Ohio Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 132 to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports (DFS) on Friday, December 22. This makes Ohio the 18th state in the United States to exempt daily fantasy sports from the state’s gambling laws. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will watch over the industry’s regulation.
The bill received the backing of the majority of Ohio’s professional teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Columbus Crew. The other notable teams Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals did not make it known that whether they are in favor of the ruling or not. Both the National Football League (NFL) teams, although, have sponsorship deals with FanDuel, one of the leading sites in daily fantasy sports.
The bill lays down the maximum annual licensing fee at $10,000, which will be valid for three years. There would be no DFS tax.
The Casino Control Commission is yet to come up with the final regulations, but the bill clearly states the kind of regulations to be put in place. It prohibits users younger than 18-years old, allows players to self-ban, proposes “Beginner” and “Experienced” player features, suggests keeping operating funds separate from player funds and recommends maximum entries per contest.
The move would allow the 1.9 million Ohioans that are currently engaged in fantasy sports to do it legally now. The regulations mean safeguards would be put in place for consumer protection so that they do not go overboard when putting their money on stakes.
The DFS bill was introduced in March this year before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. The committee gave the nod to the bill unanimously in May and then the House cleared it by an 82 to 15 vote. In November, the Senate Finance Committee passed the bill by an 11 to 1 vote before it moved to the Senate, who passed it 25 to 4. Ultimately, the House voted 92 to 3 in favor of the bill.