How would the system work?
Antani is not sure. He said presumably people would be able to place bets on the outcome of professional sports games including the Reds, Indians, Bengals and Browns. Where those bets would be placed remains a controversial issue.
A sampling of local taxpayers turned up several ideas. Some, like Tim Lawson, Dayton, said they prefer the wagering be done in casinos and racinos where oversight already is in place from the state's Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery. "That makes sense. A controlled environment. Control it the best way you can," Lawson said. Others favor treating sports betting like the lottery and Keno that can be played in a bar or restaurant. Either way, said Dionte Davis, Dayton, sports betting would quickly become very popular, especially among sports fans. "All the time people will make it their favorite hobby," Davis said.
Antani said wagering might be permitted on individual outcomes within a game. In baseball, for example, Antani said there could be a different wager for every batter at the plate. "Is this a single, double, triple or a homer? Does the pitcher pitch a fastball, curveball or slider? In a football game, before every play, you could put a one dollar bet down on is a run or a pass?" Antani said.
The location for wagering and exactly what could be bet on would be determined by lawmakers if Eklund and Antani prevail. They both mentioned at least one citizens group wants to put the issue on the ballot in 2019. Discussion of the issue was initiated when a US Supreme Court ruling in May opened the door to legal sports wagering if it is approved by each state.
Eklund said he hopes to begin hearings on the issue in the fall with formation of a plan and additional hearings next year.