony for committee hearings on the bill, which will begin next week.
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