Ohio two-year state budget suggests doubling of sports betting tax rate

3 min read
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Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine is eyeing a rise in the Ohio sports betting tax despite it having been legal for just over a month. His two-year $87 billion state budget has headlines of ‘no income tax cuts’, but a ‘tax hike buried’, according to local news outlet State News.

Where will the Ohio tax revenue go?

Republican Gov. DeWine’s budget proposes a doubling in the tax on adjusted gross revenue from its current 10%, up to 20%, levied on teams and casinos running mobile sports betting. It is suggested the additional tax revenue goes to the following:

  • Problem gambling activities
  • Administrative costs of sports betting oversight
  • Schools, for athletics and extracurricular activities

Legalized sports betting in Ohio launched at the start of the new year, and the regulators have already been seen to be among the most stringent when it comes to responsible gambling processes. The sports betting giant trio of BetMGM, DraftKings and Penn all face six figure fines for breach of advertising guidelines, and using illegal language in their advertisements. Charges include using, or suggesting that bets are ‘risk-free’ and also encouraging those under the legal age to wager.

Ohio has a famously fierce competitive landscape within the state. Within the Northern state, there are four commercial casino resorts, and seven racinos. The casinos are regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, while the racinos are regulated by the Ohio Lottery Commission. Under sports betting legislation, both commissions are responsible for the regulation of sports betting following the signing into law.

How does the sports betting tax compare to casino?

Ohio’s tax rate on casinos’ gross gaming revenue is 33%, with 33.5% levied on revenue from electronic gaming devices at racinos. That goes to show the disparity in revenue rates from sports betting to landbased casino products. High tax rates and headline figures from states such as New York, where a 51% tax rate is levied on adjusted gross revenue, are likely to have influenced Rep. DeWine’s suggestion of a higher tax rate.

According to a Bloomberg report on tax rates across the board in the United States, 19% is the average tax rate, with Ohio considerably below the average. With the first month of sports betting just finished, revenue figures are yet to be published for analysts trying to gauge the true size of the Ohio sports betting market. With West Virginia and Kentucky both nearby, the state faces competition from its borders, too.

Sports wagering at Ohio is legal at commercial casinos, racinos, major professional sports arenas and at up to 19 other retail locations. There are also limited sports betting options to be availabl eat kiosks in licensed bars and restaurants.

The model used in Ohio is similar to that used in Arizona and Maryland, and has also helped influence Louisiana’s sports betting framework. 2023 may still be a seismic year for sports betting regulation across the United States, with commercial operators hoping the likes of Florida sports betting and Oklahoma sports betting will open up in coming months.

Ollie is an experienced writer covering everything from esports to regulatory developments in the USA. He loves obscure data points and the occasional lousy parlay on 20 tennis players which inevitably loses.

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