A bill that would legalize sports betting in Ohio won’t be passed until at least the next legislative session in the fall.
Last month, SB 176 advanced out of the Senate and moved to the House after a 30-2 vote in favor of the legislation. There were several reports, however, that lawmakers in the lower chamber had plans to make changes to the bill before sending it to Gov. Mike DeWine.
Lawmakers began making changes as recently as last week. Ultimately, the delays from those alterations were enough to miss the June 30 deadline. According to a local Fox affiliate, language in the bill could shut out certain casinos and racinos from obtaining a sports betting license, which is what caused some lawmakers to hesitate on passing the bill in its current form.
Speaker of the House Bob Cupp ultimately killed any chances of passing it when he decided that he wanted to hold hearings on the bill before it went up for a vote. One analyst told a local media outlet that Cupp “is in no rush to get this done.”
While Cupp may have been the driving force behind delaying the process, he did tell the Cincinnati Enquirer that the issue would be a “top priority” this fall. It echoes Gov. Mike DeWine’s sentiment from earlier this year when he said that legalized sports betting in the Buckeye State was “inevitable.”
If the bill was passed this session, sponsors of the bill hoped to have the licensing process completed by April 2022. A launch would’ve came shortly after. Lawmakers don’t have a new timeline with the recent developments.