Ohio Takes A Firm Step Towards Sports Betting Legalization

Ohio Takes A Firm Step Towards Sports Betting Legalization

The Ohio House Finance Committee on Wednesday voted to forward a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. The bill didn’t meet much friction in the committee and now awaits a vote by the whole House. The voting is expected to take place tomorrow.

Waiting for the bill to pass

If the bill successfully passes the House floor, it would then move to the Senate. Rep. Dave Greenspan is confident that the House will pass the bill. He said,

“We’re moving it now to start negotiations with the Senate over the summer so when we come back early in the fall, we’ll be able to get a bill on the governor’s desk by the end of the year.”

Ohio Takes A Firm Step Towards Sports Betting Legalization

The bill would then allow online betting and permit betting to take place in racetracks, casinos, and video lottery terminals. It would also be available at fraternal and veteran groups. If the bill passes the House, it would have to compete with a slightly different bill in the Senate which was proposed by Senator John Eklund last year.

The House bill states that the Ohio Lottery Commission should regulate sports betting in the state. However, the Senate bill wants the Ohio Casino Control Commission to shoulder this responsibility. Governor Mike DeWine, who is in favor of legalizing sports betting in Ohio, has also voiced his support for the Casino Control Commission to oversee the sports betting industry.

Which bill would pass?

According to Greenspan, the bill should first pass the House before they think about negotiations. The House voting on the bill is one of the most profound steps that the state has taken towards legalizing since 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. The first hearing of the bill was scheduled in May 2019. However, there were disagreements between the Senate and the House. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down its momentum further.

Ohio is under pressure to legalize sports betting as most of its neighbors- Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania have already done it. If the state doesn’t legalize wagering soon, it could end up losing precious revenue to its neighbors. DeWine said that he would want a bill on his desk before the November elections so that special interest groups do not get a chance to put the issue on the ballot.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.