Plan for Sports Wagering in Ohio
“(Gov. Mike DeWine) does believe that sports betting is coming and it’s important to do this through the legislative process,” said press secretary Dan Tierney, according to Legal Sports Report.
DeWine is probably right, but his reason for wanting to get lawmakers involved, according to Tierney, is telling. DeWine wants lawmakers to pass a sports betting bill before the 2020 election, because he is worried about what the process might look like, should it be dictated by voters through a ballot initiative, instead.
Ohio’s governor believes voters are too easily swayed by special interest groups.
“What we often see in Ohio is third parties with a vested interest putting forward a ballot initiative with sweetheart language or language very beneficial to their industry. The legislature is in the best position to put forth neutral public policy, so the governor wants the legislature to do it as opposed to someone trying to establish regulations from a ballot process that tends to benefit special interests,” Tierney told Legal Sports Report.
But, while it is laughable to pretend lawmakers are any less swayed by the sweetheart language of special interest groups than ordinary Ohioans might be, DeWine is probably correct that sports betting is coming to the Buckeye State, one way or another.
If DeWine and lawmakers really do want to make sure they put the official government/bureaucratic stamp on sports betting in Ohio, there are multiple issues to sort out. The sooner state officials begin doing that, the sooner Ohio can join the 13 other states, including West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana, that already permit wagers to be placed on athletic contests.