Ohio lawmakers have reached an agreement that will legalize sports betting for those 21 and older. House Bill 29, which was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate on December 8 and is expected to be signed into law by Governor DeWine in the coming days, will allow licensed gaming operations to begin accepting wagers as soon as 1 April 2022.
Since the Supreme Court of the United States struck down federal law prohibiting state-sponsored sports betting in 2018, 33 states and Washington D.C. have passed legislation establishing regulated markets for wagering on sports. Ohio now becomes the 34th as it hopes to curb the flow of its residents’ entertainment and tourism dollars into neighboring Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia, all of whom have already legalized sports betting.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) will be responsible for regulating and monitoring all sports gambling activity in the state. Once the bill is signed into law, the OCCC is required to establish a licensing process, consumer protections, advertising guidelines, and financial requirements for licensees. As an enforcement agency, it will also be given the authority to create other administrative rules it deems necessary to carry out its oversight duties.