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Lawmakers Looking At Dueling Sports Gambling Bills

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Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

Ohio lawmakers have been considering legalizing sports betting ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states are allowed to do that. But there are two very different ideas on how to make that happen.

The bipartisan billfrom state Reps. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) would have sports betting in casinos, racinos and fraternal and veterans’ organizations at first. Under this bill, sports gamlbing would be regulated by the Ohio Lottery, sports gambling could be expanded to bars, stores and other lottery vendors. 

State Sen. John Eklund (R-Munson) introduced a sports betting bill with state Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta), which would name the Casino Control Commission as the regulator, and casinos and racinos as the only locations.

“You would not see sports betting cards in your 7-11 next to the Keno board," Eklund said.

Eklund said there’s a big difference between sports gambling and lottery games – and he’s concerned about underage players and about people who don’t know anything about sports.