As the state of Ohio continues to move towards legalizing sports gambling, Ohio State is asking lawmakers to prohibit betting on collegiate athletics – including Buckeye football games, Randy Ludlow of The Columbus Dispatch reports.
House Bill 194 would legalize gambling on both professional and college sports in the state, but an Ohio State spokesperson told The Dispatch that Ohio State "is opposed to collegiate sports wagering in the state of Ohio.”
Representing Ohio's 14 public universities, president of the Inter-University Council Bruce E. Johnson testified against legalized betting on college sports in the state of Ohio earlier this week, expressing concerns that it would damage the integrity of the game.
Randy Ludlow of The Columbus Dispatch:
Sports betting could tempt college athletes could succumb to “human nature” and take payoffs to downgrade their performance, share information on injured players and alter the outcome of games, Johnson testified, noting the NCAA also opposes legal wagering.
“It would not take a great leap of logic to conclude the risk of student athletes soliciting and accepting payments in order influence the outcome of games may increase,” Johnson said.
If gambling on college sports is legalized, universities would need to spend money on expanded regulator and compliance programs to help monitor and help protect athletes, coaches and students from misconduct associated with gambling, he testified.
Of course, lawmakers then had questions about the possible enforcement of such a ban with offshore, online and out-of-state options readily available. One representative even brought up that he, himself had placed a bet in Las Vegas on the Buckeyes winning the national title this season.
As for legalization as a whole, Ohio continues to move towards legalizing sports gambling within the state in some capacity, debating primarily on the best way to implement, regulate and carry out the legalization.
Currently, 18 state have legalized sports gambling after last year's Supreme Court ruling that the federal government could not enforce a national-wide ban of sports gambling on the states.