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Sports fans in Ohio will have to wait until New Year’s Day to place bets on their favorite leagues, even though Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing sports betting in December 2021. It stated that the new industry was scheduled to begin no later than January 1, 2023, but opened the door to an earlier launch.
Industry insiders hoped the licenses would be approved well before that deadline, allowing them to launch Ohio’s first betting apps in the early stages of the 2022 NFL regular season.
That didn’t happen, and Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals fans will now have to wait until Week 17 to bet on their teams. The Ohio Casino Control Board has confirmed that legal sports betting in the state of Buckeye will go live on January 1, the latest possible launch date.
Why couldn’t they put things in place sooner?
Largest simultaneous launch in US sports betting history
The Commission would like to remind everyone that it is preparing for the largest simultaneous launch of legal sports betting in United States history. Most states first rolled out retail sports betting and then gave the green light to online sports betting a few months later.
In some states, the gap was even longer. For example, in neighboring Pennsylvania, retail sports betting parlors opened in November 2018, but the first online sportsbook didn’t launch until May 2019.
Ohio plans to launch online sports betting, physical sports betting and in-person sports betting kiosks in bars and taverns on the same date.
This has never been attempted before by a state the size of Ohio, so it will require a major logistical effort. The Commission said that is why it was unable to meet the January 1, 2023 deadline, which was imposed by Ohio’s sports betting bill.
Ohio Sports Betting Roadmap
Ohio regulators will distribute 25 mobile Type A licenses to professional sports teams, casinos and racinos in the state.
Each of the 25 master licensees can host one skin online. Twenty-one of them can potentially apply for a second skin online, but only if they can demonstrate a clear economic benefit to the state. This means that there could ultimately be 46 online sportsbooks in Ohio. Each online operator will launch a mobile application and a website.
Ohio will also issue 40 Type B retail sports betting licenses, with preference given to professional sports teams. Any business with a liquor license can also apply for a license to host a sports betting kiosk on its premises.
The first window for license applications closed on July 15. A second window will run from July 15 to August 15.
All game plans, equipment testing procedures and geolocation procedures must be submitted to the Commission by November 2. Equipment must then be ready for verification by December 1, with sports betting starting a month later.
A silver lining, though: The Bengals are priced at -135 to qualify for the playoffs and the Browns are at -275. That means Ohio sports bettors might at least be able to back both teams in the playoffs.
Always gamble responsibly. All licensed and legal operators in the United States have resources available to bettors, including instructional guides on how to spot gambling problems, links to support services and tools for self-help. exclude for a defined period of time. Assistance is available at National Problem Gambling Council, 1-800-PLAYER and American Addiction Centers. Be sure to only bet on gambling sites licensed and regulated by your state’s gaming regulator. This ensures that games are fair, bets are honored, customer funds are secure and there are legal protections for the consumer.
Sports betting and gambling are not legal everywhere. Be sure to follow applicable laws where you live.