Ohio lawmakers discuss legalizing sports betting

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio lawmakers are looking at legalizing sports betting, followed by Monday's Supreme Court ruling giving states the green light to decide whether to allow or ban it.

"It combines a lot of elements that we all like. Who doesn't like to win? Who doesn't like to make money? Who doesn't like to be right," asked Daily Fantasy Sports player, Jahmal Green.

The potential of sports betting becoming legal on a wider platform is on his radar.

"Depending on what's legislated and what's out there, obviously I would keep it something that's legal, but I would participate. So far, it hasn't done me too poorly," he said.

Lawmakers in Columbus are already discussing possibilities. Senator Bill Coley, Chairman of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, says he'll be meeting with a number of interested parties at the end of the month, including casinos. 

Hollywood Casino has released a statement on the potential change.

"We are pleased with today's decision by the Supreme Court to strike down the federal ban on sports betting, which will let states individually consider allowing its citizens to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner," they said. "Sports betting could be another amenity at our Hollywood properties and help generate additional visitation, as well as drive incremental tax revenue for Ohio.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss legal sports betting with legislators in Columbus and other key stakeholders."

"I think it would be prudent that we act in some fashion, because our surrounding states, West Virginia for one, have been very aggressive," said Senator Coley.

Coley believes that if Ohio does legalize sports betting, running it through some sort of platform would provide protections all around.

"We take care of the anti-money laundering, the problem gaming, the consumer protections, the tax collection," he said.

Senator Coley also said that sports betting probably wouldn't bring in as much as the lottery or casino world, but it would likely be significant cash.

Americans wager an estimated $150 billion in illegal sports bets every year.

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