iLottery Clause To Be Added To Ohio Sports Betting Bill By Senator

  • Ohio’s sports betting bill, House Bill 194, could see a clause that will add an iLottery market to the state.
  • The Ohio Legislature adjourns at the end of the year but no date has been set for the bill to be discussed further.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio has three months left in the session to decide the fate of many bills on the table with sports betting being the subject of two of them and now Senator Bill Coley would like to add an iLottery clause to one of the bills before any final decisions are made on it.

There are two bills in the Ohio Legislature that would legalize sports betting, a House Bill and a Senate Bill.

The House bill is the one that has seen the most progression within the legislature in 2020 and the one that would likely see an iLottery clause attached.

What’s Happening In Ohio

Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 194 are the two bills that have been in the Ohio Legislature for consideration this year.

OH SB 111 stalled out while OH HB 194 moved forward with approvals through the proper channels before being halted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

If Coley intends to add an iLottery clause to any sports betting bill, it would be House Bill 194 as it’s the one that is the most favorable of the two to be approved at this point.

There is still a lot that needs to be discussed regarding the original bill itself, let alone adding onto it. The clock is ticking for the session in the Buckeye State and there are only so many bills that will be able to make the docket before closing out the year. The question is whether or not sports wagering will see the floor.

Coley has said that should the bill’s next stop not be in the Senate Committee on Government Oversight and Reform where he is the Chairman, he will still introduce his amendment to the floor it sees next.

It is his position that adding lottery draw tickets and scratch-offs to be purchased online will be the most beneficial for the state of Ohio in terms of profits and revenue. Coley maintains that with everything that can be bought on the internet from cars to cellphones, that lottery tickets should also be allowed.

Now What?

House Bill 194 would be regulated by the Casino Control Commission for sports wagering. The House would ideally like to keep all lottery business out of the equation because of this.

That reasoning could cause an unfavorable result for a clause to be added to the bill by Coley and lawmakers. Yet, surprisingly enough, there is the idea of the Coronavirus Pandemic actually helping the case to include an internet lottery platform.

Ohio is hurting for money and looking for new revenue streams. Should OH HB 194 get further floor time before the end of the session, the legislature may be open to expanding upon the USA online gambling offerings with the inclusion of an internet lottery.

Other states surrounding Ohio have wagering industries in some way, shape, or form which makes the Buckeye State want to legalize an industry of gambling themselves. Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all offer betting markets to residents.

This year, Virginia and Rhode Island both approved iLotteries in their states. Georgia has had internet lottery operations in place since 2012. Whether or not Ohio will see an iLottery is still up in the air but work on House Bill 194 and the legalization of sportsbooks in Ohio continues.

With that, and the benefits an online lottery could bring to the economy of Ohio, Coley’s amendment could very well be approved along with the approval of the bill which has a proposed 8% tax rate for revenue in place to help the economy, by the end of the 2020 session.