Today, state Sens. Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and John Eklund (R-Munson Township) testified on their bill to regulate sports betting in Ohio in front of the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee.
“After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized sports wagering across the country last year, Sen. Eklund and I saw an opportunity to regulate something that many people in Ohio were already doing while also allowing that revenue stream to benefit the people of Ohio,” said O’Brien. “Under Senate Bill 111, people interested in sports betting can have confidence that the State of Ohio is protecting them and that everything is official and above board.”
SB 111 was introduced after the Supreme Court’s ruling gave states the freedom to decide whether sports wagering should be offered within their borders. Each year, Americans bet millions of dollars on sporting events, mostly without regulation, oversight or enforceable standards of integrity.
“Sports wagering is something that people are going to find a way to do anyway,” said O’Brien. “Regulating it in Ohio is a win-win in that makes it safer for everyone involved, while creating a new revenue source for problem gambling treatment programs and other things that will benefit Ohioans.”
Under SB 111, sports wagering would be permitted for those aged 21 and over only at existing Ohio casinos and horse racetracks with video lottery terminals. Casino operators or video lottery sales agents would have to apply to the Casino Control Commission to become sports wagering operators under criteria set forth in the bill and would be able to contract with management services firms to conduct the sports wagering. Any devices, supplies and equipment must also be approved by the Commission, and any wagers must be initiated, received or otherwise made in Ohio, either in person or via an approved online application.
Additional information about SB 111 can be found here