An Ohio sports betting bill seemed like a possibility in the summer, but lawmakers have confirmed that nothing will occur until the fall. However, the legislature is determined to pass sports betting during the 2021 legislative session in the fall.
The legislature does not adjourn until December 31, so there is plenty of time to accomplish this goal. Nevertheless, lawmakers have been scrutinized for not achieving their goal.
Sen. Kirk Schuring was disappointed that sports betting did not come to fruition in the summer. He was the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming. After the news was announced that sports betting would be pushed to the fall, he spoke with the Enquirer.
“I wish we could have gotten it done by June 30. I will be working very diligently with key members of the House, key members of the interested parties, and Senate President Matt Huffman to put everything in order so we can take quick action when we come back in September.”
Failed Goal Creates New Beginning for Ohio Sports Betting
The Senate Select Committee on Gaming wanted the legislature to pass sports betting by June 30, so Governor Mike DeWine could sign the bill. DeWine has stated his support for sports betting on multiple occasions.
The legislature adjourned for its summer holiday on Wednesday, and they will not return until September 15. Even though the legislature will be on a break, multiple lawmakers will be conferencing to ensure sports wagering is passed in the fall.
House Speaker Bob Cupp is on the same page as Schuring in the Senate. He said:
“Over the summer, we’re going to be working on that to try to finalize it, so when we come back in September, that’s one of the first things we do. That’s our goal, and that’s our hope.”
Sports Betting Timeline in Ohio
Ohio’s sports betting timeline is vast. This has caused concerns amongst residents if lawmakers will bring wagering to fruition in the fall. Senate Bill 176 was introduced to the House on June 17 after passing by a nearly unanimous margin.
The quick passage in the Senate made the industry hopeful that the bill would have the same fate in the House. Yet, this was not the case, and there were a few problems that caused House Republicans to amend the legislation.
SB 187 was also being discussed at the same time. This bill allowed student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. It also included sports betting topics. However, House Republicans wanted a ban on transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports in the bill.
This caused SB 187 to get derailed, which in turn caused Democrats to turn against the sports betting bill. However, Governor DeWine signed an executive order to allow athletes to benefit from their likeness to align with the NCAA.
This has eased the tension between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature. This will allow lawmakers to focus on sports betting when they return in the fall. House Bill 29 is the corresponding sports betting bill in the House.
Both chambers want sports betting, but compromises will need to be made in the fall.