COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Wanna bet? Ohio is now one step closer to having legalized sports gambling. This afternoon the state House passed a bill that would legalize and regulate sports betting to take place at casinos and racinos in the Buckeye State.

The House Bill passed by a final vote of 83-10. It now moves into negotiations with the state’s Senate. The Senate already possesses its own sports gambling bill. If the bill passes, Governor Mike DeWine will then have the final say. The bill could be passed through by the end of the year.

While legislation has been in the works for months, today is the most significant step to date on getting sports gambling legalized. Since the national ban on sports gaming was eliminated in 2018, numerous states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia have all taken measures to legalize sports gambling.

Unlike states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where sports gambling can be done legally online through websites connected to casino’s sports books, the houses proposal would just allow onsite sports betting for the time being.

Meanwhile, the Senate’s sports gambling proposal would put the state’s lottery commission in charge of overseeing sports betting, as opposed to the casino commission.

Legalizing sports gambling could bring in extra money that the state needs due to the economic struggles created from COVID-19. However, the current health pandemic could prolong the entire process of getting the bill passed.