Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof doesn’t believe that sports betting will become legal in Ohio in 2018. He has indicated that SB 316 and HB 714, placeholder bills for legalized sports gambling, will not go to committee until after the November elections. Obhof is also not so sure the legislature has the authority to legalize sports betting and that a Constitutional amendment may be required.
To that extent, OpenOhio is looking into the possibility of such an amendment in 2019. They are planning on a 2019 ballot issue that would allow sports betting in hundreds of establishments, such as bars and bowling alleys, across the state.
Critics are dissatisfied that Ohio is not being more proactive on the issue, pointing out that Ohio was in the same boat regarding casino gambling. Several states bordering Ohio already had casino gambling in place by the time Ohio’s casinos opened in 2012. By the end of 2018, every state bordering Ohio will have legislation in the works to legalize sports gambling.