Ohioans love to play the lottery, slots, and table games. The state has been playing with the idea of legal sports betting in the state, and now Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says that sports betting will come to Ohio – eventually.

New Gambling Bill Needed

Ohio politicians have been wrestling with the idea of sports gambling since 2018, mainly over the legality of sports betting in the state constitution. Casino gambling was legalized by a constitutional amendment in 2009, but it does not specifically mention sports gambling – a point of contention for lawmakers. Which is why lawmakers have introduced two new gambling bills to address the legality of sportsbooks in Ohio.

Each bill will take a different regulatory approach to the issue of sportsbooks in Ohio. Senate Bill 111 gives oversight duties to the Casino Control Commission, while House Bill 194 gives the duties to the Ohio Lottery. SB111 would allow current land-based casinos and racinos the permission to offer sports betting on-site, online, and by mobile devices. Sportsbooks would be allowed for collegiate sports but not high school sports.

Ohio’s licensed casinos favor SB111 since they are already positioned to offer sportsbooks on-site. According to the Dayton Daily News, Adam Suliman of JACK Entertainment backed Ohio’s licensed casino operators, saying they have the “well-established, rigorous compliance and responsible gaming protocols in place to ensure a safe wagering environment for consumers.”

Key Public Policy Questions

Gov. DeWine said that sports betting is eventually coming to Ohio after state leaders address key public policy questions. They will need to decide how to address gambling addictions and whether bets will be allowed on mobile phones apps and on inter-collegiate sports.

“I have not weighed in on these. I will at some point,” Gov. DeWine said. “Again, these are public policy questions that the public needs to look at and I would encourage anyone in the public who cares about this…to weigh in with their legislators and weigh in with us.”

While some athletic directors of college athletics programs are against collegiate sports betting, state leaders believe that it can be done with proper restrictions. The athletic directors recommend limiting wagers to game outcomes only and prohibiting wagers from athletes and staff. They also want to prevent students from making bets using financial aid money.

Once sports betting is finally legalized in Ohio, they will join 19 other states with legal sportsbooks. The number of states with legal sports betting has increased regularly since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting.


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Jean Carter is from Oakland, California and studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California. After graduation, and pining for a warmer climate, Jean relocated to the Tule Springs suburb of Las Vegas, where she owns and operates her own online jewelry boutique incorporating traditional native American styles with her own unique designs. A true fan of the sophistication and glamor of Las Vegas casino life, Jean is also a freelance blogger specializing in all things suave and fashionable surrounding the casino lifestyle.