Sports Betting is Likely Heading for a Ballot in Ohio

May 17, 2018

An advocate says he is aiming for the November 2019 ballot for his proposal.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Ohio lawmakers and the major party candidates for governor are considering the state’s options in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for legalized sports betting. One would-be developer says he won’t wait for officials to act.

Rick Lertzman says his proposal would allow sports betting in hundreds of restaurants, bars, fraternal clubs and entertainment venues. And he’s opposed to sports betting being limited only to Ohio’s four casinos and seven horse-racing tracks, which he calls a “monopolistic” idea. 

Lertzman says he’s aiming for the November 2019 ballot, and he says he’ll still beat state lawmakers to the issue.

“By the time they act on this, every state around us, like we had in 2009, will have sports betting,” he said.

Among Lertzman’s previous ballot efforts was a failed proposal for a casino in Wilmington in 2008, when Penn National spent more than $38 million against the $21 million his group spent.