Group wants to extend Ohio sports betting to bars, restaurants

Local News

A new group has been formed to get the sports betting issue onto the Ohio ballot so hundreds of licenses can be used by establishments statewide — and not just by the few casinos already in existence.

Open Ohio wants the issue on the state’s ballot by November of 2019. It would allow sports wagering at bars, fraternal organizations, restaurants and other entertainment facilities.

Cleveland’s Rick Lertz, leader of Open Ohio, helped write the casino law currently in place. He said sports gambling should be run by just two companies.

“If it goes to sports betting to just the casinos and the racetracks, it’s going to hurt all the sports bars, all the restaurants, hospitality, the fraternals throughout the state. And it’s important it’s brought back to the businesses, rather than to the major casinos.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, who said he was against sports gambling earlier this week, now says the Ohio legislature needs to pass legislation regulating sports betting and let it be determined by a potential ballot issue.

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