Ohio’s vast market of sports betting kiosks will reach every corner of the state. Each local business that adds kiosks must partner with a kiosk proprietor — a separate, licensed business that installs and operates the betting machines.
With Ohio sports betting set to launch on Jan. 1, 2023, the kiosk proprietors are busy testing equipment, preparing signing and following a number of other steps in accordance with Ohio Casino Control Commission regulations.
Here’s a look at what sports betting kiosk proprietors are tasked with and how they will contribute to the Ohio sports betting market from Day 1.
Ohio sports betting kiosk market taking shape
Sports betting kiosks will be a unique feature amid Ohio’s new sports betting industry.
As of early October, the Ohio Casino Control Commission had licensed 884 businesses to add the kiosks out of 900 applications. More are sure to follow.
With dozens of grocery stores set to add the betting machines, along with a wide variety of other types of businesses throughout the state, it appears that sports betting kiosks will be quite prevalent in Ohio.
The kiosk proprietors will play a huge role in the roll-out. They are not just responsible for delivering and maintaining the machines and software for the 800-plus businesses. They also acts as intermediaries, relaying information from the state’s two regulatory bodies — the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery Commission — to the kiosk hosts.
They will also provide continued maintenance — hardware and software — of the machines. Seven businesses so far have been licensed to provide the kiosks and services.
Sports Betting Kiosk Proprietor Applicants
|Elys Gameboard Technologies||Las Vegas, Austria, Rome|
|Green Bear Gaming Development||Romania|
|Skybox Sports Network||Las Vegas|
|Iron Gate Gaming||Ohio|
|J&J Ventures Gaming of Ohio||Ohio|
|Gold Rush Amusements||Illinois|
Ohio’s kiosk system is a first of its kind
Josh Petrusko, managing director of Ohio’s Iron Gate Gaming, spoke with PlayOhio about the kiosk system.
“This is the first time in history a state has allowed a third party to integrate with the lottery to provide a sportsbook solution.”
While states like Michigan and Delaware technically offer kiosks, those are in retail casinos and sportsbooks. In both states, there are only a few of each. Ohio’s 900 or so kiosks will be in grocery stores, bars, restaurants and gas stations around the state.
The ease of access provided by these kiosks is what sets them apart. It is also what may impact the rollout in the Buckeye State most. All of them will be maintained by the seven Type-C proprietors listed above.
“We’re going to provide 24/7 remote monitoring to all our machines. We don’t want to hang a software error or mechanical issue on any of our hosts, so our ability to provide up-to-the-minute maintenance will be a game-changer.”
Iron Gate currently has 112 host contracts, with eight more soon to come. That’s 120 machines and software in operation when sports betting goes live on Jan. 1.
Keeping the lights on and the operating systems running will be a crucial job.
OCCC green lights first group of Type-C proprietors
At their Oct. 19 meeting, the OCCC spent time to provide final approval to four of the seven Type-C proprietor applicants.
Green Bear Gaming, which will do business as UBet Ohio; Iron Gate Gaming, which will do busines as betIGG; Skybox Sports Network Inc.; and Intralot Inc. all received unanimous approval for Type-C licensure. Their approval represents a guarantee that they may operate on the Jan. 1 launch date.
The three remaining Type-C proprietors, Elys Gameboard Technologies, J&J Ventures Gaming of Ohio, and Gold Rush Amusements are still awaiting final approval. Their pending status does not yet rule them out for the Jan. 1 launch.
Kiosk proprietors are on pace, but key benchmarks remain
The final picture of all the sports betting providers and kiosk hosts should be clear by early December. Kiosk proprietors still have work to do to meet their benchmarks.
Petrusko cited early December as the last major deadline for kiosk proprietors.
“We have been told that we have until the first week of December to have all our machines in state and cross-checked with the OLC.”
That entails installing the state-specific sports betting software on all machines as well as the age-verification components — an ID scanner, for example. Ohio’s sports betting software isn’t anything new and shouldn’t present any problems. Similar versions have been in use for over 25 years around the world.
After installing these components, proprietors will have roughly three weeks to monitor and test their kiosks in preparation for a New Year’s Day launch. For most proprietors, this has been a year-long planning process, and they’re on target to facilitate a smooth launch.
Assuming everything goes as planned, Ohio bettors are looking at the most expansive and user-friendly sports betting system in the country. Kiosks are a major reason for this, and PlayOhio will continue to track this unique approach to legal sports betting in the coming days.