COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- Thursday, Ohio Senators introduced a “comprehensive gaming bill” that will, among other things, legalize sports betting in the Buckeye State.
“Gaming is already here but not legally,” said Senator Kirk Schuring, (R) Canton.
The bill will allow for two different licenses that will cost one million dollars for three years to hold. There will be 40 licenses available.
“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,” said Schuring.
Casinos and racinos will be able to partner with mobile betting apps, and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will also be able to be licensed.
Ohio is set to receive 10 percent of the net revenue. That money will mostly go to education, and a small amount will go to helping those with gambling addictions.
“Gaming is here today in Ohio and all we want to do is put guard rails around it to make sure it is done correctly,” said Schuring. “Make sure that folks who are working in the black market cannot hurt Ohioans.”
Executive Director of Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, Derek Longmeier, is concerned legalization will lead to more people betting and therefore more people with addiction.
“Just looking at some of our friends from other states, we know that call volume to their state gambling helplines increased exponentially after sports betting’s instituted,” said Longmeier.
Hearings for the bill will begin next week. Lawmakers said they believe this bill could be passed by the end of June.