Ohio Sports Betting Bill Misses June Deadlin
On May 6th, the Sports Betting Bill was introduced in the Ohio legislature. Since then, lawmakers had set their target on June 30th to bring sports betting as a reality to Ohio residents.
State Senators like Niraj Antani had been very confident about their June deadline. But after Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp’s intervention, the hopes for meeting the deadline have been dashed.
Cupp wants to hold his own hearings on the sports betting bill. However, Jeff Edelstein, who was lobbying for the sports betting operator Sportshandle, has stated that he believes that Cupp is not going to rush through the hearing process.
He needs to create a special committee and then hold hearings. However, Ohio Senate has also recently been through a three-month-long process of committee hearings, so a new hearing will not likely be started immediately.
Some last-minute changes were made to the sports betting bill last week. First, a few more licenses were added in counties like Cuyahoga to rejuvenate the area’s dying racinos. Then, to make the sports betting bill more likely to be passed quickly, it was added to a bill about veterans ID. But even that bill was temporarily tabled and is still under discussion.
Some other efforts to pacify all apprehensions about the sports betting bill included measures that would put casinos and sports teams on equal ground with regards to getting sportsbook licenses.
Originally the plan had been to get the bill approved by May, start the license application process by Jan 1st next year, and have the licenses issued by April of next year.
But now, the bill’s approval has been pushed back possibly to the September session, and all other expected dates are now out of the window.
Many Ohio residents and sports betting operators are now apprehensive that they will miss out on one more football season due to the delay in the approval of the sports betting bill.