The march to an Ohio sports betting bill slogs on.

State Sen. Kirk Schuring, in his weekly appearance with Pam Cook on 1480 WHBC, said he continues to meet with key members of the House to hammer out the details of a long-awaited Ohio sports betting bill. While he was vague in his details of what work is being done and what remains, he stressed that the Ohio legislature is not responsible for the hold up in the bill.

Legislature not holding up sports betting bill

Schuring did not give specific details on where the bill stands, but said members of the Senate and House were not delaying the bill’s progress.

It’s not the legislature that is impeding us getting this done. It’s the special interests who want to make sure their competitors don’t get an unfair, competitive edge. We’re trying to make peace and harmony among the competitors,” he said. 

“I will remind you that the Senate passed sports gaming unanimously in June, and I think it will pass overwhelmingly in the House.”

It’s a marked turn from his appearance two weeks ago, when Schuring told Cook the sports betting bill would likely be approved “soon.”

He apologized for being so guarded, but said competitors listen to his updates with Cook each week and at times spin his updates to suit their interests.

The competitors listen to this, and they post it. They sometimes say things that are correct, and sometimes say things that are not. We have to be careful, because if we start getting into all the intricacies of all the negotiations, before you know it somebody is running and claiming that something is unfair, or fair, or whatever. I hate to be so guarded, but that’s how sensitive it is,” Schuring said.

If the bill, HB 29, is approved by both bodies and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R), it would have to wait 90 days before it could go into effect. Schuring previously said the Senate will suggest the application start date for sports betting licenses be Feb. 15, 2022, and applications would be approved no later than April 30, 2022.

DeWine, long a proponent of sports betting, will likely sign a sports betting bill into law.

What would legalized Ohio sports betting look like?

HB 29 includes three types of sports betting licenses. Type A licenses include state entities that have the ability to bank a bet, such as the state’s 11 casinos and racinos, and will include online sports betting licenses. Type B licenses will be for future brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Type C licenses allow for sports betting kiosks to be installed in retail establishments with D-class liquor licenses.

The bill allows for 65 total licenses; 25 online sports betting licenses and 40 retail sportsbook licenses.