Key Issues Keep Ohio Sports Betting Bill from Moving Forward

  • OH Sports Betting: Sen. Kirk Schuring told WHBC 1480, “We’re still not there yet.”
  • Mobile Sports Betting Issues and Controlling Commission Debate Key Sticking Points
  • Ohio Legal Sports Betting Launch Most Likely Pushed Back to 2022

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OH Sports Betting: Sen. Kirk Schuring told WHBC 1480, “We’re still not there yet.”

Every Monday, Ohio Senator Kirk Schuring calls into WHBC 1480 and shares whatever updates are available on various state issues and he recently weighed in on the legal sports betting bill (HB 29) that is currently being considered by his fellow lawmakers.

Normally optimistic in his assessments, Sen. Schuring offered a more cautious take on how the debate of legal sports gambling in the Buckeye State is evolving, saying:

Well, we’re making progress. There were some significant compromises made last week that brought us closer to an agreement. However, we’re still not there yet, but we will continue to work on it this week and we want to get this done.

Not good news for industry leaders or Ohio gamblers, and though Schuring considers himself a “tenacious guy” who is confident that he and his fellow lawmakers are “going to get this done,” there are still some key issues to be debated.

Mobile Sports Betting Issues and Controlling Commission Debate Key Sticking Points

As with any new piece of legislation being presented to a large body of lawmakers, there have been many issues to be debated and hammered out with regards to the nuts and bolts of HB 29, and most concerns have already made it through that time-consuming process.

But according to Schuring, one of the major sticking points in approving this sports gambling bill involves the mobile betting portion of the potential market, saying:

When it comes to the operation, the mechanical stuff, I think we’re in general agreement but there are some things we have to work out as far as these online applications. But I think we can get there, I really do. I don’t think it’s something that is impossible. I think we will get there.

Another issue involves deciding whether sports-legal betting in Ohio would be controlled by the Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery Commission, with the former involving “out-of-state gambling interests” and the latter keeping the workings of this lucrative operation closer to home.

Either way, Ohio is running out of time as 2021 edges closer to its closing days.

Ohio Legal Sports Betting Launch Most Likely Pushed Back to 2022

In Ohio, the legislature runs through Dec. 31, so technically HB 29 could still be passed this year, but even if that were to happen, Sen. Schuring has already made it clear that Ohio sports betting would start no earlier than April 30 of next year.

But despite that caution, Schuring has sounded generally optimistic at times, as he did when describing this tedious process:

We’re getting closer, and I can’t get into the details. These are negotiations that are being done and you gotta do it in a way, because there’s a lot of moving parts, and when I say there were certain compromises then you’ve gotta test the waters with the other interested parties so it’s a Rubik’s cube if you will.

For now, Ohio bettors will have to find other ways to facilitate their NFL action, and their lawmakers realize those millions of dollars will be spent elsewhere, all part of the cost of delaying this inevitable piece of the state’s gambling future.

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]