The state of Ohio just can’t figure out what it wants to do in terms of legalizing sports betting. There are currently 17 states throughout the country that have legalized sports betting in some form, and Ohio has looked at times like it would be number 18.
There have been other times where it looked as if sports betting would never become legalized in Ohio, but that isn’t the case now. Both the House and Senate are working on bills that would legalize sports betting in the Buckeye State, and there is a chance that something could get passed by the end of 2019.
One of the biggest issues that still need to be resolved in Ohio is who will be in charge of the newly created sports betting industry. There are two separate bills that are currently on the table, and each of them has a different company or organization in charge.
The Casino Control Commission is one of the companies that have been mentioned, as well as the Ohio Lottery Commission. Governor Mike DeWine has announced that he supports naming the CCC as the organization in charge, but he might not get his choice.
Representative Dave Greenspan has named the Ohio Lottery Commission as the organization in charge, and his bill is the one that looks like it might get passed. There has also been some talk of creating a third, independent agency, but that would not allow anything to get passed until 2020.
Ohio already has several casinos that have expressed interest in opening up a sportsbook, and they have the sports teams to support and guide sports betting. Both Indiana and Pennsylvania now have sports betting up and running, and these two states border Ohio. There is plenty of pressure from citizens and lawmakers to get something done.
College Athletics Are Major Talking Point
The discussion of whether or not to include college athletics in any sports betting bill is not new, but it is at the forefront of the discussion in Ohio. Colleges and universities throughout the state of Ohio have joined together to share their feelings on the issue, and they want no part of sports betting on their collegiate events.
As lawmakers in the state of Ohio have been working on bills, there was a special meeting earlier this week on the topic. The Inter-University Council of Ohio was given the chance to speak in front of lawmakers in the House Finance Committee, and they are opposed to the legalization of sports betting on collegiate athletics.
Other states across the country have chosen to restrict or prohibit sports betting on collegiate sporting events, but that hasn’t been the case in every state. One of the biggest issues is that states will be losing out on a ton of money if they don’t include collegiate sporting events into any new legislation.
College football is the second-most popular sport to bet on in this country, and states want the extra revenue that it would bring in.