Ohio Sports Betting Date Set
June 2, 2022
After Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed sports betting legislation (HB 29) in March of this year, there was immediate conjecture about when retail and online sports betting might go live for the state's residents. There were hopes that the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) might be able to get the sports betting windows open by the time the Ohio State/Michigan game (Nov. 26) rolled around.
The issue has finally been settled. The OCCC has established a starting date of January 1, 2023. That date is in line with the "drop-dead" date that was established by the language of HB 29. While Ohio State Buckeyes fans will have to wait until next to wager on the "big game," there is an excellent chance they can wager on the highly ranked Buckeyes during the Bowl Season in early January.
Note: The College Football National Championship game will be a betting option for Ohio sports bettors. The title game is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in California.
NFL fans and sports bettors will miss a majority of the NFL regular season, but Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns fans/bettors should be able to catch the last week of the NFL season, plus the playoffs. That's great news for defending AFC champion Bengals fans who have a team that looks destined for another trip to the Super Bowl.
Tying Up Loose Ends Related to Ohio's Sports Betting Legislation
During this interim period, while the OCCC was making its decision, there were talks about not allowing Ohio residents to wager on in-state college teams. With the Ohio Buckeyes dominating the Ohio sports scene, those attempts never got traction.
At this time, the OCCC will be focusing on the licensing process. As a reminder, HB 29 authorizes the approval of 40 sports betting licenses (20 mobile, 20 retail). That translates to the Ohio regulatory board having a lot of work to do before the first live bets can be made.
Officials with the OCCC are expecting upwards of 3,000 applications from retail/online bookmakers that will be trying to secure one of the state's sports betting skins. To be clear, Ohio has long been a target state for top U.S. sports betting operators like DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM because of the state's love of college and professional sports.
The deadline for online applications has been set for some time in September with the final version of the online application has been released on June 1, 2022. That means the OCCC can officially start doing its due diligence to cut that 3,000 number down to the elite 40 by the end of September. Those that are chosen will have to pay between $500,000 and $2,500,000 for a three-year licensing fee and agree to pay 10% on all gross gambling revenue.
It's been a long wait for Ohio sports bettors. Unless something unforeseen were to happen, it looks like it's all systems go on January 12, 2023. Stay tuned for application approval information.