State Senator Joe Schiavoni, the boxer from Boardman who ran for Ohio Governor, has just announced that he plans to introduce a bill that will legalize and regulate sports betting in Ohio.
In a statement, Schiavoni said that it makes sense for Ohio to take advantage of sports betting as a revenue stream in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Monday, that legalized the practice.
“As Republicans in our state keep pushing tax cuts, we have to find other ways to provide adequate funding for our local governments and education, both of which have been woefully underfunded,” Schiavoni said, noting that school districts across the state now received roughly $400 million less per year than what they received before the recession.
Current revenue generated by casinos and racinos in Ohio goes, in large part, to local governments and school districts. In Cleveland, a portion of casino revenue goes to a city council pot that councilmembers can use for projects in their wards. (Surveillance cameras were largely funded with casino dollars.)
Said Schaivoni: "Our local communities don’t have the budgets to fill pothole-riddled streets, and schools are either forced to cut essential programs or put levies on the ballot. This bill will help address some of these funding issues... It’s my goal that this will result in a strong, bipartisan proposal that will be ready for the legislature to take up in the fall.”
Schiavoni came in third in last week's Democratic gubernatorial primary, trailing victor Richard Cordray and Dennis Kucinich. Schiavoni has since endorsed Cordray.