There’s a buzz in Ohio as the state gears up for a universal launch of sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023. Applications for licenses are flooding in as the appetite for sports betting in Ohio heats up.
Ohio is expected to quickly become one of the busier markets in the country upon launch. According to results of a recent PlayOhio survey, the state’s sports betting kiosks will play a large role in the market. It’s a feature of the Ohio sports betting environment that should make it more inclusive for local businesses.
Betting kiosks are currently being licensed through the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Any local business licensed through the Ohio Lottery is eligible to apply to host up to two betting kiosks.
According to the survey, in which Ohio sports bettors were asked about all the places they will bet, nearly 25% said they plan to bet via a kiosk (24.8%).
While that’s a far cry from the 79.0% who said they plan to bet online, it’s 4 percentage points higher than the 20.8% of Ohio bettors who said they will place bets at a retail sportsbook.
With over 1,300 businesses already pre-approved to add kiosks, this could prove to be a game-changer in terms of the state’s future handle.
Ohio sports betting kiosk breakdown
When the timeline for Ohio sports betting was officially set, the Ohio Lottery notified more than 2,000 bars and restaurants that they could be eligible for a sports-gaming host license. If an interested party wasn’t included, a company can fill out a form on the lottery’s website in hopes of being added.
To qualify for a license, companies must:
- Be a licensed lottery sales agent.
- Hold a Type D1 (beer only), D2 (wine and mixed drinks only) or D5 (full bar) liquor permit.
- Be a for-profit corporation or association.
- Pay a non-refundable $1,000 application fee to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
- Select a licensed Type C Sports Gaming Proprietor partner.
As of Aug. 19, the Ohio Lottery had pre-qualified 1,303 applicants. Each business hosting kiosks will need to partner with an operator to run them. Operators will install equipment, train staff and provide ongoing equipment maintenance and service, along with marketing and customer service.
A total of seven businesses have applied to operate sports betting kiosks in Ohio:
- Iron Gate Gaming
- J&J Ventures Gaming
- Gold Rush Amusements
- Elys Game Technology
- Green Bear Software
- Skybox Sports Network
The lottery will continue to update the list. But each pre-qualified applicant still needs to acquire a license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). The application window to apply for these license is open through Aug. 15.
Kiosks could push Ohio past neighboring states
As Ohio works its way through the pre-launch process, it’s natural to compare it to nearby states. When looking at population size, the Buckeye State isn’t far behind Pennsylvania and Illinois, while sitting just above Michigan.
What do Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan all have in common? In addition to boasting legalized sports betting, they do not offer sports betting kiosks in bars and restaurants. The states do have a handful of kiosks inside retail sportsbooks at casinos, but nothing like the Buckeye State will have next year.
With the fiscal year 2022 having just wrapped up last month, here’s how the states fared the last 12 months in total handle:
- Illinois: $7,897,981,149 (excluding June; Illinois hasn’t released the report yet)
- Pennsylvania: $7,085,363,762
- Michigan: $4,793,278,287
Couple the trends in nearby states with the runway operators have to prepare for a launch, and it’s not hard to see why the Ohio sports betting market should hit the ground running. Throw in the addition of sports betting kiosks here, and it shouldn’t shock anyone if Ohio’s handle flirts with or surpasses the numbers above in Year 1.
According to a PlayOhio analysis, Ohio sports betting could generate $9 billion to $12 billion in total annual handle within its first few years. If accomplished, that mark would be one of the highest in the country.
Many other factors could help push Ohio to the top of the heap: multiple professional sports teams, big-branded colleges and one of the nation’s best sports betting markets, to name a few.
Thanks in part to sports betting kiosks, Ohio appears poised to emerge as the second- or third-largest sports betting market in the country.
Not so fast: betting limits on kiosks
While kiosks are considered convenient, Ohio bettors should be aware of certain limitations before placing any bets at one.
First off, if you want to put on your Mattress Mack hat and make a significant wager, it must be done at a retail sportsbook or online. Kiosks are meant more for those who want to place a small bet for fun while out watching a game with their friends or family.
Ohio sports betting kiosks will offer the following:
- Spread wagers: A bet on the outcome of a game against odds designed to level the playing field.
- Over-under wagers: A bet on whether the game score will be higher or lower than projected.
- Moneyline wagers: A straight-up bet without any point spread where bettors predict the outright winner.
- Parlays: A single bet on two to four outcomes. Each side must win to produce a winning ticket.
Sports betting kiosks do not permit prop bets and in-game wagers. Additionally, each Ohio bettor can only wager up to $700 in each calendar week across all sports betting kiosks.
More PlayOhio survey results
PlayOhio surveyed 620 Ohio residents who currently bet on sports in Ohio. Among the findings:
- 46% of Ohio sports bettors plan to bet weekly;
- Over 90% said betting on a legal site is either “very important” or “somewhat important;”
- More than half plan to sign up for a new sportsbook app once sports betting in Ohio is legal.
Find more details about the survey results here.