Lawmakers moving forward on sports betting in Ohio, concerns are raised

Ohio lawmakers are beginning the process of officially legalizing sports gambling with the introduction of two bills at the Statehouse.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1992 ban on commercial sports betting, opening the door for states to develop their own rules on whether to allow the practice and how to regulate it. 

All of the major sports have teams represented in Ohio, and structured gambling on all of them is likely to be coming in the future, according to state lawmakers.

“There are no preconceived notions as to what that pathway may look like, nor is there a timeline,” said State Representative David Greenspan, the sponsor of one of the bills currently introduced at the Statehouse. 

According to the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio’s Executive Director Derek Longmeier, while sports gambling was still considered illegal, statistics showed that 18- to 25-year-old men were the group at the highest risk of developing problems.

Those statistics line up with what some say could be a major issue moving forward.

“I think for 18-year-olds, you’re opening a can of worms because it’s the first time that they’re coming to college. It’s like having a credit card, you know, it’s tough to have the checks and balances, and as a parent, I would be petrified to have to deal with that. As a coach, it very much scares me,” said Dixie Jeffers, the head coach of Capital University’s Women’s basketball team.

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