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Huffman says lawmakers could have sports betting deal soon

Fans enjoy a Cleveland Browns home game inside First Energy Stadium.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Fans enjoy a Cleveland Browns home game inside First Energy Stadium.

The House and Senate have been working for more than two years on legalizing the new gambling industry.

While the newest legislation on sports betting has been one of the most talked about measures on Capitol Square, the possibility of a compromise is still in question.

Competing measures in the House and Senate would allow people to bet on sports in Ohio. But there are many interested parties involved, and that means a lot of money in the budding industry.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says they're working with House leaders to iron out a deal.

"There are really one or two big issues which I think are fairly clear and fairly understandable and I am optimistic," says Huffman.

A big part of the debate is centered on which establishments are allowed to host gambling. Ohio's professional sports teams and the casinos are making a play at being some of the first in to be licensed. But other venues, such as bowling centers, want what they call a "piece of the pie.

The recent proposal introduced before the summer recess would allow up to 25 licenses to host betting on mobile devices and 40 for brick-and-mortar establishments. With another license type for self-service kiosks.

Huffman says he'd like to see movement on the bill in the next week or so.

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