Ohio Sports Betting Bill Still Seeking Traction In State Legislature

Sports fans and bettors in Ohio are eagerly awaiting the day when the state officially signs legislation to make Ohio online sports betting legal. Based on a November 2021 interview state Senator Kirk Schuring did with WHBC 1410, folks shouldn’t expect anything to change before Thanksgiving but there is still hope to get all the final details ironed out by the end of 2021. 

“We made more progress last week and we’re still working on a compromise to get us where we need to be to pass the conference report,” Sen. Schuring told WHBC. “We actually are at the stage now where we’re asking for the legislative service commission to draft language so others can look at it as we try to negotiate. Others can look at it and read it the way it will look when it becomes law.”

There’s still time for the state lawmakers to complete the language for the sports betting amendment in House Bill 29 and call for a vote on the bill to get it passed for 2022 enactment. When the bill is approved and signed, 90 days must pass for it to be eligible to go into effect, meaning it’s highly likely the first legal sports wager placed in Ohio will occur in 2022. 

Schuring Expresses Frustration with Delays

The current timeline for legal online sports betting in Ohio has become more and more delayed as time has gone on. HB 29, which includes an amendment on sports betting, passed both chambers of the Ohio legislature by June 2021. However, later in the month, some members of the house raised a few concerns about some of the proposed parameters within the bill and pushed the discussion until November. 

Now that it’s November, Ohio lawmakers still cannot agree and frustration among lawmakers, including Sen. Schuring is beginning to mount. 

“I’ll remind everybody,” Sen. Schuring told WHBC. “I know this has been frustrating because it’s taking so long, but the Senate, when I offered the floor amendment to House Bill 29 ­, which is the bill that’s in the conference committee, that floor amendment, the sports gaming floor amendment, passed unanimously. 

“So, you know, we’re just trying to work with our House colleagues now to get it to the point where it will be approved by both the Senate and House and we’re making progress.”

Once House and Senate members in Ohio can agree on the final terms of the bill it can then be signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine. 

The Future of Legal Sports Betting in Ohio

HB 29 in Ohio outlines three types of sports betting licenses. 

  • Type A: licenses that allow operators to bank a bet (e.g. casinos and racinos) 
  • Type B: licenses for new/future brick-and-mortar sportsbooks 
  • Type C: licenses for sports betting kiosks at local establishments with D-class liquor licenses

To start, Ohio will approve 65 licenses — 25 online sports betting licenses and 40 retail sportsbook licenses. Additionally, any casino or racino that is granted a Type A license will be permitted to have two online sports betting skins. 

Once HB 29 is passed, the legal sports betting market in Ohio will likely begin to take off. The fact the bill allows for both retail and online sportsbooks to operate is very beneficial for both operators and sports fans. Sports bettors in Ohio should expect safe, secure, and easy access to sportsbooks once the bill is signed into law and ready to take effect. 

Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

As of November 2021, sports betting is not legal in Ohio. However, lawmakers are currently reviewing the final terms of House Bill 29, which will legalize both retail and online sportsbooks. 

When will sports betting be legal in Ohio?

There isn’t an official date, however, it’s possible that sports betting will be legal in Ohio before the start of summer 2022. 

Do Ohio sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses?

Currently, online sportsbooks such as BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings are not authorized to operate in Ohio. When sportsbooks are available to Ohio residents it’s common practice for them to offer new players free bets and sign-up promotions.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Executive Editor of OhioSharp.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries including food, lifestyle, and sports sites.