Latest Ohio Sports Betting Application News: Phantom Fireworks Wins Retail Sportsbook License

Written By Danny Cross on June 3, 2022 - Last Updated on June 9, 2023
Ohio Applications Period Window Sportsbooks

Sports betting is live in Ohio as of Jan. 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission licensed the litany of operators that have descended on Ohio’s sports betting market. 

The vast majority of applications for Ohio sports betting licenses are in. Some operators await their retail and online sportsbook licenses — and the majority of the bigger names have already secured their paperwork.

Every professional sports franchise, casino and racino is likely to be licensed in some capacity, along with over two dozen sports betting apps.

In addition, the commission is working through hundreds of applications for Ohio businesses to host sports betting kiosks. As of June 9, a total of 939 businesses have been licensed to add the self-service kiosks.

The commission has also conditionally licensed a geolocation and ID verification services compliance supplier, GeoComply. The Vancouver-based company is the first to receive a geolocation and Know Your Customer (KYC) license in Ohio.

Which operators have applied for Ohio sports betting licenses?

The following entities have applied for online sportsbooks in Ohio. Most will only partner with one online sportsbook, but Type-A proprietors are allowed to apply for a second skin.

PropertyEntityOnline Sportsbook 1st SkinOnline Sportsbook 2nd Skin
Hard Rock Cincinnati Seminole Tribe of FloridaHard Rock
Hollywood ColumbusPenn National GamingBarstoolBetRivers
Hollywood ToledoPenn National GamingDraftKings
Jack ClevelandJack EntertainmentbetJACKWithdrawn: MaximBet was shuttered by its parent company before landing a license.
Belterra ParkBoyd Gaming Corp.FanDuelBetway (Digital Gaming Corporation)
Eldorado Scioto DownsEldorado ResortsCaesars
Hollywood DaytonPenn National Gaming TBD
Hollywood Mahoning ValleyPenn National GamingPointsBet
Jack ThistledownJack EntertainmentWynnBet
MGM Northfield ParkNorthfield Park AssociatesBetMGM
Miami Valley GamingDelaware North Companies MVGbet
Great American BallparkCincinnati RedsUnderdog
Progressive FieldCleveland Guardians bet365 FieldColumbus CrewTipico
TQL StadiumFC CincinnatiSuperBook
Rocket Mortgage FieldhouseCleveland Cavaliers TBD — Fubo Sportsbook initially applied but has since closed.
Paul Brown StadiumCincinnati BengalsBetfred
FirstEnergy StadiumCleveland Browns Bally Bet
Nationwide Arena Columbus Blue JacketsFanatics Prophet Exchange
Muirfield Village Golf ClubMVGC Subsidiary betPARX
Hall of Fame VillageHall of Fame Resort & EntertainmentBetr
SPIRE InstituteGeneva SportsOut the Gate

The following entities have applied for retail sportsbooks in Ohio:

PropertyEntityRetail Sportsbook
Hard Rock CincinnatiSeminole Tribe of FloridaHard Rock Sportsbook
Hollywood ColumbusPenn National GamingBarstool Sportsbook
Hollywood ToledoPenn National GamingBarstool Sportsbook
JACK ClevelandJACK EntertainmentbetJACK
Belterra ParkBoyd Gaming Corp.FanDuel Sportsbook
Eldorado Scioto DownsEldorado ResortsCaesars Sportsbook
Hollywood DaytonPenn National Gaming Barstool Sportsbook
Hollywood Mahoning ValleyPenn National GamingBarstool Sportsbook
JACK ThistledownJACK EntertainmentbetJACK
MGM Northfield ParkNorthfield Park AssociatesBetMGM
Miami Valley GamingDelaware North Companiesbetly
Great American Ball Park Cincinnati RedsBetMGM
Progressive FieldCleveland GuardiansFanatics
Nationwide ArenaColumbus Blue JacketsFanatics
TQL StadiumFC Cincinnati SuperBook
Rocket Mortgage FieldhouseCleveland CavaliersCaesars
Paycor StadiumCincinnati BengalsTBD
First Energy StadiumCleveland BrownsBallyBet
Muirfield Village Golf ClubMVGC SubsidiarybetParx
Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseGreen Savoree Racing PromotionsTBD
Hall of Fame VillageHall of Fame Resort & EntertainmentBetRivers
SPIRE InstituteGeneva SportsOut the Gate
Cedar DownsS&S RealtyTBD
TBDRavencrest PartnersTBD
TBDPhantom FireworksTBD
Harry BuffaloJSI ClubPointsBet

Ohio Sports Betting Application News

May 17: Phantom Fireworks wins retail license for Youngstown retail sportsbook

One of the more unique Ohio sports betting applicants has been granted a license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission to open a retail sportsbook in Youngstown.

The commission on May 17 approved Phantom Fireworks for a retail sports betting license. The fireworks retailer also owns the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team and intends to open a sportsbook at the Covelli Centre, where the Phantoms play.

Phantom Fireworks does not currently have a sportsbook partner listed, but the company will need to find a partner to operate the sportsbook.

April 19: PlayUp Sportsbook to withdraw application, pay fine in settlement

PlayUp Sportsbook has withdrawn its request to enter the Ohio sports betting market and will pay fines related to a past betting product.

Per a settlement agreement with the Ohio Casino Control Commission, PlayUp cannot resubmit its bid to bring its sportsbook or any other gaming product to Ohio for at least four years.

The settlement — which the OCCC approved at its April 19 meeting — also includes a $90,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution for Ohioans who used the company’s slots+ product. Slots+ had been deemed an “illegal gambling activity” by the OCCC in December.

Feb. 16: BetPARX Sportsbook launches in Ohio

BetPARX Sportsbook has launched its online sports betting app in Ohio.

BetPARX is the sports betting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament, a PGA Tour event held each year at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus. The Memorial Tournament returns this year the week of May 29.

Muirfield Village Golf Club is licensed to add a retail sportsbook but has not announced a partner or location for the sportsbook. A spokesperson told PlayOhio the retail sportsbook will not be on the golf club property.

Jan. 18: WynnBet granted license to enter Ohio market

WynnBet online sportsbook is on its way to Ohio’s market. The betting app on Jan. 18 won a license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Ohio sports betting began less than three weeks ago, and the industry is already getting a new sportsbook. That’s great for bettors in the state who will have one more option to pick from in the near future.

Jan. 17: Ohio sports betting market running smoothly two weeks in

It’s been just over two weeks since sports betting in Ohio kicked off. Overall, Ohio’s sports betting launch went about as well as could be hoped.

There were few, if any, app function hiccups and no widespread complaints. The Buckeye State saw a record-smashing 11.3 million transactions in the first two days, beating out New York’s launch by over two million.

Two weeks in, Ohioans are still happy with it. A consistent inflow of favorable odds boosts and a maintained smooth function of pretty much every sportsbook app is keeping the state engaged and satisfied. Still, the state has repeatedly warned sportsbooks about following responsible gambling advertising rules and has moved to issue fines against several operators for breaking them.

Dec. 21: First 28 Sportsbooks receive final approval for Jan. 1 Ohio sports betting launch

The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Dec. 21 released an initial list of retail and online sportsbooks allowed to begin operating on Jan. 1, 2023. Twelve retail sportsbooks and 16 online sportsbooks are fully licensed to begin business on the universal start date.

We now know which sportsbooks can hit the market on Jan. 1. The commission notes that these sportsbooks do not have to begin taking bets that early — some may choose to open later — and that others could still be added to the list before the universal start date.

The OCCC also notes that conditionally approved businesses that are not on this initial list “have likely made a business decision to not launch on the universal start date.”

Dec. 14: OCCC licenses Bally’s, Underdog, Betway, Out the Gate and Lori’s Roadhouse

The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Dec. 14 awarded more online and retail sportsbook licenses. 

Butler County, just north of Cincinnati, landed what will likely be its only retail sportsbook (based on population size): Lori’s Roadhouse, a honky-tonk music venue and bar

The following sportsbooks also received sports betting licenses:

  • Bally’s (online and retail — partnered with Cleveland Browns)
  • Out the Gate (online and retail — partnered with SPIRE Institute)
  • Underdog (online — partnered with Cincinnati Reds)
  • Betway (online — partnered with Belterra park)

Ohio has now approved a total of 21 online sportsbooks and 22 retail sportsbooks ahead of the Jan. 1 universal start date.

Nov. 16: SPIRE Academy wins retail license; Miami Valley Gaming, Fanatics, Betr, BetPARX apps on the way

SPIRE Academy, a sports-focused high school in Geneva, won a pair of Ohio sports betting licenses from the state’s gambling regulators.

SPIRE is involved in a handful of different sides of the sports business. It hosts collegiate tournaments and also runs a sports research development lab. It can now move forward with a retail sportsbook on its campus.

Betting on high school sports is not legal in the U.S., so a high school trying to open a sportsbook was an abnormal move. Despite that, placing the sportsbook at the complex provides some separation between the high school side of the company and gambling. SPIRE also received a license to partner with Out the Gate on a mobile sports betting app in Ohio.

Four more sportsbook apps were also approved: Miami Valley Gaming received approval for its MVGbet sportsbook app. Fanatics Sportsbook was also approved for launch in Ohio, along with Betr and BetPARX.

Nov. 9: FC Cincinnati to open temporary retail sportsbook in restaurant bar

FC Cincinnati has announced plans to open its retail sportsbook in a temporary location while it moves ahead with construction on a location near TQL Stadium.

Until then, the team’s sportsbook will be located in a restaurant and bar called Taft’s Ale House near the stadium. The restaurant is located in a huge, refurbished church, and the sportsbook offerings will be located in the street-level bar area. The sportsbook will open on Jan. 1.

FC Cincinnati has partnered with Superbook on both its retail and online licenses. The team is currently developing an area adjacent to TQL Stadium and plans to build a new sportsbook there.

Nov. 2: Hall of Fame Village, Hard Rock Cincinnati, Miami Valley Gaming retail sportsbooks approved

The Hall of Fame VillageHard Rock Casino Cincinnati and Miami Valley Gaming all landed their retail sportsbook licenses on Nov. 2.

The Hall of Fame Village has partnered with BetRivers on its retail sportsbook, and Miami Valley Gaming will add a Betly Sportsbook to the racino’s offerings.

Hard Rock will launch its own Hard Rock Sportsbook. The company announced this week that Reds legend Pete Rose will place the first bet at the sportsbook at 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.

There are now 20 retail sportsbooks approved in Ohio, with six still awaiting responses to their applications.

Additionally, the Ohio Casino Control Commission licensed five more online sportsbooks:

  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • Hard Rock
  • Tipico
  • BetRivers

There are now 12 sportsbook apps on the way, with another 12 awaiting licensing.

Oct. 20: FanDuel, Barstool green-lit for retail sportsbooks; many others still await licensing

The Ohio Casino Control Commission gave the green light to FanDuel Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook to manage retail sportsbooks at gaming establishments that have already been licensed to host them.

FanDuel’s retail sportsbook will be located at Belterra Park.

The Barstool Sportsbooks will be opening at Hollywood Casino ColumbusHollywood Gaming Dayton RacewayHollywood Casino Toledo, and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley.

The commission did not, however, license any new retail sportsbook locations. The commission had set an Oct. 5 deadline for operators that filed incomplete applications over the summer to provide missing information or risk missing the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

Apparently these requirements have still not been met. The commission this week licensed only sports betting kiosk hosts and various suppliersservices providers and proprietors, leaving some big-name retail sportsbooks on the outside looking in as sports betting approaches.

With only three OCCC meetings scheduled before Ohio sports betting kicks off, the clock is ticking for the remaining retail and online sportsbooks to procure licenses.

Oct. 18: Fubo Sportsbook closing, will not launch in Ohio

In a surprise development, FuboTV announced on Monday that it is closing its Fubo Gaming subsidiary and all of its Fubo Sportsbooks effective immediately.

Fubo Sportsbook was in line to launch in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023 through a partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Fubo announced that the decision was made after a strategic review of the Fubo Gaming business. The company was apparently unable to “lower its funding requirements and generate sufficient returns to shareholders.”

The Cavaliers have not applied to host another sportsbook app at this time. The team has partnered with Caesars on its retail sportsbook.

Oct. 5: Ohio Casino Control Commission fails to license any additional retail sportsbooks, laments operators pestering staff

The Ohio Casino Control Commission did not license any new retail sportsbook applicants during its Oct. 5 meeting, leaving a few big-name operators on the outside looking in with less than three months to go before launch.

OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler lamented the fact that some yet-to-bet licensed sports betting operators have bombarded licensing staff with questions about their applications while failing to provide necessary information.

The commission had set an Oct. 5 deadline for operators that filed incomplete applications to provide missing information or risk missing the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

Licensing staff has been “swamped” by companies scrambling to meet today’s deadline, Schuler said.

“Our applicants are also constantly barraging the staff as to when they’re going to be on the agenda, and they seem to believe that their application and their circumstances are more important than every other application that we have,” Schuler said.

Sept. 22: Nine more retail sportsbooks approved, Cincinnati Bengals pass on retail sportsbook at Paycor Stadium

More than half of the retail sportsbooks heading to Ohio have now been approved after the Ohio Casino Control Commission on Sept. 21 licensed nine more entities, along with approving the Cincinnati Bengals’ application to host an online sportsbook.

The total number of retail sportsbooks slated to launch on the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023 has climbed to 17. A total of 26 businesses applied for the licenses.

The Bengals also received their license to partner with an online sportsbook. However, the Bengals have not applied for a retail license at Paycor Stadium, citing NFL rules against in-person, in-stadium betting during games.

“As it currently stands, the NFL does not allow in-person sports betting at any stadium,” she said, “so Betfred and the team chose not to pursue a Type-B license because of this.”

The Bengals did receive their license to partner with Betfred on an online sportsbook. The commission approved nine other businesses for both retail and online sportsbooks during its meeting.

The following sportsbooks are officially on the way after receiving licenses for both retail and online sportsbooks:

  • FC Cincinnati
  • MGM Northfield Park
  • Scioto Downs
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cleveland Guardians
  • Hollywood Casino Columbus
  • Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
  • Belterra Park Cincinnati

Sept. 8: Ohio approves first retail sporstbooks, 300 new kiosk applications

The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week 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.

Sept. 7: One-third of Ohio sports betting applicants risk missing launch over application details

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.

The commission set a new deadline of Oct. 5 for applicants to provide these details or risk missing Ohio’s start date. Schuler did not say which applicants are falling behind.

Aug. 18: Four more applications for online sports betting licenses arrive

Four more applications for online sports betting licenses arrived during the July 15-Aug. 15 window, meaning they are guaranteed consideration in time to launch on Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023. 

WynnBet is listed as the first mobile management service provider for for JACK Thistledown Racino. The other three companies are listed as the second skin for their respective partners:

  • Digital Gaming Corporation — Belterra Park
  • Prophet Exchange — Columbus Blue Jackets
  • MaximBet — JACK Cleveland Casino

All four applications were filed on Aug. 15. Both application windows are now closed, meaning the main players for Ohio’s sports betting retail and online sportsbooks are in.

The commission will continue to consider applications filed after the deadlines, but they are not guaranteed to be up and running by Jan. 1.

Aug. 16: Second application window closes

Both windows to apply for Ohio sports betting licenses have now closed, as the second window ran from July 15-Aug. 15. As of Oct. 14, the Ohio Lottery commission had pre-approved 1,391 Ohio businesses to host sports betting kiosks. The OCCC had asked that each business apply for a license through the OCCC by Aug. 15 to be guaranteed consideration for the universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

At its Aug. 17 meeting, the OCCC reported that only 652 businesses applied for kiosk licenses by Aug. 15. The remaining pre-qualified businesses still have time to procure licenses in time for the universal start date, however.

“Even though the window has closed, we are strongly encouraging the pre-approved businesses by the Lottery to apply, and we will continue to process them as quickly as possible,” said Matt Schuler, chairman of the OCCC.

Initial estimates indicated that as many as 2,000 Ohio businesses could ultimately host betting kiosks. A wide variety of businesses will partner with operators to run the kiosks, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, golf courses, hotels, convenience stores, truck stops and supermarkets.

Aug. 12: Just one applicant added for second straight week

With the deadline approaching Aug. 15, just one more supplier was added to the sports betting applicant list this week.

Aristotle International Inc., a company that provides age verification and Know Your Customer services, applied to the Ohio Casino Control Commission for licensure, according to the OCCC’s rolling list.

Aug. 6: Slow week of applications reported for first week of August

Novomatic Americas Sales was the only new company noted by the OCCC this week. Novomatic applied for a supplier license on Monday.

The company was the 36th supplier applicant.

July 27: BetRivers applies for online sports betting license but misses deadline

BetRivers applied for an Ohio sports betting license but missed a key deadline to be guaranteed consideration by the universal start date. There is still plenty of time for the commission to consider the application, but the missed deadline is still noteworthy.

BetRivers plans to partner with Hollywood Casino Columbus. The sports betting app would become the casino’s second online skin.

Penn National Gaming owns Hollywood Columbus, plus a significant chunk of Barstool Sports. Because of that, the casino is already working with Barstool Sportsbook as its first skin.

July 22: Four more Ohio sports betting applications beat deadline

Ohio’s first sports betting application window is now closed, but applications from three new kiosk operators and one new retail business arrived in time to be considered for Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

Iron Gate GamingJ&J Ventures Gaming and Gold Rush Amusements joined the list of businesses looking to operate sports betting kiosks in Ohio. Lori’s Roadhouse, a restaurant and live music venue outside of Cincinnati, added its name to the list of retail applicants.

Because the applications were postmarked by July 15, they join the dozens of other businesses guaranteed consideration ahead of the universal start date.

July 15: Professional sports teams, casinos and racinos file Ohio sports betting applications

As expected, most sports betting operators coming to Ohio filed their applications this week. Every remaining professional sports franchise in Ohio has now applied, and the casinos and racinos that had not yet filed applications are also now in.

Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer only applied for an online license and will partner with Tipico on its sports betting app.

The other six pro teams applied for both retail and online licenses and are listed along with their sports betting partnerships:

  • Cleveland Browns will use Bally’s for both retail and online
  • Cincinnati Reds will partner with BetMGM on their retail location and Underdog Sports on their app
  • Cleveland Cavaliers will partner with William Hill, which is owned by Caesars, on their retail location; the team initially listed Fubo Sportsbook as their app, but Fubo later closed its gaming subsidiary
  • FC Cincinnati will use SuperBook Sports for both retail and online
  • Columbus Blue Jackets will use Fanatics for both retail and online
  • Cleveland Guardians will partner with Fanatics on their retail location and bet365 on their app

Hollywood Toledo CasinoHollywood Casino Columbus and Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati filed their applications, joining JACK Cleveland in the market. Hollywood Toledo and Hollywood Columbus will both open Barstool sportsbook retail shops. Toledo will partner with DraftKings for its app, while Columbus uses the Barstool Sportsbook app. Hard Rock Cincinnati will use Hard Rock Digital for both retail and online.

All six racinos that had not yet applied for Ohio sports betting licenses are now in, joining JACK Thistledown.

  • MGM Northfield Park will partner with BetMGM (retail and online)
  • Scioto Downs will partner with William Hill (retail and online)
  • Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway will partner with Barstool Sportsbook (retail; no online partner listed)
  • Belterra Park (no partners listed)
  • Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley will partner with Barstool Sportsbook (retail), PointsBet (online)
  • Miami Valley Gaming (no partners listed)

The Muirfield Village Golf Club near Columbus and SPIRE Institute & Academy in northeast Ohio applied for both retail and online.

The following businesses applied for retail locations only:

  • Cedar Downs, partnered with BetMGM
  • Harry Buffalo restaurant, PointsBet
  • Phantom Fireworks (no partner listed)
  • Ravencrest Partners, LLC (no partner listed)

Three more kiosk operators also applied: Green Bear SoftwareIntralot and Skybox Sports Network.

July 8: Fanatics, FanDuel, Cincinnati Bengals are in

Fanatics, FanDuel and the Cincinnati Bengals are the latest Ohio sports betting operators to enter the market.

Fanatics will launch its new BetFanatics app in the state. The fast-growing company has applied for sports betting licenses in Pennsylvania and Maryland and has reportedly been in talks to partner with sports betting provider Tipico.

Ohio could be a significant state for Fanatics, as the apparel company is new to the betting game.

FanDuel currently operates daily fantasy sports contests in Ohio and will be prepared to launch its FanDuel Sportsbook come January. 

The Cincinnati Bengals are an expected applicant as one of the state’s 10 home stadiums of eligible sports teams or leagues set to be sportsbook locations. The team will operate a sportsbook at Paul Brown Stadium

July 1: Barstool Sports, Pro Football Hall of Fame and first kiosk operator file

On July 1, the following sports betting companies filed Ohio sports betting operator applications.

  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton
  • Penn Sports Interactive, which manages the digital products of Penn National Gaming, including the Barstool Sportsbook app
  • Elys Game Technology, an interactive gaming company that is partnered with Ohio-based Wright Bet to provide sports betting kiosks inside bars, restaurants and other businesses that operate the Ohio Lottery

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton will partner with BetRivers Sportsbook to operate its retail sportsbook in the Hall of Fame Village and its sports betting app.

Penn Sports Interactive applied for a mobile management services provider license, representing the entry point for the Barstool Sportsbook app.

Elys Gaming Technology is partnered with Wright Bet to operate sports betting kiosks inside local establishments that are licensed through the Ohio Lottery.

Sports betting in Ohio Latest News

June 24: DraftKings, JACK Entertainment file sports betting applications

On June 24, the commission announced that DraftKings and JACK Entertainment had applied for gaming licenses. DraftKings does not have a partner yet, but in 2019 it secured market access through Penn National Gaming. Penn currently operates two casinos and two racinos in Ohio.

JACK Entertainment properties JACK Cleveland and JACK Thistledown also applied for both online and retail sportsbook licenses.

June 15: BetMGM, PointsBet first to apply

The first two operators to apply for sports gaming licenses were BetMGM and PointsBet.

Neither is a surprise. BetMGM is one of the biggest sports betting operators in the U.S. and owns MGM Northfield Park racino just outside of Cleveland. PointsBet is another major name in U.S. sports betting and has access to the Ohio market through a partnership with Penn National Gaming.

DraftKings and JACK Entertainment are now in. Dozens of other operators will file applications during the next few weeks as Ohio’s sports betting market begins to come into greater focus.

Ohio sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks and terminal operators up first

The Ohio Casino Control Commission got the big-name operators moving first. 

In order to launch on Jan. 1, all online sportsbooks, retail sportsbooks and operators of betting terminals had to submit applications between June 15 and July 15. 

The OCCC acknowledged that online sportsbooks are likely to be ready before other operators. 

“The Commission is aware that some stakeholders, specifically many online operators, have fewer preparations to make leading up to launch and could start sooner,” the commission said in a statement. “However, pursuant to HB 29, all forms of sports gaming must have the opportunity to launch on the exact same date.”

Up to 40 retail sportsbook licenses up for grabs in Ohio

Ohio will award up to 40 licenses for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state. These applications were due during the first window as well. 

The Ohio sports betting bill determines which counties will land these licenses according to population. 

  • 1 license: counties with a population of 100,000 to 399,999
  • 3 licenses: counties with a population of 400,000 to 799,999
  • 5 licenses: counties with a population over 800,000

Counties that draw significant tourism will be eligible to apply for licenses even if they miss the population threshold. Counties with a population of at least 50,000 but less than 100,000 will qualify if they attract at least 5 million tourists per year. 

Map of Ohio sportsbooks by county

Based on the latest census data released in March, 27 counties meet the minimum threshold of 100,000 residents.

PlayOhio is tracking which Ohio counties are likely to have a retail sportsbook

Bars and restaurants hosting sports betting kiosks also apply

The second application window ran from July 15-Aug. 15. Bars, restaurants and grocery stores that operate Ohio Lottery terminals and want to host a sports betting kiosk operator applied during this window. 

Sports betting hosts and operators have distinct responsibilities but work in tandem to provide up to two sports betting kiosks per location. 

The operator will install equipment, train staff and provide ongoing equipment maintenance and service, along with marketing and customer service. 

Hosts must follow rules regarding where kiosks are placed, displaying responsible gambling materials and paying out prizes up to $599. Operators are responsible for payouts of $600 or greater. 

Second-designated mobile management service providers also needed to apply during the July 15-Aug. 15 window. 

Photo by Shutterstock
Danny Cross Avatar
Written by
Danny Cross

Danny Cross is the managing editor of PlayOhio, where he covers the Ohio sports betting and casino industries, including the latest news on Ohio sportsbooks and responsible gambling in the state. Cross joined PlayOhio from Pro Football Focus, where he wrote and edited articles on the NFL, fantasy football and betting.

View all posts by Danny Cross