States now have the option of legalizing sports betting.
The Supreme Court decided in a six to three vote Monday to change a federal law from 1992 and allow lawmakers decide the fate of gambling in their states, but don’t expect to bet on sports in Ohio in the near future.
Before sports gambling is allowed in Ohio, state lawmakers have some work to do. At this point, the state has zero policies that would allow sports betting.
“What this opens up is the opportunity for Ohio to fashion and craft some sort of legalized system by which sports betting can now take place,” said Rep. John Boccieri, D-59th District
Boccieri said he is for fewer regulations on sports gambling in Ohio but when it comes to college sports, he has some concerns.
“I have serious questions about the undue influence and pressures that could be put on amateur athletes and collegiate players. So any bill, any legislation that comes from Columbus needs to really focus on those concerns,” Boccieri said.
Boccieri also opposed Senate Bill 356 from the previous 131st General Assembly, which would have banned fantasy sports gambling outright. He also opposes House Bill 132, legislation that would give the Ohio Control Commission jurisdiction in fantasy contests.
Both Ohio Governor John Kasich and Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike DeWine aren’t the biggest fans of sports gambling in the state, while Richard Cordray, the Democrat running for Ohio governor, says he’d consider it.
Pennsylvania is closer to being ready than Ohio. Pennsylvania has already passed a law to allow sports betting.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Board issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’ decision:
The Gaming Expansion legislation, Act 42 of 2017, did specifically authorize Sport Wagering by the Commonwealth’s land-based casinos when a Federal court decision was reached that permits a state to regulate sports wagering. The Board is reviewing the court opinion in its entirety to properly understand the full opinion.
The Pennsylvania legislature saw Sports Wagering as a key element of overallgamingexpansion, and took the initiative prior to this decision to authorize Sports Wagering which does provide some guidelines on implementation. The next step for Pennsylvania would be for our staff to draft appropriate regulations and seek approval of those regulations by the Board. At this time, we cannot provide a timetable on the completion and approval of these regulations or the launch of Sports Wagering in Pennsylvania.
You also may soon have the option to take the trip south to make bets at Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia.
“It just so happens West Virginia is at the forefront of it. We are going to be one of the few states up and running right away, hopefully in the next few months,” said Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-West Virginia.
27 First News left messages asking officials at Mountaineer Casino how long it would take them to get up and running on sports gambling but we never heard back.