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Bill Proposed to Legalize Sports Gambling in Ohio

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A U.S. Supreme Court decision allows states to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

Two state representatives have introduced a bill to legalize and regulate sports gambling, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has said states can do that. If it passes, sports betting would be limited at first, but could someday be offered in surprising venues.

The bill would create a 10 percent tax on sports betting, and the Ohio Lottery would run it in the state’s four casinos and seven racinos, along with fraternal and veterans’ organizations that meet certain criteria. And Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) says a lot of businesses are interested in joining the team eventually.

“There are bars and restaurants that would like it there. There are a whole host of other organizations – we’ve even been outreached by some grocery store chains that want to offer sports gaming in their facility.”

Proceeds from that tax will go to the state’s problem gambling fund and to education. Greenspan and Democratic sponsor Brigid Kelly of Cincinnati say it could bring $30 million a year to schools, and that could double once the federal court system rules on mobile and online sports betting.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.