Amendments for Ohio sports gambling and name, image and likeness legislation added to another bill

The latest attempt to allow Ohio to join the group of states allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness involves amending another bill.

State Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) announced Thursday night the language of his Senate Bill 187 had been added to House Bill 29 as an amendment.

Provisions regarding legalized sports betting in Ohio were also added to HB29, which was then able to move out of the State Senate and is headed back to the House for potential concurrence.

“As the sponsor of sports betting legalization as well as legalization of name, image, likeness ownership for student athletes, I will continue to pursue all avenues to get these legislative initiative done,” Antani said in a statement.

The political maneuvering became necessary when State Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) introduced an amendment to SB187 that would ban transgender girls and women from playing on girls and women’s teams sponsored by Ohio’s high schools and colleges.

The amended bill passed in the House on Thursday afternoon, but reported the Senate would not consider the new version of the bill.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statement regarding the amendment Friday morning.

“This issue is best addressed outside of government through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions,” DeWine said.

House Bill 29 in its original form was proposed to alter the Ohio Revised Code to allow a person who was discharged from the United States Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to obtain an Ohio veterans identification card.

The new version passed unanimously in the Senate on Thursday night.

Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith and football coach Ryan Day spoke in favor of the original Senate Bill 187, and a team spokesman emphasized Thursday night that support did not transfer to the amended version with the transgender sports ban attached.

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