Buckeyes Want a Ban on Betting on Ohio College Teams
Posted on: October 21, 2019, 09:00h.
Last updated on: October 21, 2019, 11:50h.
With Ohio moving closer to approving sports wagering, the state’s largest university is pressing lawmakers there to ban bets on college athletics.
That includes no action on the Ohio State Buckeyes, a perennial college football power and the state’s lone university in a Power 5 conference. Officials from the school, located in the state capital of Columbus, support prohibiting wagers on amateur athletic competitions.
Ohio State is opposed to collegiate sports wagering in the state of Ohio,” a university spokesperson said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch.
That sentiment is echoed by the Inter-University Council, a group that represents Ohio’s 14 public universities.
“It would not take a great leap of logic to conclude the risk of student athletes soliciting and accepting payments in order to influence the outcome of games may increase,” Council President Bruce Johnson said in recent testimony on the issue, reports the Dispatch.
Forbidding action on the state’s college teams could have a wide-ranging impact in Ohio because of the sheer number of Division I football and men’s basketball teams located there. In addition to Ohio State of the Big 10, Cincinnati of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) is often a solid football and men’s basketball program.
Beyond that, six of 12 schools in the Mid American Conference (MAC) – Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami, Ohio and Toledo – are located in the Buckeye State.
Earlier this year, state Reps. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) pitched legislation that would allow Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos to offer sports wagering, which would be managed by the Ohio Lottery Commission.
That bill mandates that a Sports Gaming Advisory Board be created, but doesn’t contain specific language regarding the prohibition of bets on amateur athletics.
House Bill 194, the legislation sponsored by Greenspan and Kelly, is one of two sports betting proposals being mulled by Ohio lawmakers, and has already been under the microscope in six different hearings. The Greenspan/Kelly bill would put the Lottery Commission in control of sports betting in Ohio, but competing legislation in the state senate proposes having the Ohio Casino Commission regulate sports betting there.
Ohio State’s support for not allowing bets on college games isn’t unheard of. The Oregon Lottery’s recently launched “Scoreboard” sports betting mobile app won’t take bets on Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers contests. But gamblers there wishing to bet on college games can do so at the Chinook Winds Casino, a tribal gaming venue.
New Jersey and New York are among the other states where sports betting is permitted, but wagering on college games is not. Illinois is expected to follow suit, preventing action on Ohio State’s Big 10 rivals Illinois and Northwestern, among other schools, when sports wagering goes live there next year.
In other states, some colleges have taken the matter into their own hands. For example, Purdue University, a Big 10 school located in Indiana, recently said it won’t allow students and staff there to bet on the school’s games.