The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced Wednesday that sports betting in Ohio will officially go live at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Ohio’s sports betting law set the universal start date set for Jan. 1, 2023, but did not specify a start time.
“Once the ball drops in Times Square, sports gaming can commence,” said Matt Schuler, executive director of the OCCC. Some other states have elected for mid-morning or even noon starts on launch days.
Schuler was updating the commission on a new web portal that will launch on Monday, Aug. 8 where applicants can file all compliance materials in one place. The portal will allow applicants to immediately see the status of their submissions.
Schuler said the portal will be crucial to licensing so many applicants ahead of Ohio’s universal start date.
Ohioans to place bets on New Year’s Eve?
Schuler was asked what time sports betting in Ohio would formally begin and whether 12:01 a.m. was a possibility. Schuler said it’s an interesting question and that setting the launch for midnight is the most common sense approach.
“Otherwise it would be artificial to say,” Schuler said.
There will be sporting events happening on New Year’s Eve that Ohioans could now catch the tail end of. Schuler said that as long as the commissioners all agreed, midnight makes the most sense.
“There it is, folks,” Schuler said. “That’s what it’s gonna be.”
Online portal coming for sports betting Ohio applicants
Most of the OCCC meeting was dedicated to previewing a new online portal where sports betting applicants can file certain compliance materials, including required procedures, house rules, and responsible gambling plans.
The sports gaming proprietor website will allow applicants to monitor their progress and immediately see the status of their submissions. Schuler said the portal will save everyone time and make the process easier for both applicants and the commission.
The commission sent log-in credentials and step-by-step instructions on Monday.
“We encourage all of our proprietors to get on this now,” Schuler said. “Because all of these controls and plans have to be submitted and approved, that’s really critical.”
“So it would be impossible if someone submits these to us on Halloween to ever think the staff would have time to review them if they’re looking at them for the first time.”
Schuler noted that there is still a lot of work to do in order to license so many businesses in time for the Jan. 1 launch. If businesses are not able to file the appropriate information in time, they will have failed in their approach to become licensed, Schuler said.
“We really want folks to get in there and get this done,” Schuler said. “As you can tell by the way I’m talking, I consider us looking up a very steep hill.”
Current Ohio sports betting application tally
The commission said Wednesday it had received the following number of applicants:
- Type A: 22
- Type B: 25
- Type C: 7
- Mobile management provider: 21
- Management provider: 21
- Suppliers: 36
- Holding companies: 98
- Type C hosts: 235
- Key sports gaming employees: 385
The commission is also accepting applications from businesses that want to host sports betting kiosks. The Ohio Lottery has already pre-approved over 1,000 businesses to host kiosks, and the OCCC is expecting over 2,000 to formally apply. The window for businesses to apply to host kiosk closes on Aug. 15.
Schuler praised the staff members who created and tested the online portal in such a short period of time.
The commission will update the application numbers at its next meeting on Aug. 17.