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Ohio could pass sports betting bill by end of year; would go into effect by 2023

According to Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring, the state's Senate and House of Representatives have reached an agreement on a sports betting bill.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

It's been more than three years since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a national ban on sports gambling, paving the way for the legalization of sports betting in states across the country. Yet despite having had the ability to do so since 2018, Ohio is one of 19 states that has yet to pass such legislation.

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It appears, however, that could soon change.

Appearing on 1480 WHBC on Monday, Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson Township) revealed that the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives have reached an agreement on a potential sports betting bill, which has been rolled into House Bill 29. According to Schuring, the bill could be voted on as soon as this week and if approved, could be signed into law by the end of the month.

"We have an agreement on sports gaming," Schuring told Pam Cook. "I expect the conference committee to meet this week and for the conference report to be approved and then it will go to the House and Senate floors this week. We've got everything staged up. I can't get into the details because we've got the concepts worked out and now we're working with the legislative service commission to make sure they're in the legal form they need to be.

In that regard, Schuring warned: "Sometimes it's not as easy as it might sound."

Schuring's comments come just days after Ohio Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) revealed that Ohio legislative leaders had reached a "conceptual agreement" on sports gambling legislation, according to Andy Chow of Ohio Public Radio's Statehouse News Bureau. If passed this month, the bill would make sports betting legal in the Buckeye State no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

Should Ohio ultimately pass legislation to legalize sports betting, it would bring an end to a years' long journey that has seen different bills passed in the House and Senate that never came to fruition. Asked earlier this year about the possibility of Ohio legalizing sports gambling -- just as bordering states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia have -- Gov. Mike DeWine said that it was a matter of not "if," but "when."

"Sports gaming's already in Ohio. Ohio's just not regulating it," DeWine said. "This is something that I think is inevitable. It's coming to Ohio."

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