Ohio state ready for betting legalization

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Last Thursday, lawmakers in the Ohio House of Representatives gathered to discuss whether the state was prepared to legalize sports betting.

Here, as in many other states, it is already possible to find illegal bookmakers, so permission to bet should be the answer to unauthorized actions. Due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic hit the state treasury heavily, legalized sports betting is increasingly seen as a means to restore lost revenue.

The Legislative Chamber obviously agrees, because the bill HB 194 of the House of Representatives easily went through the vote, which will now allow it to be sent to the Senate.

The House Finance Committee has shown overwhelming support for HB 194. Then the bill was sent to vote in front of the Senate in full force the next day, where it again received significant support.

Ohio state ready for betting legalization
Nov 30, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (33) during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It is noted that HB 194 would establish a tax on income from sportsbooks in the amount of 10%. This means that the state will receive about $15 million in revenue from its first year of operation.

The new proposal would tax sports betting revenues at a 10% rate with the proceeds going to education.

Illegal betting a problem

Even though the United States has one of the most liberalized laws in betting, the illegal operation still remains a problem. Numerous online casino promotions and services operate illegally within a country, which is a subject for controversy. There have also been cases when illegal casinos were just shut down.

March Madness and betting

The bill will not take a long time to work and become a law. One of the most anticipated events that were to take place in March, but was canceled due to the coronavirus is considered to be the most active betting event for players, alongside NFL and other sports.

Hyde Park Democrat Brigid Kelly declared that Bill’s passing was timely, because of the need for resources in schools.

From late June till September legislators of Ohio are going to take a recess, but Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly will continue working on the bill.

Ohio state ready for betting legalization
Mar 8, 2020; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) dribbles the ball during the first half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at the Breslin Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

General status of betting in the United States

The legislative features of betting in the United States can be unambiguously described as uncertain. Many sites provide their services to U.S. citizens without any problems. However, opinions differ as to whether the 1961 Act, known as the Wire Act, extends to online bets and betting. According to this law, bookmakers are forbidden to accept bets by phone, but, given that the law was adopted long before the Internet spread, it does not mention the prohibition of online bets.

In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was adopted, which slightly changed the situation. This law did not make online betting explicitly illegal, but it prohibited banks and other financial institutions from conducting financial transactions between U.S. residents and betting sites. Many sites took this as a clear signal that the U.S. government considered online betting illegal and stopped serving customers from the United States.

However, a number of operators continued to work with the Americans. They referred to the fact that they have a license and are under a jurisdiction in which betting is permitted and therefore do not violate any law. Some Americans decided not to take risks and stopped betting and playing on betting sites, but most continued to use these services. Everyone agreed that a private person who uses betting sites does not violate any law.

Recently, legislation governing betting has changed again. Several states have passed laws that directly allow online betting, and some states have even begun issuing licenses to online betting establishments wishing to operate on their territory. Also, some states have announced plans to follow suit, although there are still some who are hesitant.

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