The General Assembly is likely to legalize sports betting in Ohio -- not because it’s something Ohio really needs or lawmakers want.
Rather, as was true with medical marijuana, it’s something too many Ohioans can be convinced they should have via a costly referendum campaign that won’t do what’s needed to safeguard the state’s interests.
Without appropriate safeguards, for instance, sports wagering is more likely to corrupt athletics -- and cheat Ohioans. And with neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia already having legalized sports betting, one inevitable pro-sports-betting argument at the Statehouse will be that Ohio will lose revenue to its neighbors unless it does the same.
Either way, far better that legislators write a plan after careful analysis and hearings, than to have sports betting foisted on Ohioans via a special-interest ballot issue.