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Ohio Looking like Next to Legalize Sports Betting

Ohio could be next on the sports betting industry’s radar as Gov. Mike DeWine stated that he will sign the bill that would legalize sports betting across the state. However, a lawsuit could potentially halt the process that would prevent Ohio from launching sports betting by January 1, 2023.

Ohio looking to be the Next State to Legalize Sports Betting

When the governor receives anything related to legislation that pertains to House Bill 29, he will have ten days to sign the bill, according to press secretary Dan Tierney; however, some oppose the business venture. Tierney stated in an email Thursday morning, “To be clear, we have not yet received it,…We are currently reviewing the recent changes to the bill.”

Ohio would be a good market to target for the sports betting industry as Ohio is home to 11.7 million people, which is the seven-month populous state in the United States. If everything goes according to plan, residents across the state will be allowed to bet in kiosks and outside the casino through smartphones or other devices like bowling alleys, bars, and restaurants.

The issue to those who oppose it is that giving the keys to the Casino Control Commission in charge of most sports betting over the Ohio Lottery will take away funding from places that need it the most. John Cranley, who is a Democrat running for governor, believes that Dewine should veto the sports betting bill.

He went on to say, “By putting the Casino Control Commission in charge of most sports betting, the bill seeks to steal money guaranteed to public education under the Ohio Constitution. DeWine should order the Ohio Lottery Commission to immediately authorize sports betting. Just because the House always wins doesn’t mean public schools should always lose.”

Under the bill, the blueprint shows that 98 percent of the money will go to K-12 public and private education. Cranley has been a big supporter of school choice in the state.

Lawmakers Heavily Support the Sports Betting Bill

The 288-page bill consisted of fifty amendments that were unanimously passed on Wednesday in the conference committee led by state Rep. Jay Edwards. The Senate approved the bill 31-1, and the House followed with a 72-12 vote. The governor’s legal team will have ten days to review the bill before the deadline.

Sports betting is operating in thirty states, including neighboring states like Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 25 Class A licenses will go to applicants such as professional sports teams and to casinos and racinos that would be allowed to extend a partnership with bookmakers. The online operator that could enter the state has not been identified at this moment.

The bill also includes 42 Class B licenses, sports teams, and Ohio casinos and racinos to operate on-site, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks for people who want to place a bet in person. Class C licenses will include bars, restaurants, bowling alleys that have liquor licenses.

Sports betting is expected to have a huge market in Ohio as it is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, and many other teams.

With a few weeks left to close out the year, casinos and racinos throughout the state have already set a betting revenue record of $2.11 billion. The previous record was set in 2019 where the gaming facilities hit a revenue of $120 million.

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