Ohio Lawmakers Hold Meetings in Preparation of Drafting Sports Betting Bill

Ohio lawmakers on Tuesday hosted two meetings as the first step to crafting passable sports betting legislation. The meetings, hosted by senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien (D-District 32), left Eklund feeling like lawmakers are on the right path.

“We’re taking the information we gathered at these meetings and the sponsors will get together and see if we can put some meat on the bones,” he said. “We’ll draft a bill and then entertain comments and suggestions, and I’d hope we might have a substantive bill ready to go. If not, we might need some more meetings.”

Eklund is aiming to have an outline done in a couple of weeks and, with any luck, a bill drafted shortly after that. Both the Ohio Senate and House have up to six sessions on the calendar in November and up to seven each in December. The goal would be to pass legislation before the end of 2018, otherwise, a new bill would need to be introduced at the start of the 2019 session.


Read more Ohio Lawmakers Hold Meetings in Preparation of Drafting Sports Betting Bill  on SportsHandle.

Where The Midwest Is at on Sports Betting Legislation

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In the first half of the year, midwestern states in general weren’t able to legalize sports betting, but some began to lay the groundwork for passable legislation to be crafted. For Illinois, Michigan and Ohio lawmakers, the summer months were all about learning, negotiating and educating with the goal of finding common ground.

While none of the three states has introduced any new legislation of late, all have the chance to legalize sports betting before 2019, or at the start of the 2019 session.


Read more Where The Midwest Is at on Sports Betting Legislation on SportsHandle.

Ohio Lawmaker Wants to School Himself, Colleagues on Sports Betting

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Ohio state senator John Eklund (R-District 18) had an “aha! moment” with regards to sports betting earlier this year.

“At one point, I may have had a preconceived notion” about what sports betting in Ohio would look like, Eklund said. “Like who is going to regulate and what will the tax rate be, but there is much more to this than that.

“The reason we have a placeholder bill is the more I realized the multifaceted nature of this. There are so many permutations on the theme, it starts to boggle a little. We do a lot of legislation that has that kind of feel and flavor to it. … But there are too many people with big brains out there for me to say that I have the answer.”

Lawmakers Aim to Bring Together Interested Parties and Hash Out What Ohio Sports Betting Will Look Like.

And so it was that Eklund, along with Democratic counterpart Sean O’Brien (District 32), introduced a one-line placeholder bill, SB 316, in July, with the intention of starting the sports betting conversation in the Buckeye State. Eklund is hoping that conversation will begin in earnest later this month, after meetings to identify key players.

“Broadly speaking, what I am pursuing is an effort to convene a series of interested party meetings to, well, rather than go after this in a scattershot action, get them to focus on what’s important to them,” he said. “It wouldn’t be the kind of deal where we’d have to rent out Jacobs Stadium or anything, it would be smaller, where we could start taking people’s pulses, getting people’s ideas.”

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John Eklund

The ultimate goal would be to narrow the focus enough to then schedule hearings in the General Assembly to flesh out what sports betting should look like and “craft something with more meat on the bones that we can vote on when we get back after the November elections.”

In the meantime, Ohio has to contend with the idea that it is surrounded by states that have either already made sports betting legal or are actively trying to. Both neighbors Pennsylvania and West Virginia legalized sports betting in the last 12 months, with the Mountaineer State set to see the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races take the state’s first legal wager before Sept. 1.

Kentucky currently has a sports betting working group exploring what sports wagering in the Bluegrass State might look like, while Michigan and Indiana both had sports betting bills in their respective legislatures earlier this year. It’s likely that Michigan lawmakers will move forward with legislation in the fall when they return from their summer recess.

Ohio Is Surrounded By States, Including Pennsylvania and West Virginia, That Have Legalized Sports Betting or Are on the Cusp of Doing So.

Eklund would like for Ohio to do the same thing.

“The idea is, let’s get some of the wrangling and some of that research and some of that opinionating that gets done first and then we’ll have the legislative hearings,” he said. “Does that mean we’ll have a bill that comes out of the Ohio State Senate by the end of the year? I don’t know, but I am hopeful that by the end of the year or the beginning of next year, that we can move forward.”

So, logistically, what will sports betting in Ohio look like? That’s an open question. The state currently has four commercial casinos and seven racinos. It does not have Indian gaming or Tribal-State compacts to negotiate, which ought to make the process of legalizing sports wagering a bit simpler. The state lottery – a potential governing body for sports betting – also already allows Keno in bars and retail locations. So, among the myriad details, lawmakers will have to determine the “where” when it comes to sports betting.

They’ll also have to figure a tax rate and other fees. Ohio lawmakers have gotten a little education by watching the action next door in Pennsylvania. The state legislature there set the tax rate of 34 percent plus a 2 percent local tax and even as the gaming control board has rolled out temporary rules, not a single operator has yet  filed an application for sports betting. The law also calls for a $10 million application fee.

Buckeye State Lawmakers Have Learned From Pennsylvania That High Tax Rates Don’t Fly, But Haven’t Set a Sports Betting Tax Rate as Yet.

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JACK Cincinnati Casino

“I can tell you that everything I’ve seen shows me that the Pennsylvania rate is extraordinarily high and probably counterproductive,” Eklund said. “On the low end, it would go toward prognosticating about what the level of participation would be” at different tax rates.

Another key piece to any sports betting legislation is sorting out mobile and online betting. Eklund is not opposed to either, saying “we all have to recognize at a very fundamental level that the mobile economy and the number of people who live and die with a 3 x 6, half-inch thick device welding to their hand is absolutely incredible.” But he didn’t have an idea of how mobile betting might play out.

All in all, Buckeye State lawmakers appear to be preparing to go to school. And when it comes to sports betting, there is plenty to learn.

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Get a Grip: Week in Sports Betting and Sports: New Jersey, FanDuel Sportsbook, Ohio

The post Get a Grip: Week in Sports Betting and Sports: New Jersey, FanDuel Sportsbook, Ohio appeared first on SportsHandle.
It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).
Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” rounding up top stories in sports betting and gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading. This is meant to be brief, so that’s it.
New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue Reports; FanDuel Sportsbook Set to Open at Meadowlands
meadowlands sports betting racetrack new york new jersey
Off the top rope: The results are in for the first month — rather, 17 days — of live NJ sports betting operations. The revenue reports are/will be different than those offered by Nevada regulators. Those reports record profits and losses based on an accrual method of accounting. For sports wagering in New Jersey, we’re looking at a cash method.
The main difference is that bettors’ wagers or “futures” bets, such as on the Super Bowl winner, or on anything not yet decided, gets counted as revenue when wagers are placed. Winning tickets will be deducted in the month in which they are redeemed.
Recall that the William Hill Race & Sportsbook at Monmouth Park in Oceanport took the first wager from Governor Phil Murphy at its June 14 launch (his bet on Germany to win the World Cup is a loser; he also bet on the New Jersey Devils to win the next Stanley Cup). The MGM-owned Borgata Race & Sportsbook within the hotel and spa in Atlantic City, opened up shop later that morning. William Hill is also operating the sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino on the site of the former Revel. That sportsbook opened on June 28.
Here’s the gross revenue figures and other numbers of note (go here for further discussion)

  • Monmouth: $2,279,166
  • Borgata: $986,831
  • Ocean Resort: $192,671
  • Total revenue across all three: $3,458,688
  • Revenue derived strictly from all three from completed events (not futures): $1,203,700
  • Total gross hold percentage across all three, based on complete events results: 7.8 percent
  • Total gross handle across all three (including futures): $16,409,619
  • Tax derived by state of New Jersey (8.5 rate on in-person wagering): $293,863

Elsewhere, in the Northeast Corridor just a hop, skip or a black car from New York City, the FanDuel Sportsbook is set to open at The Meadowlands Racetrack on the same grounds as the home of the Giants and Jets, MetLife Stadium. Read all about what to expect and what it means right here.

The Other Most Important Stories of the Week in Sports Betting and U.S. Gaming

Quite a Headline: Gambling and drugs may be the cure for Connecticut’s ailing economy [CNBC]
Midwest: Even money says Colorado will take it slow and steady with sports betting [CPR]
States’ Rights: Federalism comes out as the winner in Murphy v NCAA [Reg Review]
Wishful Thinking: Here’s how sports gambling could become legal in Texas [Caller]
Everywhere, Man: Projecting when legal sports betting will arrive in 25 biggest U.S. cities [Action]
Silver Blues: NBA Commish Adam Silver on ‘integrity fees’: Not a point of progress [LSR]
Low Tax Rates Would Help:  New sports betting laws won’t stop illegal gambling [Herald]
Shuttle Bussing: Possible shuttle between MetLife and FanDuel Sportsbook? [Chalk]

Now in the Wider World of Sports:

pittsburgh steelers offensive line
Big Men: NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 team’s units entering 2018 [PFF]
Guts and Glory: Brandi Chastain on the Olympics and famous penalty kick [ESPN]
Los Angeles: LeBron James and Luke Walton have been texting, ignore the noise [TBL]
Broken System: Blake Snell snub may change the way MLB players selected to All-Star Game [SB Nation]
Betting Should Help: Fox’s NASCAR viewership dropped 19 percent from 2017, 29 percent from 2016 [AA]

Video of the Week:

Quote of the Week:

His quads are the size of my waist and whole upper body. I’ve never quite seen anything like it. I don’t often stare at another man’s legs, but in that case, you just can’t quite help it.
— Giants QB Eli Manning on running back and first round draft pick (No. 2 overall by NYG) Saquon Barkley‘s lower body. Audio here:

Comment Section of the Week:

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