Major Ohio Sports Betting Bill Expected Thursday

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Ohio State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R) said this morning his long-anticipated bill, which, if passed, would open the Buckeye State to sports betting, will be unveiled Thursday. 

Schuring, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming, said during an interview with News Talk Radio 1450 AM in Canton, he is just putting the finishing touches on the bill. 

“When we introduce it we aren’t saying it’s perfect,” he said, noting as it stands right now it’s 250 pages long. 

“We’re saying OK, let’s have hearings. Let’s have interested parties come in. We want to make sure it’s written correctly.”

The bill will be announced during a formal press conference, he said.

“It’s coming,” Schuring added. 

What Issues Could Be On The Table With Sports Betting In Ohio

The state has four casinos and seven racinos. They are administered differently, with the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulating the traditional casinos, while the state lottery has oversight of the racinos.

The issue of sports betting in the state was held up in 2020 with debate over which entity would administer the program.  

The select committee was unveiled earlier this year with the sole task of crafting legislation. Governor Mike DeWine (R) has indicated he is anxious to sign a bill, arguing sports betting is already taking place but Ohio isn’t seeing any benefit from it. 

The major casinos want to see control fall under the control commission, while some small business owners want the lottery to be in charge so they can get in on the action.

“All we are asking for is 5% of the pie,” David Corey, executive vice president of the Bowling Centers Association of Ohio, said in an interview with Gaming Today last week, estimating how much would be left once the big casinos and other players took their cuts.

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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