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Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering

Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering

On December 8, 2021, via amended H.B. 29 (“Bill”), the Ohio General Assembly legalized mobile and retail sports wagering making Ohio the 30th U.S. jurisdiction to offer sports wagering. Specifically, the Bill authorizes 40 brick-and-mortar retail sportsbooks across the state and at least 25 mobile licenses. The Bill tasks the Ohio Casino Control Commission (“OCCC”) with developing a comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework. Also allowable under the Bill, and under the oversight of the Ohio Lottery Commission, are self-service or clerk-operated sports gaming terminals at certain liquor permit establishments. Sports wagering may commence on a date designated by the Executive Director of the OCCC but no later than January 1, 2023.

The Bill creates license standards and fees for the various license types and requires the OCCC to engage in a rulemaking process to adopt rules which, in tandem with statute, will govern the conduct of these new activities in Ohio. The Bill also provides minimum standards, types of allowable wagers and outlines strong consumer protections. The OCCC is vested with the authority and power to ensure sports gaming in Ohio is conducted with the utmost integrity. The OCCC and the Ohio Lottery Commission are mature regulatory agencies with experience in developing and overseeing new regulatory responsibilities.

H.B. 29 is a sweeping new law and the State of Ohio, with its population and love of sports, is poised to become one of the nation’s leading markets. Legalized sports wagering will impact many businesses, entities and individuals across Ohio.  

Ice Miller’s Gaming Practice is a full-service team which brings unique expertise to the launch of sports wagering in Ohio. Ice Miller, under the leadership of John H. Oberle, has been involved with every gaming issue in the state since its inception in 2009. Our team has a full understanding of the regulatory processes, licensing standards and what is needed to get requests approved. We have been engaged on H.B. 29 over the years and have a strong understanding of the Bill and its requirements. In addition, our team includes two former regulators, Sara Tait and Sam Porter. Sara is the former Indiana Gaming Commission Executive Director where she successfully created and launched a nationally praised mobile and retail sports wagering model which has been replicated in various states. Sam Porter is the former Executive Director of the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and also brings experience as the former Regional Director of Compliance in Ohio for one the largest gaming companies in the country. 

Launching sports wagering to Ohio will undoubtedly be an exciting and historical time for the state.  Ice Miller is ready to be part of the process and looks forward to serving the needs of our clients. Learn more about the Ice Miller Gaming Practice and Team.  

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.
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