Proposed bill could leave Ohio casinos without sports books

Some Ohio casinos and racinos could be left with losing tickets if the state Senate’s sports betting legislation giving professional teams priority for obtaining a brick-and mortar sports book licenses is ultimately enacted.

Posted: Jun 20, 2021 8:39 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Some Ohio casinos and racinos could be left with losing tickets if the state Senate’s sports betting legislation giving professional teams priority for obtaining a brick-and mortar sports book licenses is ultimately enacted.

The bill was approved Wednesday by the Senate and sent to the House for consideration. It assigns the 30 total sports books to counties based on population. If professional sports teams in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati all decided to apply for licenses, casinos and racinos in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties would be shut out at the sports betting window of opportunity in the Senate’s bill.

Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, for example, has three professional sports teams as well as a downtown casino and a racino in the suburbs.

Dan Reinhard, a senior vice president for the JACK Cleveland casino and a spokesperson for the casino and racino group Get Gaming Right Ohio, said Friday that the Senate bill “disrespects” casino employees.

“An artificial cap that locks out gaming companies in the biggest, most populous counties doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Reinhard said. “We know how to do this. This is the business we’re in. We’re going to work with all parties to make sure this cap is dealt with.”

The original Senate bill introduced in early May excluded casinos and racinos altogether. An “omnibus” amendment added to the bill the day of the Senate vote prescribed the licensing limits and priority status for professional sports teams.

The Ohio Professional Sports Coalition, which represents pro teams throughout and The Memorial Tournament, an annual golf tournament outside Columbus, issued a statement on Thursday that said the Senate bill provides “opportunities for fair market access to Ohio’s pro sports organizations, which produce the games that make sports betting possible.”

Co-sponsor Sen. Niraj Antani, a Miamisburg Republican, in an interview on Thursday was critical of casino organizations in the state.

“The professional sports teams are businesses just like other businesses,” Antani said. “They didn’t force their way into Ohio through a constitutional amendment. Casinos were lobbying very hard, lobbying more than anyone else. If they had their way, they would be the only ones in this bill.”

The professional sports coalition also lobbied for a piece of the action.

Curt Steiner, a spokesperson for the pro sports coalition, said Friday that he could not comment on what individual teams’ or the tournament’s plans are regarding licensing. He pointed to a statement issued in April, before the Senate legislation was introduced, that said coalition members were advocating that each control one retail sportsbook “at or in close proximity to the applicable sports venue.”

The statement also pointed out there are sports books in development at or near sports venues in other states.

The Memorial Tournament would be an odd place to host a sports book considering that the tournament is held once a year at a private club in the upscale Columbus suburb of Dublin.

It is likely the House will seek numerous changes to the Senate version. Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, said the House did not write its own version because it expected to work with the Senate as it wrote the bill, which he said did not occur.

Seitz is unhappy that the Senate version would exclude a casino and racino in Hamilton County, which is entitled to two brick-and mortar “Class B” licenses in the Senate bill, if the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals both applied.

“You are artificially constraining the ability of logical places to get a Class B license with this limit per county,” he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1101185

Reported Deaths: 17557
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1441632231
Lake715041238
Allen65802880
Hamilton50322484
St. Joseph48966643
Elkhart39621543
Vanderburgh34317495
Tippecanoe30336273
Johnson27293465
Hendricks25947380
Porter25171386
Madison20749447
Clark19985277
Vigo18838308
LaPorte16924261
Delaware16480297
Howard16432311
Monroe16415219
Kosciusko13976165
Hancock12899185
Bartholomew12729189
Warrick12051190
Wayne11921267
Floyd11901226
Grant11755240
Morgan10276190
Boone9706121
Noble9094122
Henry9040165
Marshall8932147
Dearborn8866100
Dubois8751139
Shelby8101129
Cass8055127
Lawrence7939184
DeKalb7638107
Jackson752693
Huntington7475110
Gibson7019118
Montgomery6930123
Harrison688298
Knox6855115
Steuben655787
Miami6497109
Whitley644860
Putnam635583
Clinton619877
Wabash6080109
Jasper604992
Jefferson5710103
Ripley550292
Adams533781
Daviess5020117
Scott482880
Wells4733101
White470368
Greene463899
Clay459762
Decatur4548110
Jennings441766
Fayette438494
LaGrange421290
Posey404044
Washington385455
Randolph3834107
Fountain368762
Spencer357347
Fulton356872
Starke349073
Owen347577
Sullivan345754
Orange325571
Jay321950
Rush299632
Carroll290238
Franklin287144
Perry285153
Vermillion281158
Tipton248265
Parke247030
Pike245044
Blackford218744
Pulaski206458
Newton179752
Brown174050
Crawford168129
Benton163917
Martin151719
Switzerland145612
Warren132316
Union118316
Ohio91813
Unassigned0587

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1690217

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1772171827
Cuyahoga1648472640
Hamilton1125391528
Montgomery796451395
Summit705111199
Lucas620241020
Butler56096805
Stark527941171
Lorain41276642
Warren35509412
Mahoning35270771
Lake31622495
Clermont30804363
Delaware26791182
Trumbull26782616
Licking26297336
Medina25419351
Fairfield24256287
Greene24097372
Clark21748387
Portage20807281
Richland20686340
Wood19745246
Allen18638320
Miami17074348
Columbiana16571332
Muskingum16483206
Wayne15482306
Tuscarawas14158360
Marion13116194
Erie12479198
Ashtabula12417232
Scioto12288184
Pickaway12114153
Ross11526225
Hancock11321173
Geauga10726175
Lawrence10531172
Belmont10304234
Huron9633158
Jefferson9504227
Union944075
Sandusky9106166
Seneca8752157
Knox8663170
Washington8632158
Athens828996
Darke8288180
Ashland7873149
Auglaize7794117
Shelby7369133
Defiance7243115
Crawford7129150
Brown7072115
Fulton7058112
Logan6899108
Guernsey684284
Mercer683998
Highland6659119
Madison643889
Clinton6422106
Williams635899
Preble6194140
Putnam6126120
Jackson574096
Champaign570687
Perry561179
Coshocton5576104
Ottawa555499
Morrow509364
Fayette485370
Hardin480699
Gallia465478
Pike460176
Van Wert458993
Adams4531109
Henry426978
Hocking403093
Holmes3947140
Wyandot369373
Carroll354478
Paulding320551
Meigs303459
Monroe233661
Noble218047
Morgan212138
Harrison206953
Vinton184337
Unassigned06
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