While Belterra Park is laying off workers, Ohio lawmakers are betting on sports betting to prop up the budget

CINCINNATI – Belterra Park’s parent company told Ohio this week that it may have to lay off more than 300 employees, and the gaming center told WCPO 9 Thursday that without a solid reopening date from Governor Mike DeWine, it’s not safe as many employees are have it exactly will let go.

On the same day that news of the layoffs became known, the Ohio House overwhelmingly passed a sports betting law legalization advocated by a Cincinnati state official.

Rep. Brigid Kelly says it’s time for Ohio to roll the dice for a new form of revenue, especially since neighboring states like Indiana have been making money for years.

“I passed a billboard in downtown Cincinnati that said,” Hey, drive 20 minutes to another state so you can do sports bets, “she told WCPO.

With budget cuts totaling $ 775 million, Ohio could use a cash inflow. Kelly says sports betting could raise millions for education, which is why she co-sponsored House Bill 194 with Rep. Dave Greenspan of Cleveland. More than ever, she believes HB 194 is the one to bet on.

“We want to make sure that if the Ohioans want to play, we do it here and that we keep those resources here,” she said.

After closing in mid-March and with no clear reopening date in sight, Belterra Park’s parent company Boyd Gaming says, “It’s very difficult to predict what the level of business will be when we reopen and how long it will take for companies.” Recover, “adds,” We cannot currently determine exactly how many team members will be called back to work and how many will need to be laid off. ”

That’s less specific than the required notice they gave the state that 20-60% of its employees could be laid off – their best estimate is 361. Belterra employees on leave will receive their benefits through July 31st.

“I think this bill does a couple of things: It requires capital improvements that create jobs. So when casinos / racinos build sports books, jobs are created for them,” Kelly said.

Similar legislation in the Senate, SB 111, would also legalize sports betting. The bills differ in who would oversee the industry. Ultimately, Kelly believes the state in need of economic recovery is ready to do anything.

“I think there will be some really robust talks between the House of Representatives and the Senate and the governor’s office because ultimately we don’t want us not to want people to bet on sports illegally, and we don’t. I don’t want people to legally bet on sports elsewhere when they can do so here in the state of Ohio. “

Cincinnati’s Hard Rock Casino told WCPO Thursday that it had not announced any layoffs.

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