**Watch a previous report on sports betting in the state in the video player above.**
COLUMBUS (WJW) — With the stroke of a pen, sports betting is going to be officially legal in Ohio starting sometime next year.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed multiple bills into law just days before Christmas, including one sure to excite gamblers across the state.
Through years of roadblocks, the Ohio Senate voted 31-1 and the House voted 72-12 to approve House Bill 29 after both chambers struck a deal in a conference committee in early December.
Ohio now joins surrounding states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana in legalizing sports gaming.
“This is going to benefit the state of Ohio economically,” Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-District 29), who chairs the Senate’s Select Committee on Gaming, said before the bill moved to DeWine’s desk. “In addition, we all know that sports gaming is going on right now as we speak illegally. We’re going to put the necessary regulatory guardrails around it to make sure it’s done correctly here in Ohio.”
The bill puts the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery in charge of regulating and licensing sports betting, which would be allowed on any professional, collegiate, Olympic, motor race or horse race event. A small number of licenses are available for online groups and brick-and-mortar businesses.
A 10% tax is going to be implemented by the state.
It will still be months before the new gaming is up and running in the state.