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State Sen. Joe Schiavoni Wants to Devote Sports Betting Revenue to Local Schools, Infrastructure

photo of the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park
State Sen. Schiavoni says the two big questions surrounding sports betting are where to have it and how the tax revenue will be distributed.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni says he’ll introduce legislation to legalize sports betting in Ohio, just days after the major party gubernatorial candidates discussed the idea.

Schiavoni – a Democrat – says Ohio should legalize sports betting to fund schools and infrastructure projects. He says he’s already had discussions with some Republican senators about the idea in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision giving states the authority to legalize sports betting.

“I also talked to some of the casino owners and operators about the nuts and bolts of this -- whether or not it’s just going to be in-person betting, whether or not you’re going to be able to download an app. There’s some different things that you can look at.”

Democrat Rich Cordray, running for governor, said he would support some kind of legalized sports betting. His opponent, Republican Mike DeWine, urged state lawmakers to address the issue before it’s decided by a ballot initiative being proposed by a Northeast Ohio developer.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.