Legislation Passes To Avoid Forcing Sportsbooks To Pay Taxes Daily

Chaser bill approved by Senate will enable monthly tax payments by the operators, as is generally the case elsewhere.
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On the day Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler announced the universal launch date for sports betting in the Buckeye State, the state General Assembly approved a bill that affects how sportsbooks pay taxes.

The legislation, HB 515, was approved by the Senate Wednesday after House passage, amending language in the state’s original sports betting legislation, HB 29. The original law as enacted states that a sportsbook would be expected to pay taxes on a daily basis once its platform is up and operating, just as casinos do, which drew concerns from stakeholders. The revision to call for payments on a monthly basis now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.

Generally, sportsbooks are not required to pay daily taxes since their revenue is smaller and more uncertain than is the case with the casinos’ full operations. Sportsbooks are typically  required to pay taxes monthly, to avoid the sportsbooks paying out 100% of the taxes on a significant win on a single day without any major losses to offset the win. Also, sportsbooks would not be allowed to use a huge loss on a single day to offset any major winning days during the same month.

The chaser bill approved in both houses addresses the tax issue with language referring to “one calendar month with regard to which a sports gaming proprietor is required to pay the tax levied by section 5753.021 of the Revised Code.” Furthermore, the amendment states that “sports gaming proprietors shall file returns on or before the fifteenth day of each month, not later than noon.”

Ohio House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz said in April that shortly after HB 29 became law he became aware of the concerns about requiring daily tax payments by sportsbooks. Seitz, who was responsible for crafting the sports betting bill, told OH Bets in April via email that “the daily reporting does not fit nicely with the reality of sports betting,” and he expected the legislation to adjust it would follow.

The universal launch date for sports betting is set to take place on Jan. 1, 2023, the Casino Control Commission revealed last week.

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