Ohio Senate passes bills to permit legalized sports betting, give college athletes profiting rights

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In this Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, customers watch an NFL game in a sports betting lounge, in Atlantic City, N.J.

COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — The Ohio Senate approved separate pieces of legislation Tuesday to bring legalized sports betting to the state and to allow college athletes to profit off of their names, images and likenesses.

The measures now go to the Ohio House for consideration.

The betting proposal would allow it at casinos, betting shops, sports bars, computers, mobile phones and pro sports stadiums.

“This bill will spur economic opportunities for businesses in Ohio,” said Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). “Ohioans want legalized sports betting, and this bill will provide that with a safe expansion of gaming in our state.” 

The legislation also allows for electronic bingo at veteran’s and fraternal organizations overseen by the Ohio Attorney General’s office and sports pool betting run by the Ohio Lottery Commission.

The sports-related measure would let college athletes earn money through endorsements and sponsorship deals based on their names, images and likenesses.

Antani and Ohio State football coach Ryan Day spoke on behalf of the bill for college athletes on Tuesday.

“Student-athletes are now much closer to having restored their right to their own name, image, and likeness,” Antani said Wednesday. “This bill has the potential to significantly change the lives of these student-athletes forever, and I am grateful for my Senate colleagues for passing my bill.”

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