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Place Your Bets …

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. Last year, according to the American Gaming Association, a little less than $7 billion was bet by Americans on the game. Not a dime of that money was spent in Ohio.

In fact, according to legalsportsreport.com, there are 19 states where sports betting is regulated and legal including West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. With the exception of Kentucky, Ohio is surrounded.

It sounds as though lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine would like to do something about that.

“I think we’re real close to getting (sports betting) done,” state Rep. Michele Lapore-Hagan told another media outlet. “We’re missing out on revenue. … it’s just pouring out of Ohio.”

It is not as though the Buckeye State is a stranger to gambling. There are casinos, racetracks and the state lottery. If the thought of encouraging gambling is problematic for some, that ship has sailed.

What’s important now is that lawmakers agree on a well-regulated sports betting industry. Such a plan must be accompanied by a robust educational effort and help program for problem gamblers.

Hagan said she would like to have sports betting legal by fall. That would benefit the state.

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