Ohio’s new sports betting industry includes an option that is not offered in most states with legal sports betting: The betting kiosk.
Ohio sports betting kiosks allow bettors to place bets in places like bars, restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores. A total of 771 Ohio businesses were ready to operate their kiosks on Jan. 1, the first day of legal sports betting. Over 1,000 businesses have been approved to add kiosks, creating the most widespread retail betting market in the country.
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Ease of use and availability are the two main selling points for betting kiosks. However, with any new technology, there is a learning curve, so here are the basics for placing a bet at an Ohio sports betting kiosk.
Kiosks will have limitations
“Know your limits” is always a good mantra for gambling. It holds particularly true at betting kiosks, where bettors will notice specific limitations on how much they can bet.
First of all, in any given week a bettor can place no more than $700 in wagers across all kiosks in the state. This means the Ohio kiosk system will have a register for all bettors in a given week, keeping a running tally of bets placed and amounts wagered. We’ll get into the registration process later, but Ohioans should bear this in mind when deciding where to place high-dollar bets.
Next, there are limitations on the types of bets that can be placed. In-game bets, futures bets, and prop bets are unavailable at kiosks. Instead, bettors can use the betting machines for more straightforward bets, like money line picks, over/under bets, spread wagers, and parlays between two and four outcomes.
Bettors have many options for cashing out kiosk bets
Bettors can cash out their winnings at thousands of locations. These will not be limited to businesses that host kiosks. Bettors can also receive their winnings at many of the 10,000 lottery retailers in the state, the lottery offices, and through the mail.
We expect some uncertainty in the early going, as the Ohio Casino Control Commission is not demanding that kiosk hosts keep enough cash on hand to pay out winning bets, but they are encouraging them, along with lottery retailers, to do so. We will follow this scenario closely.
One thing for certain is that bets of under $600 can be cashed out through the above avenues, but bets of more than $600 must be cashed out through the kiosk operator or the Ohio Lottery office. This is because winning bets of $600-plus are subject to state and federal taxes.
Setting up a kiosk account
To get started, all bettors will need a state-issued ID – either driver’s license or ID card – showing they are over 21 (passports are not currently allowed). These will be scanned at the kiosk and used to register the bettor in the system. Bettors will also need a credit card to establish their account.
As previously noted, registration allows the Ohio Lottery (one of the state’s gaming regulators) to track kiosk bets. Eric Carano, director of sales at the Ohio-based kiosk vendor Iron Gate Gaming (IGG), explained the process to PlayOhio.
“We can track customers through their ID, and the state has said that they’ll be able to keep a running total of a bettor’s bets through the credit card end as well.”
When asked if customers would be able to exceed the $700 limit by registering multiple cards, Carano explained: “We’ve been told that bettors will have a $700 maximum per card.”
While that seems to suggest that adding multiple cards to a given account could allow bettors to bet beyond $700 per week, the ID on file would likely track total bets and trigger a wall if bettors try to exceed the $700 limit.
Cashing out facilitated by Ohio Lottery app
While bettors will have many retail opportunities to cash out their bets, the Ohio Lottery’s mobile cashing feature allows bettors who use the Ohio Lottery app to take payment for their winning bets electronically.
By linking their credits cards through the app, Carano explained that bettors can electronically cash out all their bets up to $599.
The Ohio Lottery website provides guidance for players wishing to use the mobile cash out feature:
“They will need to provide their mobile phone number, their legal name, Social Security Number, bank account, and valid address. They will receive a verification code via text message upon completion of those fields. Entering this code allows us to authenticate their information and provide this service to them.”
Anything over $600, as previously noted, would need to be cashed out by a “super retailer,” casino, or through the mail.
No horse racing at kiosks, but prop bets could happen in the future
Kiosks feature betting options for all major sports leagues as well as golf, tennis, MMA, and other popular sports available at traditional sportsbooks. The lone exception here is horse racing.
Originally slated as a betting option, Carano explained that, “after originally including horse racing in the slate of kiosk options, the state decided to take it off the list.”
Bettors need to visit one of the state’s retail sportsbooks or racinos to bet on horses, but they may eventually get the option to place prop bets at kiosks.
“That’s something we could see in the future,” Carano explained. “It’s a licensing issue in terms of what kinds of bets can be offered under each license. But that is something we could see at kiosks one day.”
What if you make a mistake when placing a bet?
Although the kiosk user interface is quite simple, there’s always the chance you could hit the wrong button and take a +7 spread when you meant -7. In that case, don’t worry. Bets can be canceled. The IGG kiosk machines have a “Customer Dispute” option which alerts the kiosk host to an errant bet and allows them to cancel it.
Obviously, this must be done within reason. “Up to ten minutes before game time, a bet can be canceled,” said Carano. “But bettors should keep in mind that bartenders get busy, so there’s a need to be patient when getting service for a misplaced bet.”
The overall kiosk experience will be quick
Kiosks make it easy and quick to place a bet. Aside from the first time a bettor uses a kiosk and goes through the registration process, all other betting interactions should take no time at all.
“We did some trial runs of the software,” Carano explained, “and I found that from the first interaction with the system to the printing of my betting slip it took about 30 seconds. Now, if I was placing a four-leg parlay, maybe I’m looking at a minute and a half, but it’s a quick process.”
Placing a #sportsbet in #Ohio will be facilitated by betting kiosks. By the looks of it, the process is pretty simple. Video courtesy of @IronGateGaming. pic.twitter.com/3HXA0xmMUo
— Tyler Andrews (@tcullenandrews) December 22, 2022
While there will likely be hurdles to clear in the early going, Ohio’s kiosk operators, like Iron Gate Gaming, have been preparing for two years. Their products have been tested and should reach the public in a good state
We’ll be paying close attention to the new kiosk market. If it goes well, it could set a new standard for retail sports betting.