Two bills to get Ohio sports betting legalised seem to be facing delays as lawmakers can’t agree on how to regulate the segment.
US.- Sports betting continues to thrive in the US but many states continue to struggle to legalise it. Ohio is in that group, as lawmakers can’t reach a consensus and apparently won’t during the current session.
The Ohio sports betting regulation could arrive through either of two bills that are under discussion. However, neither House Bill 194 nor Senate Bill 111 can bring lawmakers together to legalise the segment.
HB 194 would give the Ohio Lottery Commission control over the segment. It would run through as many as 1,000 sportsbooks across the state. SB 111, however, wants Ohio sports betting to be controlled by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). The Senate believes it has the experience and expertise to control it and wants to launch it at the 11 casinos and racinos in the state.
The Senate’s bill also allows mobile sports betting websites, with separate and secure sportsbooks at the casinos. Nonetheless, some believe limiting the segment to only already licenced venues may end up favouring HB 194.
The gaming industry in Ohio
The Ohio Lottery Commission recently released the latest financial report that details April operations in the state. The release showed that Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos’ gaming revenue slipped 1.1% from April 2018.
The 11 facilities totalled US$160.2 million in April, which represents a 1.1% year-on-year decline. About one-third of that revenue was then paid to the state either in taxes or lottery fees.
The racinos generated the biggest amount of revenue in April to US$89.6 million from slot machines, which is a 0.1% decline when compared to the US$89.7 million registered in April 2018.
The four casinos in the state, located in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo, generated US$70.6 million in revenue from slots and table games, but it is also a decline (2.4%) from the US$72.3 million reported during the same period last year.