DeWine: Sports betting is coming, so let’s get in front of ballot issue

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine believes sports betting is coming to Ohio and counsels the General Assembly to get out in front of a potential ballot issue.

“I’m not a fan of gambling, but sports gaming is clearly coming to Ohio,” Attorney General DeWine told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “We need to do it the right way and not let any special interests go the ballot and determine how it’s going to be regulated and where the money is going to go.”

A story in The Columbus Dispatch on Monday accurately quoted a DeWine campaign spokesman as saying the candidate opposed the expansion of gambling, including sports betting, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruing that held states could authorize sports gaming. However, campaign manager Dave Luketic, said Tuesday evening he approved the information given to The Dispatch without checking with DeWine, who then called to clarify his position.

“This is something the legislature should take action on,” DeWine said. “If they don’t, the special interests are going to put it on the ballot and it’s going to be done the right way.” He declined to identify “special interests,” but Ohio casino operators are interested in adding sports betting.

DeWine’s gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Richard Cordray, would consider supporting legislation to legalize sports betting in Ohio to ensure proper regulation and “generate revenue to invest in our communities.”

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