In the last part of Governor DeWine’s COVID-19 press conference, he was asked about sports betting in the state. DeWine has favored sports betting for a long time, and the pandemic made it even more favorable to help the economy recover.
He predicted that sports betting would be legalized in Ohio this year. DeWine responded to the reporter’s sports betting question by stating:
“Sports gaming is already in Ohio. Ohio is just not regulating it. This is something that is, I think, inevitable, and it’s coming to Ohio. The members of the General Assembly are working that process. I will have the opportunity to see what they come up with, and I’ll have the opportunity to weigh in at the appropriate time, but sports gaming is certainly coming to Ohio.”
DeWine’s announcement created a lot of excitement in Ohio because citizens will no longer have to travel to lock in legal sports wagers.
Nearby Legal Sports Betting States
Ohio borders multiple states that have legalized sports betting. These states include Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. Michigan recently legalized online sports betting, and the state legislatures experience massive rewards.
Michigan had launched retail sports betting before mobile sports wagering. Mobile betting caused Michigan to rise drastically in the national sports betting market. Expect Ohio to follow this same trajectory.
Governor DeWine attested to the fact that offshore sports betting is occurring in Ohio. He wants to regulate the form of gambling to yield rewards to help the state recover. There have been past attempts in the Ohio legislature to legalize sports betting.
A bill passed in the Ohio House of Representatives last summer, but it stalled in the Senate. The 2020 presidential election and the pandemic have caused many bills to delay in Ohio’s state government. Ohio has casinos, so gambling is not a taboo subject to discuss in the state.
The Gaming Committee
Ohio formed a gambling committee in January. Senator Matt Huffman, who is a member of the Republican party, announced the committee’s formation. The committee was created to oversee the state’s gambling industry because of legal sports betting’s growth throughout the United States.
Legislators knew that sports betting would inevitably become part of Ohio law, and the committee was a way to prepare for this change.
The Committee Chairman is Senator Kirk Schuring, who has made it clear that he wants to hear multiple sports betting stances to put together the best answer for the state. The sports betting legislation will not be created by the committee before everyone’s voice is heard.
There will be an extensive informational process of research by the committee before any bill is created or passed. The committee is meeting on Wednesday of this week for the fifth information session.
Sportsbook platform leaders have already spoken to the committee in the prior meetings.