Ohio Sports Betting Bill Delayed Until at Least the Fall of 2021

  • Ohio Legalized Sports Betting Won’t be Passed Until at Least the Fall of 2021
  • Changes to Ohio’s Proposed Sports Betting Bill Caused Delays
  • No Timeline Set After Changes to Ohio Sports Betting Bill

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Ohio Legalized Sports Betting Won’t be Passed Until at Least the Fall of 2021

The original goal of sending an Ohio sports betting bill to Governor Mike DeWine for his signature by June 30 will not be met despite the promise made last month by State Sen. Niraj Antani at one of the many committee hearings that have been held.

At the time, Antani told a constituent:

I will commit to you that if this isn’t done by June 30, you can come into my office and yell at me.

Cue the yelling.

After holding as many as 15 hearings starting back in February, a bill was not introduced to the state Senate until the middle of May and only passed out of committee on June 15 after a 30-2 vote in favor of the legislation.

Now the bill is undergoing multiple changes.

Changes to Ohio’s Proposed Sports Betting Bill Caused Delays

Once the proposed sports betting bill had passed through the Senate and moved on to the House, lawmakers in the lower chamber began to make fundamental changes to it that have caused many policymakers to pause the process.

These new shifts in policy allow for more licenses for counties like Cuyahoga, changes that would open up sports betting to the Buckeye state’s casinos and racinos, entities which were in danger of being shut out with the bill’s prior phrasing.

Now Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp appears to be in no rush to get this bill passed and has expressed his desire to set up his own committee to debate the various aspects of this ever-changing sports betting bill.

According to industry analyst Jeff Edelstein, the main concern shared by members of the House was that casinos were being “bounced out of being able to get a brick-and-mortar sportsbook,” with changes being made to put the casinos on equal footing with the state’s sports teams.

No Timeline Set After Changes to Ohio Sports Betting Bill

Had the bill been passed this prior session, it would have taken until at least April 2022 to get the licensing process completed with a full launch expected to happen soon after, but now that date looks impossible to meet.

With more changes to the bill expected over the summer – like whether sports teams would get preferential treatment over casinos and racinos and the number of mobile sports betting skins allowed for license holders – it becomes anyone’s guess as to when the language of the bill will be finalized and voted on by Ohio’s Senate.

Rep. Brigid Kelly, who is the only remaining sponsor of the prior year’s proposed legislation, told the local media:

There is a lot to unpack in this bill and we should take the time and careful consideration to do it, so I also urge a no vote to non-concur on the Senate amendments.

The good news for Ohio punters is that earlier this year Gov. DeWine told the media that legalized sports betting in Ohio was “inevitable,” a sign that it’s a matter of when, not if, the bill will eventually pass.

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Mike Lukas

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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]