Ohio Approves First Retail Sportsbooks, 300 New Kiosk Applications

Written By Danny Cross on September 8, 2022
Ohio Sports Betting

The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week approved the first group of retail sportsbooks and 300 new applications to host sports betting kiosks.

Sports betting in Ohio kicks off on Jan. 1, 2023. The commission is working through licensing, background checks, equipment distribution and other steps toward the launch.

The commission on Wednesday approved eight of 10 Type-A and Type-B applications up for consideration, while delaying a decision on two others.

Ohio’s list of approved kiosk hosts now totals 500. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,300 locations to add the devices.

Professional teams, Hollywood and Jack sportsbooks approved

Commissioners gave their stamp of approval to the first group of 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.

More than a dozen additional applications still must be considered for both retail sportsbooks and online hosts. Over two dozen sports betting apps are also on the way.

Ohio sports betting application process hits a snag

Ohio is moving quickly to license the litany of operators that will comprise its robust sports betting market. But the clock is ticking, and commissioners are frustrated by some businesses failing to provide enough information in their applications.

During the Sept. 7 meeting, OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler said 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 OCCC is not satisfied with the details it has received regarding ownership details and key employees from 33% of its applicants, said 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.

“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.

Sports betting kiosk approvals continue to grow

With this week’s approval of 300 new businesses to add betting kiosks in Ohio, the total has reached 500. The commission approved the first 200 businesses in mid-August.

The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved more than 1,300 businesses to add the sports betting machines. Once approved by the OCCC, each will need to partner with a company that will operate the machines.

The kiosk host applications, known as Type-C, are much more simple than the retail and online sportsbook applications. With the pre-approvals in place, licensing should continue to move at a rapid pace.

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Danny Cross

Danny Cross is the managing editor of PlayOhio, where he covers the legislative and regulatory process of legalizing sports betting and the latest news on sportsbooks coming to Ohio ahead of Jan. 1, 2023. 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