Ohio Sports Betting Universal Launch Date to be Revealed on June 1

Posted on: May 19, 2022, 04:55h. 

Last updated on: May 19, 2022, 10:40h.

Ohio officials expect to announce on June 1 when legalized sports betting will start in the state. But on Wednesday, the state’s Casino Control Commission (OCCC) advised that the launch will not occur any time in the near future.

Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Guardians pitcher Shane Bieber prepares to throw a pitch to a Cincinnati Reds batter in an April 12 game at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. On Wednesday, Ohio gaming officials announced that sports betting in the state would not start until closer to Jan. 1, 2023, or well after baseball season ends. (Image: Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports)

The law passed by the Ohio Legislature last December called for sports betting to be up and running by Jan. 1, 2023, and the OCCC believes it will need that much time to get everything in place. In a frequently asked questions document published Wednesday, the Commission said sports betting’s starting date “is likely to be close to, if not exactly on” New Year’s Day.

The reason for that is Ohio plans to allow online wagering apps, retail sportsbooks, and betting kiosks at bars to all start on the same day.

Ohio is undertaking the largest gaming expansion in its history and largest ever simultaneous launch of sports gaming in the United States, with all eligible online applications, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and kiosks in bars and taverns eligible to start on the exact same date,” the OCCC FAQ explained. “If industry estimates are to be believed, this will necessitate detailed due diligence investigations and ensure compliance requirements of approximately 3,000 applications in time for the Universal Start Date.”

The OCCC will oversee the “Type A,” or online sports betting, and “Type B,” or brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. The state will cap licenses at 25 for Type A operators and 40 for Type B. In addition, the location of the physical sportsbooks will be limited to counties meeting certain population or economic criteria.

The Ohio Lottery Commission will administer the “Type C” kiosks at state-licensed bars. Up to 20 sports betting operators can offer kiosks, and there will be no cap on the number of establishments hosting the machines.

Application Window Opens Next Month

While the OCCC will announce when sports betting will begin in Ohio, it’s already announced when applications can be submitted.

Applicants for all three license types can submit their applications on June 15. The same date applies for the proprietors that will partner with the licensed operators.

For the proprietors, Ohio will give preference to the state’s eight major professional sports franchises (like the Cleveland Browns), the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin (which hosts The Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour), the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (which hosts a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race), the state’s four casinos, and its seven racinos.

Some proprietors may be able to partner with additional licensees.

In order to launch on the universal start date, the OCCC said it will need to receive applications by July 15. Also on July 15, the commission will begin accepting applications from bars and taverns wanting to host kiosks, as well as applications from proprietors wanting to partner with a second operator. Those applications would be due a month later.

Licenses will be good for five years. The state will tax sports betting operators at 10% of their gross gaming revenue.

About Ohio Sports Betting

Ohio will be one of the late starters in sports betting. Four of the five states that border the Buckeye State have already legalized sports betting (sorry, Kentucky).

However, as the seventh-largest state by population, with more than 11.7 million people and a state with several die-hard fan bases, Ohio should be able to quickly rise among the ranks of the top wagering markets. Only Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania are sports betting states with larger populations.