Ohio Lawmakers

  • The latest Senate Select Committee on Gaming hearing in Ohio to discuss the sports betting bill again ended without a clear direction for the bill.
  • Lawmakers failed to find common ground, pushing the bill to another later date.
  • The deadline for the final regulations is June 30.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sports betting in Ohio continues to remain stagnant as lawmakers end another Senate Select Committee on Gaming hearing without coming to an agreement on the bill.

The Casino Control Commission is working to expand gambling in the state and bring Ohio sports betting to the lawbooks with SB 176.

The sports betting bill has not finished declaring the final regulations and opponents spent the last hearing debating to no common ground. The bill’s main sponsor Niraj Antani has vowed to have the bill complete by the June 30 deadline.

The core issue supporters of the bill are facing is license eligibility. Stakeholders are divided on how many licenses would be allowed and which operations would be able to apply.

The current state of the SB 176 would allow 20 online sportsbooks and 11 retail operations at the 11 casinos and racetracks in Ohio.

While the bill continues to be debated in the session, gaming companies like MGM, Penn National, and Churchill Downs have been curating partnerships with Ohio casinos in order to gain a foothold in the state for when regulated sports betting eventually launches.

In addition to sports betting operators, major leagues and teams have been lobbying for the sports betting bill.

This most recent committee hearing saw Kyle Ross, the director of the Women’s Tennis Association 250 Tennis tournament give a written testimony encouraging lawmakers to complete the bill.

The tournament would be held in Cleveland from August 22-28. Ross would like the have sports betting as an active market in time for the tournament.

This isn’t strange to Ohio, as the previous session saw representatives for the PGA Tour send written testimony in hopes to have the sports betting launch by June 3 in time for the Memorial Tournament in Dublin.

Support from major leagues and sports betting entities already working to gain footing continues to motivate lawmakers to successfully complete the bill.

The date for the next hearing has not yet been set.

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