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The Ohio Casino Control Commissions Issues First Sports Betting Licenses

September 16, 2022

It has been an arduous few months while the state of Ohio prepares to let its residents start legally wagering on sports. It’s been nine (9) months since the Ohio State legislature passed the required sports betting legislation and sent HB 29 to the desk of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for his signature. He signed the bill on December 8, 2021, putting the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) to work on creating the state’s sports betting infrastructure.

In recent months, the OCCC has been receiving and reviewing sports betting applications from prospective sports betting operators from all over the world. Word has just come down that the Commission has approved and issued its first round of licenses.

Which Retail/Mobile Sports Betting Operators Have Been Given the Green Light?

After several months of intensive review, the OCCC has issued 8 of the 10 retail sports betting licenses (Type A) that were sent to the Commission. The Ohio legislature authorized a total of 40 potential retail sports betting licenses through HB 29. There will also be as many as 25 mobile/online licenses (Type B) issued as well.

The issuance of these retail licenses was confirmed at a meeting on September 7, 2022. The first round of licensees includes:
Three professional sports franchises – Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, and the Columbus Crew,
Four retail casinos – Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley, JACK Cleveland Casino, and JACK Thistledown Racino,
and Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Other retail applications are under consideration and will be brought up at the OCCC’s next scheduled meeting on September 21.

Getting Ready for Opening Day

January 1, 2023, has been designated as the inaugural day of legalized sports betting in the state of Ohio. With their retail licenses now in place, the aforementioned entities can begin the development of their retail sportsbooks, hoping to have them ready in time for the “big” day.

Meanwhile, applications have been pouring in for the state’s 25 mobile/online sports betting licenses. It’s a good bet that all of the aforementioned approved retail operators will be partnering with top U.S. mobile sports betting operators so they can offer both retail and mobile sports betting options. In fact, the following partnerships are already in place:

  • Cleveland Browns – Bally’s Sportsbook
  • Cincinnati Reds – BetMGM
  • Columbus Crew – Tipico
  • The two Hollywood Casinos – Penn Entertainment
  • Muirfield Village Golf Club – Parx Interactive

As a reminder, applicants were asked to pay a Type A license fee of between $500,000 and $2,500,000 with the higher amount being charged to sports franchises. The fee for Type B licenses has been set at $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the type of business that is sponsoring the mobile operator. Each license will be good for five (5) years. All fees are non-refundable with payments required at some point during the five (5) year license period.

In addition to the license fees, retail and mobile sports betting operators will also be required to pay a 10% tax to the state on all gross sports betting revenue


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