Ohio State University is pushing to keep sports betting out of Ohio.

  • Ohio is home to six of the 12 Mid-American Conference Teams and is home to the national college football powerhouse, Ohio State University.
  • There is currently an Ohio sports betting bill in both the State House and Senate.
  • Each state has its own rules when it comes to betting on collegiate sports.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With a sports betting bill sitting in both of Ohio’s legislative chambers, the state’s Inter-University Council has called upon lawmakers to mandate a ban on OH collegiate sports betting.

The Council consists of the state’s 14 public universities, including the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and Ohio State University. Last week, Bruce E. Johnson, president of the Council, testified before a House Committee arguing against legal betting on Ohio’s collegiate sports programs.

“If wagering on collegiate athletics is permitted, it would not take a great leap of logic to conclude the risk of student-athletes soliciting and accepting payments in order to influence the outcome of games may increase,” wrote Johnson.

“While we’d like to believe that our student-athletes are men and women of impeccable integrity, and most are, it would be naïve and irresponsible to simply dismiss or ignore that the temptation to compromise performance or trade on information in exchange for financial gain becomes increasingly real and significant with legalized sports wagering on college athletics. Unfortunately, it is human nature.”

Other states have taken measures to ban betting on home team schools. For example, New Jersey and New York don’t allow betting on college sports teams or collegiate sporting events that are located within their borders.

However, neither of those states have a college football powerhouse like Ohio State University. Betting on the Buckeyes would most certainly make up a sizable portion of the state’s overall betting handle. But, the school has sided with the Inter-University Council on this issue.

“Ohio State is opposed to collegiate sports wagering in the state of Ohio,” said a spokesman of the university in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch.

What Does The Bill Currently Allow?

OH HB 194, is currently sitting in the House Finance Committee. The bill has had a total of seven hearings since it was first introduced in May. Stakeholders of all types in the potential Ohio sports betting industry have spoken on their stance towards the current provisions of the bill.

As it stands now, OH HB 194 would allow legal sports betting inside the state’s four casinos and seven racinos. The bill would also allow for statewide mobile sports wagering so bettors could wager on sports from home. The Ohio Lottery Commission would also be tasked with overseeing the new industry.

Changes could be made to the bill before it is voted on in the Finance Committee and throughout its path through the legislature. The Ohio legislative session ends on December 31 so lawmakers have until the end of the year to decide what provisions should be added or taken out.

In the event that collegiate sports betting remains on the bill, universities could possibly enact their own rules preventing students and staff members from betting on their teams or athletes. Purdue became the first public school to approve of such measures earlier this month.

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