The Ohio House of Representatives passed their sports betting bill on Thursday 81-10. This will now head over to the Senate to be voted on. The bill has been in the state House for over a year.
House Bill 194 states the Ohio Lottery System will be in charge in sports betting in Ohio. Also, sports wagering will be taxed at 10 percent.
Also, many Ohio politicians are in favor of sports betting as it will keep bettors, and money, in the state. Ohioans now wait to see if the Senate passes their sports betting bill. According to the Legislative Service Commission, the 10 percent sports wagering tax would generate about $17.8 million in revenue for FY 2021 and up to $23.7 million in FY 2022.
The Next Steps
With the sports betting bill passed through the Ohio House, it is time for the Ohio Senate to do the same. Both sides of the state congress have their own sports betting bills. Both bills need to be passed by their respective sides.
When both sides pass their sports betting bills, then they will come together to create the official sports betting bill to be voted on. The process is far from over. However, seeing how the Ohio House passe their bill, this gives the state great optimism.
The Senate version is slightly different. They want to propose a 6.25 percent tax and have more money to go towards the states-general budget.
With the sports betting going in a positive direction, things could still take time in Ohio. Both the Senate and House have hammered out a bill based on what each party voted for. This could prolong the process.
However, this feels like both sides of state Congress want sports betting, so there should be minor technicalities than need to be addressed. The overall plan on what the state wants to do for sports betting should be the same on both sides.
Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine spoke about the budget deficit in Ohio due to Coronavirus. They are looking at a $775 million deficit, which isn’t as bad as what other states are seeing.
As some sports get ready to restart, Ohio politicians could try to fast track the sports betting bill to help generate some revenue for the state’s budget. Now, the state Senate does need to pass their version of the sports betting bill first.
If they pass their version of the bill, the Ohio Congress could try to get something passed to be implemented by the start of the football season. If the bill goes to the November ballot, then they’ll most likely wait to benefit in 2021.
All in all, many states like Ohio could use the pandemic to get bills in play. Multiple states are seeing budget deficits due to COVID-19. New York and California face much more extreme budget deficits that are much more extreme.
There are a few more hurdles for Ohio to get through before sports betting is legal in the state. The Ohio House passing their bill 81-10 is a huge step forward.