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Huffman says lawmakers could have sports betting deal soon

 Fans enjoy a Cleveland Browns home game inside First Energy Stadium.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Fans enjoy a Cleveland Browns home game inside First Energy Stadium. Sports betting in Ohio is moving closer to becoming legal as state lawmakers work to come to an agreement on a bill.

While the newest legislation on sports betting has been one of the most talked about measures on Capitol Square, the possibility of a compromise is still in question.

Competing measures in the House and Senate would allow people to bet on sports in Ohio. But there are many interested parties involved and that means a lot of money in the budding industry.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says Senate and House leaders are working to iron out a deal.

"There are really one or two big issues which I think are fairly clear and fairly understandable, and I am optimistic," Huffman said.

A big part of the debate is centered on which establishments are allowed to host gambling. Ohio's professional sports teams and the casinos are making a play at being some of the first in to be licensed. But other venues, such as bowling centers, want what they call a "piece of the pie."

The recent proposal introduced before the summer recess would allow up to 25 licenses to host betting on mobile devices and 40 for brick-and-mortar establishments. With another license type for self-service kiosks.

Huffman says he'd like to see movement on the bill in the next week or so.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.