Ohio Senate President Expects Sports Betting Measure to Start Moving

Ohio’s House and Senate have been going to and fro for over two years now trying to figure out a framework for the sports gambling industry. Two measures have been submitted to state legislators to discuss on Capitol Square this year, and they both seem to offer their own interpretation of what a regulated gambling market in Ohio ought to look like. 

Working out a Solution for Ohio’s Sports Betting 

According to Senate president Matt Huffman, things are looking up, as he and fellow lawmakers have been able to identify “one or two big issues,” which can now be approached with understanding, he argues. Huffman is confident that a piece of legislation pitched before the summer recess might get some action following the summer recess.

Under the various proposals put forward, Ohio could have seen anything up to 65 licenses to be issued in the state. That is the proposal that is most likely to move forward as well. The measure would allow up to 25 license holders to offer interactive wagering, while 40 additional establishments will add in-person betting only. 

Ohio doesn’t lack stakeholders who would be interested in securing a bigger market share of the total. Professional sports franchises and casinos are trying to be allowed to obtain a sports gambling license under any future regulatory framework. 

Yet, they are not the only ones clamoring for the right. Bowling centers are similarly interested in hosting sports gambling, calling it a “piece of the pie.” 

Ohio Has Plenty of Time to Pass Sports Betting 

The good news is that there seems to be sufficient legislative momentum to allow the realization of a fully-fledged sports betting framework. Not only that, but the state’s legislative session runs through December 31, offering lawmakers ample wiggle room to deliver on a finalized sports betting framework.

HB 29, which is the discussed measure, seems to be fairly appealing to the pro-betting camps in the state’s legislature. However, Huffman warns that there is some heavy-lifting to do. 

As minutiae are being discussed, companies are already seeking market access, as Ohio will be legalizing its sports betting industry sooner or later. BetMGM has introduced a dedicated horse racing app to introduce state residents to its brand and offer. In September, MaximBet garnered market access in the Buckeye State, as the sportsbook is clearly anticipating a launch before long.

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