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Could Ohio Legislators Debate Sports Betting Ahead of March Madness?

photo of Kent State basketball
Sports betting is currently illegal in Ohio but legislation has been introduced to change that.

March Madness is right around the corner and Ohioans will be making brackets to bet on their favorite teams.

Ohio does not have sports betting, but Governor Mike DeWine said that might change soon.

There are two bipartisan bills that would allow sports betting in Ohio but neither have had hearings since November. Still, DeWine said he expects something will pass soon.

“I think sports betting is coming to Ohio. I think the question is, ‘how do we regulate it?’”

The sticking points on the bills include whether the Ohio Lottery or the Casino Control Commission will be in charge, whether betting will be allowed or restricted on college sports and how it will operate online.

DeWine said he wants lawmakers to address security issues if apps are involved, wants concerns of university sports leaders addressed and wants a robust program for treating compulsive gamblers as part of any bill that passes the legislature.