There have been a handful of states that have launched sports betting during the 2019 calendar year, and a handful of other states are waiting in the on-deck circle. Ohio appeared to be targeting the year 2020 for a launch date, but there is some renewed hope that it will happen later this fall.
There were a pair of bills on the table earlier this spring, but both of them died rather quickly without much traction. Legislators have been working hard to make the necessary changes to these bills, and one of them was re-introduced earlier this week.
One of the biggest reasons that a bill didn’t get passed this spring was because legislators spent plenty of time arguing about who should be in control of the sports betting industry. The Senate had a bill in place that would have named the Casino Control Commission as the operator and director of sports betting. The House of Representatives proposed a bill that would make the Ohio Lottery Commission as the government body that is in charge of sports betting.
There were some great arguments made on both sides of this discussion, but nothing could get figured out earlier this year.
Representative Dave Greenspan has been working hard to make the necessary changes to his bill, and he believes that he has come up with a solution. Greenspan’s bill will be read early in October at the House Finance Committee and could make it to the Senate shortly after. If the Senate decides to move forward with the bill, there is a chance that sports betting could be legalized at some point in 2019.
Ohio Colleges And Universities Are Opposed
Legalizing sports betting in the state of Ohio would definitely change things for the professional teams in the state, but it will also have a huge impact on NCAA teams. Ohio has some terrific colleges and universities with rich athletic traditions, and there is a chance that sports betting could interfere with these traditions.
Schools in the state of Ohio would prefer that sports betting stay away in general, but they definitely want to ensure that betting on NCAA events is not legalized with any new bill. Colleges and universities go out of their way to protect the integrity of their teams and their sports, and that can change in a hurry if the sports betting industry makes a move in Ohio.
At this time, it is unclear where Ohio lawmakers stand when it comes to collegiate athletics because it is too hard to decide which bill is currently in the lead. Out of all the states that have already legalized sports betting in this country, Ohio is split about right down the middle in terms of allowing or not allowing betting on college events.
The NCAA has done a great job of opposing betting on college sports, but each state still gets to make the ultimate decision. It is likely that any law passed in Ohio will stay away from betting on college athletics, but nothing will be set in stone until the final bill is signed into law by the governor.