The delay in the vote is due to some lawmakers’ concerns about the tax increase’s impact on the sports betting industry. Some lawmakers believe that the tax increase would discourage online sportsbooks in Ohio from wanting to operate, leading to lost revenue for the state.
Other lawmakers are concerned that the tax increase would be unfair to sportsbooks, as it would make it more difficult for them to compete with other states with lower tax rates, possibly leading the bookmakers to offset the higher tax fees onto Ohio consumers.
Here are some of the key arguments for and against the tax increase:
- The tax would generate more revenue for the state.
- The tax would help to level the playing field for sportsbooks.
- The tax would discourage sports betting in Ohio.
- The tax would be unfair to sportsbooks.
The future of the tax increase is uncertain. It is still being negotiated, and it is unclear whether the proposed tax increase will be included in the final version of the budget. If approved, it would go into effect when the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2023.
Ohio By the Numbers
Ohio ranks fifth among all states in betting handle through the first four months of 2023. Ohioans have wagered just over $3 billion since allowing the 18 sportsbook companies to take wagers on January 1, with the state collecting $45.1 million in tax revenue through April.
Under the proposed tax hike, the state missed an additional $15 million in tax revenue supposedly earmarked for programs such as its Pledge to Fund Athletics program that Ohio lawmakers could slash without the proposed tax increase.
What Happens Next?
The Ohio legislature will continue to negotiate the budget in the coming days. The tax increase may be included in the final version of the budget, but it is also possible that lawmakers will have the proposed OH sports betting tax hike removed. The vote on the budget is scheduled for July 1, 2023.