Ohio sports betting is gearing up for launch, and the state’s multi-faceted industry is close to taking its final shape.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced sports betting in Ohio will officially launch on Jan. 1, 2023. Once sports betting launches in Ohio, it will include online sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks and sports betting kiosks throughout the state.
We will update this page with the latest news on the long-running saga of Ohio sports betting.
Latest Ohio sports betting updates
Nov. 23: BetJACK retail sportsbooks open
Ohio’s in-person sportsbooks are starting to open up to the public.
JACK Entertainment just opened the doors for a pair of new betJACK sportsbooks at JACK Casino Cleveland and JACK Thistledown Racino.
Gamblers can’t start placing bets until Jan. 1, but at least for now, the sections are open for casino-goers to drink, watch sports and get familiar with the new sports betting areas.
Nov. 17: Ohio reveals first list of approved sports for betting
Ohio has released the full list of sports, leagues and other events available for betting once the state launches sports betting in January.
Ohio bettors will have plenty of options to pick from in January. Every major sports league and collegiate sport will be available, along with European soccer, the Olympics, PGA Tour events and Tennis Grand Slam tournaments. The options for the major sports leagues include bets on drafts and awards like the MVP.
At this time, betting on predetermined contests like the Oscars are not approved, but the list will evolve over time. Sportsbooks in the state will be able to submit requests to add to the list. The OCCC will review the requests and approve new events so long as they meet its requirements.
Nov. 16: SPIRE Academy, Miami Valley Gaming, Fanatics, Betr and others snag licenses
SPIRE Academy, a sports-focused high school in Geneva, won a pair of Ohio sports betting licenses from the state’s gambling regulators.
SPIRE is involved in a handful of different sides of the sports business. It hosts collegiate tournaments and also runs a sports research development lab. It can now move forward with its retail and online sportsbook, which will be partnered with Out the Gate.
Nov. 14: Tipico Sportsbook’s Ohio launch will be a major step for its partnership with Gannett
Ohio could be a great opportunity for Gannett and Tipico Sportsbook Ohio to take their partnership to the next level.
The two sides last year signed a long-term deal to work together, and Tipico is now the exclusive sports betting and iGaming provider for Gannett. That means integrating the company with Tipico’s betting odds, props and free to play games.
Once Ohio sports betting launches, the partnership can act as a marketing push from the very first day of legal sports betting in the state.
Nov. 11: Underdog looking to make its mark in Ohio as a full-fledged sportsbook
Underdog Sportsbook will be one of the many newcomers in Ohio’s market when sports betting begins in January.
The daily fantasy side of the company is already up and running around most of the U.S., including in Ohio. But the company is ready to make the leap into a full-fledged sportsbook, following the lead of industry giants like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Underdog will enter the Ohio market via a partnership with the Cincinnati Reds. Ohio will be Underdog Sportsbook’s big debut in the U.S., unless the company manages to launch in Colorado before January.
Nov. 9: FC Cincinnati to open temporary retail sportsbook in restaurant bar
FC Cincinnati has announced plans to open its retail sportsbook in a temporary location while it moves ahead with construction on a location near TQL Stadium.
Until then, the team’s sportsbook will be located in a restaurant and bar called Taft’s Ale House near the stadium. The restaurant is located in a huge, refurbished church, and the sportsbook offerings will be located in the street-level bar area. The sportsbook will open on Jan. 1.
FC Cincinnati has partnered with Superbook on both its retail and online licenses. The team is currently developing an area adjacent to TQL Stadium and plans to build a new sportsbook there.
Nov. 7: Sports betting kiosk market taking shape in Ohio
The Ohio sports betting kiosk market is beginning to take shape, as the Ohio Casino Control Commission has now licensed 884 businesses to host kiosks.
In addition, seven kiosk proprietors are prepared to provide and manage the machines.
With dozens of grocery stores set to add the betting machines, along with a wide variety of other types of businesses throughout the state, sports betting kiosks will be quite prevalent in Ohio. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,400 businesses to add kiosks.
Nov. 2: BetMGM Sportsbook comes with Ohio pre-launch welcome offer
BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio has joined its rivals by offering a pre-launch welcome offer for early signups.
The app is offering $200 free to Ohio residents who click the link above. The offer will be paid out in four free $50 bets upon launch of Ohio sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023.
In addition, when you use BetMGM Ohio bonus code PLAYBONUS, your first wager will be risk-free for up to $1,000.
Nov. 1: Still time to claim Hard Rock Sportsbook $100 promo
Hard Rock Sportsbook Ohio was first to market its pre-launch bonus code back in July. Back then, new users could claim a $500 bonus bet by signing up before Aug. 1.
That promotional offer has declined on the first of each month since. It is now a $100 bonus bet for users who sign up by Dec. 1.
The following are the remaining deadlines and corresponding bonus bets one can earn:
- Dec. 1 — $100
- Jan. 1 — $50
In order to take advantage of the bonus bet offer from Hard Rock, bettors must:
- Download the (brand-new) Hard Rock Sportsbook app
- Register for an account using promo code #FOMOPROMOH
- Place a cash wager (or multiple bets) greater than $100 within the first two weeks of launch.
Once you have placed the $100 worth of wagers within two weeks of Jan. 1, the bonus bet will appear in the account.
Oct. 31: Bowling Green professor publishes findings of national problem gambling study
Researchers at Bowling Green State University revealed the first round of results of a three-year study into sports betting behaviors and the risk factors that lead to gambling problems.
Principal investigator Joshua Grubbs, an assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green, shared the results at the 23rd-annual ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction in early October, as well as in a paper just published in JAMA Network Open, a section of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Grubbs says he feels like a rise in gambling-related problems is likely as more states legalize sports betting due to the sheer accessibility sports betting apps enable. But Grubbs doesn’t think the rise of sports betting will necessarily lead to an all-out epidemic.
Oct. 27: Caesars releases Ohio pre-launch promotion: $100 free bet, chance to win Cavs tickets
Caesars Sportsbook Ohio has released its Ohio sports betting pre-launch offer: a $100 free bet plus an entry to win Cleveland Cavaliers tickets for all first-time depositors. (There is actually no purchase, download, or sign-up necessary to enter the Cavs ticket drawing, though first-time depositors will automatically be entered.)
The pre-launch promo requires a $20 minimum first-time deposit, upon which players will be awarded a $100 risk-free bet. New customers will also be entered into nine drawings to win Cavs tickets. You do not need a promo code.
Here are the instructions on how to enter the Cavs ticket drawing without downloading the app: Print your complete name, email address, Caesars Rewards account number, date of birth and daytime phone number on a piece of paper and mail your completed entry in an envelope with first-class postage to: Caesars Digital, 6325 S. Rainbow Blvd,| Las Vegas, NV 89118, Attn: Cavs Tickets Giveaway (“Mail-In Entry”).
Oct. 26: Ohio could place $8 billion in sports bets in 2023
Ohio sports betting could generate $8 billion in bets in 2023, according to PlayOhio projections.
That amount would put Ohio among the biggest markets in the U.S., even at such an early stage.
Ohio will trail New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2023 handle. The projections put Ohio in the next tier with Nevada, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia. Our latest numbers have Ohio as the No. 4 state on the list slightly ahead of the others, but the group is tightly packed.
Oct. 24: Ohio online sportsbooks step up promotion of responsible gambling
As the sports betting industry continues to explode across the U.S., online sportsbook operators have been stepping up their promotion of safe and responsible gambling.
Most sportsbooks allow bettors to set spending and time limits and help users initiate self-exclusionary protocols to keep them off the apps completely if the user feels as if their wagering has become problematic.
Sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and PointsBet are working with state governments to provide resources and also hiring responsible gambling ambassadors for advertising campaigns, among other initiatives. Micro-betting app Betr recently announced that it will not allow bettors to use credit cards for deposits and will enforce deposit limits for its youngest customers (ages 21-25).
Oct. 21: Seven Ohio sportsbook apps approved by OCCC, 17 await licensing
The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week awarded mobile sports betting licenses to FanDuel Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook, bringing the total number of approved online sportsbooks to seven:
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- PointsBet Ohio
- Betfred Ohio
Seventeen sportsbook apps are still awaiting licenses with just three commission meetings remaining before the Jan. 1 sports betting launch. They are:
- Bally Bet
- Hard Rock
- Out the Gate
- Prophet Exchange
In a surprise development, FuboTV announced that it is closing its Fubo Gaming subsidiary and all of its Fubo Sportsbooks effective immediately. Fubo Sportsbook had applied for a mobile license in Ohio and was going to partner with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs will now have to find a new mobile sportsbook to partner with.
Oct. 20: Dozens of Ohio sportsbooks await licenses with Ohio launch fast approaching
The Ohio Casino Control Commission met this week but did not license any new retail sportsbooks. The commission had set an Oct. 5 deadline for operators that filed incomplete applications over the summer to provide missing information or risk missing the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
Apparently these requirements have still not been met. The commission this week licensed only sports betting kiosk hosts and various suppliers, services providers and proprietors, leaving some big-name retail sportsbooks on the outside looking in as sports betting approaches.
With only three OCCC meetings scheduled before Ohio sports betting kicks off, the clock is ticking for the remaining retail and online sportsbooks to procure licenses.
Oct. 18: Fubo Sportsbook closing, will not launch in Ohio
In a surprise development, FuboTV announced on Monday that it is closing its Fubo Gaming subsidiary and all of its Fubo Sportsbooks effective immediately.
Fubo Sportsbook was in line to launch in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023 through a partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have not applied to host another sportsbook app at this time. The team has partnered with Caesars on its retail sportsbook.
Oct. 17: DraftKings announces pre-launch promotion: $200 in free bets, chance at $100.000
DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio released a new deal for Ohio gamblers: $200 in free bets just for signing up. The company is also randomly choosing five of these bettors to win a $100,000 free bet.
This pre-launch offer is exclusive to Ohio, and you don’t need a promo code to claim it.
The offer is the third pre-launch promotion to hit Ohio ahead of the Jan. 1, 2023 launch. The others are from FanDuel and Hard Rock Sportsbook.
Oct. 13: Ohio sports betting industry will create over 700 new jobs in the state
Ohio’s new sports betting industry will create hundreds of jobs in the state, according to an analysis by PlayOhio.
Gambling companies around the state have already started hiring ahead of the Jan. 1, 2023 launch. It takes a lot of effort to build a new industry from the ground up, and the Ohio job totals are rising quickly.
PlayOhio estimates Ohio’s sports betting industry will create at least 705 jobs by the time sports betting begins. Retail sportsbooks should create at least 505 jobs right out of the gate. Sports betting kiosks, affiliates and jobs in state regulation also add to the tally.
Oct. 11: Ohio licenses first geolocation and ID verification services company
The Ohio Casino Control Commission recently licensed the first geolocation and ID verification services compliance company in Ohio.
GeoComply, a Vancouver-based company, provides these verification services along with multi-layer protection against numerous types of location data manipulation. Every new Ohio sports bettor will need to confirm that they are located within Ohio’s borders in order to use a sports betting app.
Oct. 7: JACK Casino Cleveland, JACK Thistledown to open retail sportsbooks in November
JACK Entertainment plans to open its retail sportsbooks at JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino sometime in November. That will give the gaming establishments time to introduce patrons to the new spaces and amenities before Ohio sports betting kicks off on Jan. 1, 2023.
JACK has a specific date in mind for when it would like to open the doors to its new betJACK-branded sportsbooks: Nov. 26. That’s when the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Michigan Wolverines in an annual Big Ten rivalry game.
Oct. 5: Ohio Casino Control Commission fails to license any additional retail sportsbooks, laments operators pestering staff
The Ohio Casino Control Commission did not license any new retail sportsbook applicants during its Oct. 5 meeting, and OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler lamented the fact that some yet-to-bet licensed sports betting operators have bombarded licensing staff with questions about their applications while failing to provide necessary information.
The commission had set an Oct. 5 deadline for operators that filed incomplete applications to provide missing information or risk missing the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
Licensing staff has been “swamped” by companies scrambling to meet today’s deadline, Schuler said.
“Our applicants are also constantly barraging the staff as to when they’re going to be on the agenda, and they seem to believe that their application and their circumstances are more important than every other application that we have,” Schuler said.
Oct. 1: FanDuel launches major pre-launch promotion for Ohio sports bettors
FanDuel Sportsbook Ohio will be one of the major players in the state. The nation’s leading online sportsbook rolled out an outstanding pre-launch deal for Ohio players on Saturday: $100 in free bets in addition to the regular signup bonus.
That means you can double up on your freebies for the Jan. 1, 2023 launch. The $100 in free bets will help you build your bankroll and also comes with no-deposit necessary.
Sept. 28: Ohio officials expect smooth sports betting rollout
Ohio’s top gaming regulator and the industry’s primary lobbyist are both cautiously optimistic about a strong rollout. Speaking on a regulators panel at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Ohio Casino Control Commission Chair June Taylor said the agency is diligently trying to assist potential operators ahead of Jan. 1.
Taylor said the OCCC has already approved some 1,700 sports betting licenses with roughly another 900 to go.
“Our team in Ohio is putting an enormous amount of hours in trying to help these vendors and everyone get to the process,” Taylor said, adding that commission staffers are making themselves available beyond regular business hours to ensure deadlines are met. “It’s an inordinate amount of work.”
Sept. 26: Elys Game Technology and Wright Bet have partnered with over 50 kiosk locations in Ohio
Ohio’s sports betting kiosk landscape is slowly but surely coming into focus. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,300 businesses to hosts kiosks, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission has formally approved 811.
Each business must partner with a kiosk operator, and two businesses partnering to deliver and operate kiosks, Elys Game Technology and Dayton-based Wright Bet, announced that they have partnered with over 50 businesses so far.
Elys says the figure exceeded the company’s expectations for their first month of partnerships. Both Elys and Wright Bet have applied for licenses through the OCCC that, if approved, will allow them to continue working with Ohio businesses to add kiosks to those who qualify and apply to host them.
Sept. 22: Nine more retail sportsbooks approved, Cincinnati Bengals pass on retail sportsbook at Paycor Stadium
More than half of the retail sportsbooks heading to Ohio have now been approved after the Ohio Casino Control Commission on Sept. 21 licensed nine more entities, along with approving the Cincinnati Bengals’ application to host an online sportsbook.
The total number of retail sportsbooks slated to launch on the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023 has climbed to 16. A total of 26 businesses applied for the licenses.
The Bengals also received their license to partner with an online sportsbook. However, the Bengals have not applied for a retail license at Paycor Stadium, citing NFL rules against in-person, in-stadium betting during games.
“As it currently stands, the NFL does not allow in-person sports betting at any stadium,” she said, “so Betfred and the team chose not to pursue a Type-B license because of this.”
The Bengals did receive their license to partner with Betfred on an online sportsbook. The commission approved nine other businesses for both retail and online sportsbooks during its meeting.
The following sportsbooks are officially on the way after receiving licenses for both retail and online sportsbooks:
- FC Cincinnati
- MGM Northfield Park
- Scioto Downs
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Cleveland Guardians
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- Belterra Park Cincinnati
Sept. 21: New payout system for sports betting kiosks might not be ready by Jan. 1
Kiosk gamblers could have limited payout options at the beginning of legal sports betting. The Ohio Lottery is working to add new ways to cash winning tickets, but they might not be available in time for the universal launch of Ohio sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023.
Eventually, gamblers will be able to cash their winning sports tickets at various Ohio Lottery retailers around the state. That will prevent small businesses from having to always carry large amounts of cash on hand, plus it gives bettors more options to claim their money.
The changes should be a big help for the budding industry, but the Lottery needs time to implement them. The group is on track to have their new system ready to go by Jan. 1, but that could change in the months leading up to launch.
Sept. 20: Ohio problem gambling funding will be on par with some neighboring states but trail Pennsylvania
Ohio plans to send 2% of its sports betting tax revenue to the state’s Problem Sports Gaming Fund. That will start at around $1 million, which trails Pennsylvania’s flat rate of $2 million per year but is on par with other neighbors like Indiana and Michigan.
A locked-in percentage is important because it will scale alongside the growth of the industry. The more money that sports betting makes in Ohio, the more money sent to help promote responsible gambling in the state.
Overall, Ohio ends up in the middle of the pack when it comes to how much money its sports betting industry will generate for responsible gambling, at least from the start.
Sept. 15: Electronic bingo adds charitable element as part of Ohio sports betting bill
Hundreds of veterans and fraternal organizations are now operating electronic bingo machines. E-bingo, which is electronic version of instant bingo, was authorized as part of the Ohio sports betting bill passed last December. Organizations were authorized to begin offering e-bingo on April 1.
The e-bingo machines are much like modern slot machines, an adaptation of the paper ticket bingo games that charitable organizations have offered for years in order to raise money.
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, more than 800 veterans and fraternal groups are currently licensed to operate e-bingo.
Sept. 13: Bally Bet to make a major play in Ohio
Bally’s is no newcomer to the casino and sports betting space. The company operates over a dozen casinos across 10 states, and its Bally Bet Ohio Sportsbook is up and running in six states and licensed in several others.
Bally’s has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Cleveland Browns to create a gaming lounge at First Energy Stadium and roll out the Bally Bet Sportsbook to the Ohio betting market.
There is certainly much more to come. Here’s a look at what Bally Bet Ohio will have prepared for its new customers the day it goes live in Ohio.
Sept. 8: Ohio approves first retail sportsbooks, 300 new kiosk applications
The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week approved the first group of retail sportsbooks and 300 new applications to host sports betting kiosks.
Commissioners gave their stamp of approval to eight 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 also approved 300 new kiosk host applications, bringing the total list of approved kiosk hosts to 500. The Ohio Lottery has pre-approved over 1,300 locations to add the devices.
Sept. 7: One-third of Ohio sports betting applicants risk missing launch over application details
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 Ohio Casino Control Commission announced today.
The OCCC is not satisfied with the details it has received regarding ownership details and key employees from 33% of its applicants, said OCCC Executive Director Matt 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.
Sept. 2: New sportsbook Prophet Exchange will let Ohio sports bettors wager against each other
One of the online sportsbooks on its way to Ohio will offer unique options for bettors. Prophet Exchange is the first sports betting company in the U.S. to offer peer-to-peer sports betting as an exchange.
Instead of betting against a company based on the odds it posts, users can post their own odds for sports games that other players can bet on.
The idea of a sports betting exchange is a new phenomenon for most U.S. bettors, but they’ve actually become common in the UK. Prophet Exchange is partnering with the Columbus Blue Jackets for their launch in the Buckeye State.
Aug. 30: Betting on esports in Ohio will be legal but is dependent on regulation
Ohio’s sports betting laws allow for esports betting in the state. Betting on video game events will be legal, as long as the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulates the industry.
The OCCC hasn’t put together its list of approved sports for gambling yet. However, a Commission spokesperson tells PlayOhio that sportsbooks can make requests for the events they want to offer odds on.
“The Commission has not yet finalized the sports wagering catalogue – that will come at a later date. Entities and sports governing bodies will be able to petition the Commission to add or restrict wagers and events.”
In other words, even if the Commission doesn’t initially give esports the green light, individual sportsbooks can still send in a request to get the ball rolling.
Aug. 29: Ohio could make over $30 million from sports betting before launch
Ohio could make nearly $32 million from sports betting before the state even takes its first legal bet.
The state’s sports betting launch isn’t until Jan. 1, 2023, but the application fees from future sportsbooks are already rolling in.
Between brick and mortar sportsbooks, online betting apps and kiosks in bars and restaurants, Ohio has a lot of different businesses looking to get in on the action. Each approved businesses will pay application and license fees upfront and then yearly fees to keep their licenses.
Aug. 24: European giant Bet365 looks to create a foothold in U.S. via Ohio
PlayOhio reported this week that Bet365 might finally be ready to make a splash in the U.S. sports betting industry. The gambling company is a heavy hitter in Europe but hasn’t been able to make an impact in the American market yet.
That could change with the brand’s entry into the Ohio sports betting market. Bet365 is partnering with the Cleveland Cavaliers to launch its online sportsbook.
Though the brand doesn’t have huge name recognition in the U.S., it is a huge player in Europe. It will look to carve out a niche in Ohio through marketing and promotions and could be a go-to option for soccer bettors.
Aug. 19: Commission approves first 200 kiosk host licenses
The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week approved the first 200 Type-C sports betting licenses in Ohio. The vast majority of businesses listed were bars and restaurants, though a bowling alley in Garrettsville and golf course in Lowellville also made the cut.
During the Aug. 17 OCCC meeting, the commission reported that 652 Type-C applications came in during the application window that closed on Aug. 15. That’s only around half of the business that the Ohio Lottery had pre-approved to host the kiosks as of Aug. 12.
On Aug. 19, the Lottery updated that list to 1,303 pre-approvals. The commission this week encouraged businesses that missed the Aug. 15 deadline that guaranteed consideration for Ohio’s universal start date to continue applying.
Aug. 18: Four more applications for online sports betting licenses arrive
Four more applications for online sports betting licenses arrived during the July 15-Aug. 15 window, meaning they are guaranteed consideration in time to launch on Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
WynnBet is listed as the first mobile management service provider for for JACK Thistledown Racino. The other three companies are listed as the second skin for their respective partners:
- Digital Gaming Corporation — Belterra Park
- Prophet Exchange — Columbus Blue Jackets
- MaximBet — JACK Cleveland Casino
All four applications were filed on Aug. 15. Both application windows are now closed, meaning the main players for Ohio’s sports betting retail and online sportsbooks are in.
Aug. 17: Nearly half of Ohio’s pre-approved sports betting kiosk hosts miss application deadline
As of Aug. 12, the Ohio Lottery had pre-approved 1,254 businesses to host sports betting kiosks. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, only 652 businesses applied for licenses ahead of the Aug. 15 deadline to be guaranteed consideration ahead of the state’s Jan. 1, 2023 universal start date.
Despite the missed deadline, the commission says there is still time for the remaining pre-approved businesses to secure licenses in time for the universal start date.
“Even though the window has closed, we are strongly encouraging the pre-approved businesses by the Lottery to apply, and we will continue to process them as quickly as possible,” said Matt Schuler, chairman of the OCCC.
Aug. 15: Ohio Lottery adjusts sports betting kiosk cash-out rule
The Ohio Lottery Commission last week updated the cash-out rules for sports betting kiosks, addressing concerns that some thought might jeopardize the state’s Jan. 1, 2023 start date.
The commission approved nine administrative rules, including one that offers a pathway for lottery retailers who do not offer sports betting to cash winning bets for customers.
The initial rule led many to believe that any business hosting betting kiosks would be required to keep large sums of cash on hand in order to cash out bets. The new rule offers bettors potentially thousands of new options for cashing winning tickets and a small slice of betting revenue for lottery retailers willing to cash tickets.
Aug. 12: Aristotle International added to supplier applicant list
Just one company was added to the sports betting applicant list this week.
According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Aristotle International, Inc. was the only applicant. The company, which provides age verification and Know Your Customer services to companies like GeoComply, applied to be a supplier on Aug. 9, according to the updated list.
Aug. 10: Ohio Lottery adjusts cash-out rule
The Ohio Lottery Commission met on Wednesday, Aug. 10, to approve a number of agenda items, which included the approval of nine administrative rules in their proposed form.
With reports circling lately that the launch date of New Year’s Day 2023 could be in jeopardy due to complaints over the initial cash-out rule, it was thought perhaps the commission would address as much during Wednesday’s meeting.
The meeting came and went without mention of any report, however, the commission confirmed afterward it had adjusted the rule to calm any nerves. Be sure to check out PlayOhio‘s piece on the amended cash-out rule here.
Aug. 8: Jake Paul’s Betr sportsbook on its way to Ohio
Betr, a new sports betting brand, could be ready to make its debut in Ohio when wagering begins on Jan. 1, 2023.
Betr focuses on micro-betting, which is betting on live sports as they’re happening. The app has an online license through the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village.
Cleveland native Jake Paul is running the content wing of the company. Paul will be launching a video series named “BS With Jake Paul” to help promote the Betr brand.
Aug. 6: Novomatic Americas Sales only new applicant this past week
It was a quiet Friday release of new applicants this week for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Novomatic Americas Sales applied for a supplier license on Monday, the only new applicant added this week. There are now 36 supplier applicants.
Novomatic Americas is part of an international producer and operator of gaming technologies, including video lottery terminals.
Aug. 5: Ohio to consider changing payout roles for sports betting kiosk hosts
Ohio has received some pushback on the requirements for cashing out winning gamblers and will consider rule changes that could affect thousands of businesses that will add sports betting kiosks in the coming months.
The current rules require kiosk owners to cash out winning bettors as soon as a sporting event ends. That has some business owners worried about how much money they’ll need to keep on hand. Having dozens of winners to cash out at the same time could potentially cause a bar to need thousands of dollars to pay winners.
The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) will meet on Aug. 17 to evaluate the current set of rules. That could lead to some adjustments for bars and restaurants looking to host kiosks when Ohio sports betting begins on Jan. 1, 2023.
Aug. 3: Cleveland Browns betting to eclipse Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio
The Cincinnati Bengals are fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, but the Cleveland Browns appear to be the No. 1 team in Ohio when it comes to betting interest.
According to a new PlayOhio survey, 53.9% of current Ohio sports bettors are more interested in betting on the Browns than the Bengals. That still leaves 46.1% who prefer Joe Burrow & Co.
Both teams will need to go through the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in order to win the increasingly competitive AFC North division.
Aug 2: Survey shows NFL will be most-bet sports league, but Ohio State will also see volume
According to the results of a recent PlayOhio survey, Ohio bettors are likely to gravitate toward the NFL more than any other league once sports betting goes live on Jan. 1, 2023.
According to the survey, in which Ohio sports bettors were asked about which sports/leagues they plan on betting on, more than 75% said they plan to bet on the NFL. It was the overwhelming favorite among voters, as college football came in second at nearly 52%.
Ohians are also likely to bet heavily on the Ohio State Buckeyes, who will make up a big part of the 52% of bettors who plan to bet on college. The perennial National Title contenders are the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten at -215 and are given -255 odds to be selected to the College Football Playoff.
Aug. 1: Will Ohio bettors be able to use crypto to fund accounts?
Cryptocurrency continues to become more commonplace in the U.S. as companies like PayPal, Starbucks and Whole Foods have begun accepting it as payment for business transactions.
Still, Ohioans looking to bet on sports come Jan. 1, 2023 will likely not be able to fund sports betting accounts using crypto. But some sports betting and financial services companies are increasingly becoming crypto-friendly.
Barstool Sportsbook recently became the first operator in the U.S. to support crypto deposits, doing so in Virginia and Colorado. Users in those states can deposit with crypto such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. They have to withdraw via traditional means for the time being, however.
July 29: BetRivers applies for Ohio sports betting license but misses deadline
July 27: Sports betting kiosks could be more popular than sportsbooks in Ohio
Ohio has already pre-approved over 1,000 businesses to host sports betting kiosks, and the state is currently accepting applications to formally license them.
According to new PlayOhio survey results, the kiosks are set to be a major part of Ohio’s emerging sports betting market. According to the survey of 620 Ohioans who currently bet on sports, nearly 25% said they plan to bet via a kiosk once legal sports betting launches on Jan. 1, 2023.
That rate doesn’t compare with the 79% who said they plan to bet online, but it’s around 5 percentage points higher than the 21% of Ohio bettors who plan to place their bets at retail sportsbooks.
July 25: Missing disparity study could delay Ohio sports betting
Despite a clear directive in HB 29, which legalized sports betting in Ohio, the state has not yet commissioned a required disparity study that some lawmakers say was intended to take place before licenses could be issued.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently accepting applications for sports betting operators and businesses looking to add betting terminals. But the state’s Department of Administrative Services, which is charged in the law with conducting the study, has no such study underway and, according to its spokeswoman, also no timeline for when it will take place.
With no such study conducted — a revelation uncovered by PlayOhio – some lawmakers question whether the state can start issuing licenses. OCCC spokesperson Jessica Franks told PlayOhio via email: “The study is not required to be completed prior to the Commission issuing licenses pertaining to sports gaming.”
State Sen. Cecil Thomas, a co-sponsor of HB 29 and a Democratic member of the Ohio Senate’s Select Committee on Gaming, said he will be asking the Legislative Service Commission for an opinion.
July 22: Ohio sports betting applications continue to roll in
Three new Ohio sports betting kiosk operators and one new retail applicant have joined the growing list of businesses applying for sports betting licenses in Ohio.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission updated the list of businesses that applied for Ohio sports betting licenses during the first application window, which closed on July 15. The commission is still considering any applications postmarked by July 15. If licensed, these businesses will be able to launch on Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
July 20: Ohio sports betting survey shows 46% of bettors plan to bet weekly
PlayOhio surveyed 620 Ohio residents who currently bet on sports in Ohio. The survey results shed light on how much interest Ohio sports betting will draw upon launch and how current bettors will react to the regulated market.
Among the survey findings:
- Over 90% said betting on a legal site is either “very important” or “somewhat important;”
- 46.6% plan to bet one to five times a week;
- More than half plan to sign up for a new sportsbook app once sports betting is legal.
The PlayOhio survey suggests the NFL and college football also will be the biggest draws in Ohio. More than 75% of respondents plan to bet on the NFL, and another 51.9% plan to bet on college football.
July 15: Ohio sports betting application window opens for kiosk hosts
Ohio’s second sports betting application window is now open, meaning businesses that want to host sports betting kiosks in Ohio can formally apply.
A wide variety of Ohio businesses will add sports betting kiosks, including bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, golf courses, hotels, convenience stores, truck stops and supermarkets.
As of July 15, the Ohio Lottery had pre-approved 920 businesses in the state to host a sports betting kiosk. Those businesses still need to apply for licenses during the current application window.
July 14: Cincinnati Bengals announce partnership with Betfred
The Cincinnati Bengals announced a partnership with UK-based Betfred to become the team’s official sports betting partner.
The Bengals have now applied for their online license and lined up an operator. Betfred plans to launch the team’s sports betting app, which will be usable anywhere in Ohio.
Betfred Sports is a U.S.-owned subsidiary of UK-owned Betfred Group, a bookmaker that owns and operates over 1,400 betting shops in the UK.
July 11: Cincinnati leads Ohio cities in sports betting kiosk pre-approvals
Sports betting is coming to a bar or restaurant near most Ohioans, and Cincinnati leads the state with the most sports betting kiosk pre-approvals so far.
Businesses looking to host betting kiosks cannot formally apply with the Ohio Casino Control Commission until the July 15-Aug. 15 window, but the Ohio Lottery has already pre-approved 853 businesses that will qualify.
Among Ohio’s five largest cities, here’s how the kiosk pre-approvals currently break down:
- Cincinnati: 61
- Columbus: 56
- Akron: 27
- Cleveland: 24
- Toledo: 21
July 8: Fanatics, FanDuel, Cincinnati Bengals join application party
We have three more big names for licensing applications: Fanatics and FanDuel have submitted paperwork to be an online operator and to run a retail sportsbook, while the Cincinnati Bengals applied to operate an online sportsbook.
Ohio could be a significant state for Fanatics, writes PlayOhio’s Griffin Adams, as the apparel company is new to the betting game.
The Bengals have not yet announced an online partner, though Fanatics is already linked to the NFL because of a rumored partnership with the Washington Commanders.
July 7: Lawmakers urge DOJ to prosecute illegal sportsbooks
Three Ohio congressmen have signed a letter asking the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute offshore sportsbooks.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers sent the letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the DOJ to “make a concerted effort to fight illegal offshore sportsbooks.” The letter comes six months before Ohio is set to offer sports betting.
July 5: Retail sportsbook launches at MLS stadium
Ohio’s two MLS franchises will likely open retail sportsbooks in the coming months. Fans of FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew can now look to league rival D.C. United for an idea of what those might look like.
FanDuel recently announced that its retail sportsbook at D.C. United’s Audi Field will begin taking bets on July 7. It is the first sportsbook to open at an MLS stadium.
Both Ohio MLS franchises are among the 10 home stadiums eligible to operate brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
Carl Anthony Payne II, who played Cole in “Martin,” was on hand Friday to make the ceremonial first bet. Cole laid $20 on the DC United to beat the Philadelphia Union on Friday night.
July 1: Pro Football Hall of Fame, Barstool Sportsbook apply for Ohio sports betting licenses
Three more sports betting companies have filed applications with the Ohio Casino Control Commission in order to launch by Jan. 1, 2023:
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton
- Penn Sports Interactive, which manages the digital products of Penn National Gaming, including the Barstool Sportsbook app
- Elys Game Technology, an interactive gaming company that is partnered with Ohio-based Wright Bet to provide sports betting kiosks inside bars, restaurants and other businesses that operate the Ohio Lottery
June 25: DraftKings, JACK Entertainment apply for sports betting licenses in Ohio
The Ohio Casino Control Commission shows DraftKings Sportsbook submitted its license application to provide online sports betting in Ohio. DraftKings does not have a partner yet, but in 2019, it secured market access through Penn National Gaming. Penn currently operates two casinos and two racinos.
JACK Entertainment properties, JACK Cleveland and JACK Thistledown also applied for both online and retail sportsbook licenses.
June 24: Ohio casinos to have access to 1-800-GAMBLER hotline
Ohio casinos and their iGaming apps will have the option to utilize 1-800-GAMBLER, the number that the National Council on Problem Gambling will soon adopt.
Most states with their own helplines and call centers require casinos to publish the state’s number in advertising. Ohio’s current hotline number is unmemorable: 1-800-589-9966.
The 1-800-GAMBLER number is owned by New Jersey’s Council on Compulsive Gambling. An effort to use the number nationally is backed by the American Gaming Association and the National Football League.
June 21: First pre-launch sports betting promotion hits Ohio
Hard Rock Sportsbook has announced the first sports betting sign-up bonus ahead of Ohio’s Jan. 1, 2023 universal start date.
Dubbed “#FOMOPROMOH,” Hard Rock Sportsbook is offering $500 bonus bets for users who sign up for its app now. The bonus offer will decrease as the launch date nears.
Bettors must make a qualifying bet within two weeks of the start date in order to claim the bonus.
June 20: Ohio Casino Control Commission releases first sports betting license applicants
The commission on June 17 reported the first two operators to apply for sports gaming licenses: BetMGM and PointsBet.
Neither is a surprise. BetMGM is one of the biggest sports betting operators in the U.S. and owns MGM Northfield Park racino just outside of Cleveland. PointsBet is another major name in U.S. sports betting.
The commission is currently accepting applications for sports betting operator licenses during two 30-day windows. Any applications that miss the two 30-day windows will not be guaranteed consideration ahead of the universal start date.
June 15: First application window for sports betting licenses opens
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently accepting applications for Ohio sports betting operator licenses for all online sportsbooks, retail sportsbooks and operators of betting terminals. These applications are due by July 15.
That means up to 25 sports betting apps from the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars will file applications and be ready to launch soon.
Ohio will award up to 40 licenses for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state. These applications will be due during the first window, June 15-July 15, as well.
June 14: Ohio’s tax structure concerns sportsbooks
Some Ohio sportsbooks are concerned about the frequency of tax collection in Ohio as sports betting is set to go live in the state in January.
Sportsbooks will be required to pay taxes daily, and stakeholders argue that this could increase the effective tax rate for operators. Ohio’s sports betting law does not permit negative carry-over.
During debates on HB 29, stakeholders lobbied for a month-long tax window. It didn’t make it into the bill, but it is something that could be considered in a chaser bill. Operators most likely would pass on the extra costs to bettors.
June 10: Ohio Lottery Commission releases first list of pre-qualified sports gaming hosts
The Ohio Lottery notified more than 2,000 bars and restaurants that they could be eligible for a sports-gaming host license.
The initial list of pre-qualified sports gaming hosts shows the wide variety of places soon to have sports betting offerings. These include not just restaurants and bars, but also bowling alleys, golf courses, hotels, convenience stores, truck stops and supermarkets.
Companies that weren’t invited can still declare their interest by filling out a form on the lottery’s website.
June 7: Ohio Casino Control Commission reminds operators of advertising and recruiting rules
The Ohio Casino Control Commission today emphasized the importance of advertising sports gaming as a product and including responsible gambling messaging and other disclosures during ad campaigns.
The commission added updates to its FAQs page reminding sports betting operators to follow all rules and to “remember customer experiences” when running new ad campaigns.
June 6: Ohio sports betting application windows to open
We now know that sports betting will officially launch in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. Now the commission will work to review around 3,000 Ohio sports betting license applications during two 30-day windows for operators looking to launch on the start date.
In order to launch on Jan. 1, all online sportsbooks, retail sportsbooks and operators of betting terminals must submit applications between June 15 and July 15.
Bars, restaurants and grocery stores that operate Ohio Lottery terminals and are looking to host a betting kiosk operator may apply between July 15 and Aug. 15.
June 1: Ohio sports betting market will launch on Jan. 1, 2023
May 5: OCCC passes fifth batch of sports betting rules
The Ohio Casino Control Commission passed its fifth and final batch of rules, which cover various licenses and required procedures and duties for mobile and physical sportsbooks.
The new batch of rules also governs sports betting systems and equipment, betting tickets, advertising, promotion and bonus rules; auditing requirements; IT security guidelines; and patron privacy requirements.
May 4: OCCC announces sportsbook operator application deadlines
The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced application deadlines and approval windows for future Ohio sportsbooks. Ohio will begin accepting applications on June 15.
According to Ohio’s Sports Gaming Implementation Timeline, the commission will begin accepting applications on June 15 for the following proprietors:
- Type-A, -B, & -C Proprietors
- First-designated Mobile Management Services Providers (MMSPs)
- Management Services Providers
The deadline for these applications is July 15. Type-A licenses are for online sports betting companies, and Type-B licenses are for physical sportsbook locations. Type-C licenses cover self-service or clerk-operated terminals.
The commission will begin accepting applications for Type-C sports gaming hosts and second-designated MMSPs on July 15. The deadline to submit these applications is Aug. 15.
All sports betting proprietor applications will be available by June 1.
May 3: Bally Bet partners with Cleveland Browns to enter Ohio sports betting market
Sports betting operators continue to make deals and prepare to offer their services in Ohio. This week Bally Bet announced a partnership with the Cleveland Browns.
The deal includes entrance into the Ohio mobile betting market, a branded lounge at the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium, and some free-to-play opportunities for Cleveland Browns fans.
These free-to-play options will come with the chance for Browns fans to win special prizes themed with their team’s logos and branding. There will also be opportunities for fans to discover unique content online with the deal.
April 21: Fourth batch of rules passed by OCCC
The Ohio Casino Control Commission continues to move closer to formalizing Ohio sports gaming rules ahead of legalized sports betting coming to the state by Jan. 1, 2023.
The commission this week passed a fourth batch of rules governing supplier and employee licensing, house rules and gaming facility security and surveillance requirements.
The commission will require sports gaming employees and suppliers of gaming-related equipment or services apply for a license. The state set the parameters for establishing and making available “house rules” for all gaming proprietors.
April 12: Third batch of rules passed by OCCC
The Ohio Casino Control Commission continues to pass sports gaming rules as the march toward legalized sports betting in Ohio continues.
The commission recently passed a third batch of rules, which govern the sports gaming involuntary exclusion list and the process and fees associated with acquiring a Type C license and host licensures.
Sports gaming proprietors will be required to notify the commission if anyone on the involuntary exclusion list enters their facility. The Ohio Casino Control Commission also folded the sports gaming voluntary exclusion program in with programs used by casinos and other gaming facilities.
March 21: Rules continue to advance
The regulatory process continues on track in Ohio. The Ohio Casino Control Commission advanced the second batch of sports betting rules at last week’s meeting.
The second batch includes details on general licensing requirements, Type-A and Type-B proprietor licensing, services provider licensing, general wagering provisions and equipment.
The batch now heads to the Common Sense Initiative office, which reviews business-impacting rules for potential obstacles to Ohio businesses. The CSI will send the batch back to the OCCC to draft final rules.
Feb. 23: Fourth batch of sports betting rules out
The Ohio Casino Control Commission released a fourth batch of sports gaming rules for stakeholder comment.
This batch includes rules on supplier and employee licensing, house rules, integrity monitoring, and proprietor duties for each class of licensees. For Type A mobile licenses, this includes location-based technology.
Feb. 16: Commission advances first batch of sports betting rules, plans total of five
The Ohio Casino Control Commission gave approval for staff to file the first batch of rules with the Common Sense Initiative office.
The Commission split the batch into two filings:
- One addresses the provisional licensing rule.
- The other is composed of general provisions and certified independent testing labs.
Rules related to certified independent integrity monitors were removed from the batch for further intention.
Jan. 31: Third batch of sports betting draft rules out
The Ohio Casino Control Commission released Batch 3 of draft rules for public comment.
This batch covers involuntary exclusions, Type-C entity licensing, the voluntary exclusion program and responsible gambling plans.
The Commission set up the website www.elicense.ohio.gov for Class-D liquor permit holders, including bars and restaurants in the state, that want to apply for a Type C sports gaming host license. For a $1,000 fee, these lottery retailers can accept limited sports wagers through betting kiosks.
Jan. 26: Ohio Casino Control Commission releases second batch of draft rules
On Monday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission released Batch 2 of draft rules for public comment.
The second batch includes details on general licensing requirements, Type-A and Type-B proprietor licensing, services provider licensing, general wagering provisions and equipment.
Jan. 19: Rules update from Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting
Sports betting only got a brief mention at the January meeting of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The OCCC provided an update on the rule process. Rather than taking six months to develop one comprehensive set of rules, the OCCC is breaking the blueprints for sports betting regulations into batches.
Jan. 14: Ohio Casino Control Commission releases initial sports gaming rules
Before the calendar changed to 2022, the Ohio Casino Control Commission provided companies hoping to be involved in Ohio sports betting their first guidance.
“Batch 1” of sports betting rules address provisional licensing, certified independent testing laboratories and certified integrity monitors, as well as some general provisions.
The OCCC is committed to a transparent process during the implementation of sports betting in Ohio. It set up a sports gaming page that will regularly be updated with draft rules, applications, frequently asked questions and information.