December 16, 2021 Legal

Ohio Supreme Court shoots down vaccination lottery challenge

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The Court ruled that the group who sued over the Vax-a-Million lottery did not have proper legal standing.

A legal challenge concerning the state of Ohio’s Vax-a-Million vaccine lottery program has failed after the state Supreme Court ruled against it.

With the decision made on Thursday, December 16, 2021, the group was informed its case had no proper legal standing for a high court challenge.

The case, led by Robert Gargasz, an attorney in the Buckeye State who represents those against the vaccine lottery, argued Vax-a-Million was illegal because it spent public funds without legislative approval. Moreover, the case suggested the vaccine lottery was discriminatory because it was only available to those who received the vaccine.

Pioneered by Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio became the first state to offer a vaccine-based lottery. A number of states including California, Louisiana, New York, West Virginia and Maryland all followed suit.

The program provided a number of full-ride scholarships as well as five $1m prizes. Later, the state launched Vax-to-College, which also offered college scholarships.

The case was unanimously thrown out of the state’s Supreme Court, with Justice Sharon Kennedy suggesting the argument had no place in such a high court.

In other news, and as reported by Gaming America, this week saw Ohio lawmakers reach an agreement to allow sports betting as early as April 1, 2022, with DeWine expected to sign the law in the coming days. This will make Ohio the 34th state, the District of Columbia included, to launch the massively popular activity. 

The state is set to start accepting license applications on January 1, 2022.

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