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Advocates for the Historically Marginalized Worry About Effect Sports Gambling Could Have on Their Communities

 NAACP of Ohio President Tom Roberts
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
NAACP of Ohio President Tom Roberts

As Ohio lawmakers consider legalizing sports betting, gambling opponents are sounding the alarm that allowing it would hurt minorities.

Ohio NAACP leader and former state senator Tom Roberts oppose the gambling legislation now under consideration. He says legal sports gambling in other states advertises disproportionately to low-income people.

“You know people of color are preyed upon in these markets and this will continue if gambling is allowed," Roberts says.

Roberts says the business interests that he says benefit from minorities as their customers won’t help when it comes to protecting their voting rights. And he says public schools, which many minority children rely on, would be hurt if sports betting is legalized.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.