Ohio Senate Majority Floor Leader Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, told members of the Senate about Sports Betting Bill. Select Committee on Gaming last Wednesday that the committee will meet twice more before the end of the month to gather testimony from interested parties.
In April, Schuring said he would reach out to all members to get their feedback. That would coincide with a scheduled two-week break for lawmakers.
“Then, I’ll be conferring with the Senate president after I have a chance to talk to everybody on the committee,” Schuring said. “From that point, we’ll build a bill, we’ll introduce a bill. And when we all come back after the break, we will be discussing a bill.”
Last year, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill by an 83-10 margin. But, the bill died in the Senate, where a competing bill was filed. For this session, legislative leaders formed the committee to gather information on sports betting and other gaming issues, including e-bingo.
Sports fans aren’t the only ones hoping the bill passes. Officials from the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals went to Columbus to talk to Ohio lawmakers about sports betting. Like the Cincinnati Reds did the week before, officials from both teams urged committee members to not exclude the state’s major professional teams from the opportunity.
Ted Tywang, who serves as the vice president and general counsel for the Haslem Sports Group. He said each top-tier professional team, plus the PGA Tour, which holds the Memorial Tournament outside of Columbus, need to have access to sports betting licenses. Those franchises would then create partnerships with eligible sports betting operators.
“This optimal market structure would create robust competition and encourage innovation. While avoiding over-saturation of the market and consumer confusion,” Tywang said.