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For those Ohio sports gamblers still longing to put some money on the surging Cincinnati Bengals or the banged-up Cleveland Browns, you might have to wait until next NFL season the way things are going right now in terms of the legislative process.
On Monday, Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming Chair Kirk Schuring shared a general breakdown of that current process on News-Talk 1480 WHBC in Canton and from the sound of it there is still a ways to go before any Buckeye State sports bets can be placed.
Right now, according to Schuring, the plan in motion involves Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Robert Cupp meeting this week to talk about what the next steps will be between the two chambers that are somewhat at odds as to exactly how this legislation should read.
At this point, the amended bill is in committee meetings and Schuring told 1480 WHBC that he hopes that a conference committee vote can happen soon, maybe in the next week if all goes well, saying:
If we can get this meeting with Speaker Cupp this week, the conference committee should be able to do something as early as next week.
The journey of turning that sports betting bill into law started last summer.
Back on June 18, 2021, Ohio’s Senate overwhelmingly passed the sports betting bill by a vote of 30-2 and it has been pending ever since as it awaits House approval, a step that has been stalled while certain amendments are added to the legislation by committee.
Chairman Schuring made it clear in his interview that if the bill does get a passing vote by the committee, it would need approval by both the Senate and House, and then it would go to Governor Mike DeWine to be signed into law.
Schuring likened this process to a more familiar one, saying it was “very similar to when we are in the final stages of the budget. The ultimate decisions have to be made by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.
Earlier this year, Gov. DeWine told the press that his goal was to sign that bill sometime this year but given all that still must take place, that deadline looks to be in jeopardy at this point.
Assuming the committee agrees to push the bill to a floor vote and then both bodies pass it on to the governor to be signed into law, there is still a 90-day period required in Ohio before it all takes effect.
That means that even if the bill is passed some time in the first week of November, state leaders would still have to put regulatory and oversight processes in place while they accept, review, and approve license applications by potential sportsbooks.
All that means an official launch would most likely not happen until after Super Bowl LVI is played on February 13, which is also after the college football championship is played, frustrating news for Ohio punters ready to gamble.
Keep checking back for the latest news and updates.
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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]More info on Mike Lukas
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