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Gambling CEO Discusses Ohio's Possible Future in Sports Betting

picture of the inside of a casino
OHIO CASINO CONTROL COMMISSION

Analysts following sports betting say it very likely will come to Ohio, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized it across the country. The main questions are “when” and “where." The state’s established gambling institutions are already lobbying for what they want.

About $5 billion is bet on sports in Las Vegas every year, but that’s only about 3 percent of the amount that’s wagered illegally. 

The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association says sports betting isn’t a big money maker for casinos. But he says it’s a great way to bring in customers. And Jeff Freeman says he hopes Ohio will allow sports betting only in the state’s already established gaming venues.

“The casino gaming companies, the racinos – they’re already existing investments here.  I think that’s a good outlet to begin with sports betting, and then consider other opportunities down the road,” he said.

A longtime advocate of expanding gambling says he’s working on a ballot issue that would permit sports betting in bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and other places.