One-third of Ohio’s sports betting applicants are at risk of not being licensed in time to launch on Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023, the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced today.
The OCCC is not satisfied with the details it has received regarding ownership details and key employees from 33% of its applicants, said OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler. Sports betting in Ohio is set to launch at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The commission set a new deadline of Oct. 5 for applicants to provide these details or risk being left behind.
“All applicants want to start on time at the same time,” Schuler said. “In order to do that, they all have to keep pace.”
OCCC wants to know who has control of businesses
Ohio is currently working through licensing, background checks, equipment distribution and other steps toward launching online sports betting, retail sportsbooks and betting kiosks throughout the state. Dozens of businesses have applied to operate retail and online sportsbooks, and over 1,300 businesses are already pre-approved to host kiosks.
Ohio’s sports betting law requires applicants to divulge each person with the ability to “control the activities of the corporate applicant or elect a majority of the board of directors.” It also requires a list of anyone that holds a beneficial or proprietary interest in the business.
The commission investigates these applications to determine whether the applicant is suitable.
“This is a foundational aspect for every one of our applicants in order for the commission to entertain giving them a license,” Schuler said.
Schuler: ‘no excuse’ for incomplete applications
Schuler demonstrated frustration about the current state of the applications. He presented slides showing how many times applicants had received instructions and details on what information the commission needs and when.
“We do not have the time or the resources to carry anyone across the finish line,” Schuler said. “They have to be capable of doing the very minimal requirements set forth by the General Assembly.”
Schuler made it clear that some applicants are at risk of missing the universal start date. He did not say which applicants are falling behind. The commission wants the applicants to file the necessary information by Oct. 5.
“There is no excuse for these not coming in,” Schuler said. “And, by the way, if they don’t and just to make this crystal clear for everybody: If they do not meet this deadline, they are disqualified from guaranteed consideration for universal start date.”
The Ohio Casino Control Commission will next meet on Sept. 21.
First retail sportsbooks and 300 new kiosk applications approved
Despite the hiccups, the commission was able to make progress on licensing. It approved the first group of retail sportsbooks and 300 new applications to host sports betting kiosks.
Commissioners gave their stamp of approval to eight retail sportsbooks coming to Ohio. Each was also approved for a license to host an online sportsbook.
- Cleveland Browns
- Columbus Crew
- Muirfield Village Golf Club
- Cincinnati Reds
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
- Jack Cleveland Casino
- Jack Thistledown Racino
The commission did not approve or deny applications for the Cincinnati Bengals, which has only applied to host a sports betting app, and FC Cincinnati, which applied for both retail and online. Commissioners voted to take up their applications at a later date.
The commission also approved 300 new kiosk host applications, bringing the total list of approved kiosk hosts to 500. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,300 locations to add the devices.