Live Updates: The Latest News, Info About Sports Betting in Ohio

Written By Matthew Kredell on December 15, 2021 - Last Updated on August 8, 2022
ohio online sports betting

Ohio sports betting is gearing up for launch, but how long is the wait?

The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced sports betting in Ohio will officially launch on Jan. 1, 2023. Once sports betting finally 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.

Most recent Ohio sports betting launch updates

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 survey53.9% 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.

Ohio sports betting officially launches on Jan. 1, 2023, meaning the first time Ohioans will be able to place a bet on a hometown team will be at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 when the Browns kick off against the Washington Commanders. The Bengals host the Buffalo Bills Monday Night Football the following evening.

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%.

Ohio boasts two NFL teams within its borders in the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.

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.

PayPal officially entered the cryptocurrency space in June. Users can deposit, withdraw and use cryptocurrency to transact the same as with any other funds in their accounts.

At this time, it seems unlikely for Ohioans to have cryptocurrency options from Day 1. But with major sports betting and financial companies increasingly adopting crypto, it is likely to be an option sooner than later.

July 29: BetRivers applies for Ohio sports betting license but misses deadline

BetRivers has applied for an Ohio sports betting license, but the online sports betting operator missed the cutoff to be guaranteed consideration in time for Ohio’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023. Rush Street Interactive, the sportsbook’s parent company, filed the application on July 19, outside Ohio’s first application window. There is still time for BetRivers to be licensed ahead of the start date, but it is not guaranteed.
If licensed, BetRivers will partner with Hollywood Casino Columbus to run a mobile sports betting app. It would utilize Hollywood Columbus’ second skin, as the casino will also use the Barstool Sportsbook app. Penn National Gaming owns Hollywood Columbus and has a major stake in Barstool Sports.

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.

Businesses looking to add betting kiosks have until Aug. 15 to apply with the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

July 26: Phantom Fireworks’ sports betting application meant for downtown Youngstown

Amid the dozens of professional sports teams, casinos and racinos that have applied for retail sports betting licenses, northern Ohio’s Phantom Fireworks stood out.

This week a report by The Vindicator in Youngstown explained the plan behind the application, which is not to create a retail location within a fireworks store.

A Phantom Fireworks license would actually be used to create a retail location at the Covelli Center, a downtown Youngstown arena that is home to the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League.

William Weimer, vice president of Phantom Fireworks, credited Phantom Fireworks President Bruce Zoldan with the plan.

“He came up with the idea of getting one of these gaming licenses for the Covelli Centre. The idea is to put kiosks in the concourse (for sports betting) and do some remodeling at the Huntington Club on the second floor to provide for a betting area and TVs.

“Youngstown, like many cities, has seen a lot of decline downtown. … It seems to be turning into an entertainment place. Adding this dimension to the Covelli Centre would help the entertainment aura of the downtown area.”

Zoldan owns the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team and is working with other local business people on the sports betting plan. The group submitted its application in time to be considered for Ohio’s universal start date. Whether the license is granted is up to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

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.

This week, Iron Gate Gaming, J&J Ventures Gaming and Gold Rush Amusements joined the list of businesses looking to operate sports betting kiosks in Ohio. Lori’s Roadhouse, a restaurant and live music venue in Butler County, applied for a retail sports betting license.

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.

The options will be robust, ranging from neighborhood bars, local restaurants, gas stations, truck stops and even bowling alleys. Businesses that operate the Ohio Lottery are eligible to apply.

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.

Gaming Caucus co-chairs Dina Titus (D-NV) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) led the effort. Those who signed the letter included three Ohio U.S. representatives, Anthony Gonzalez, David P. Joyce and Steve Chabot.

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. The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently accepting applications for sports betting operator licenses.

To launch on Jan. 1, all online sportsbooks, retail sportsbooks and operators of betting terminals must submit applications by July 15.

PlayOhio is tracking the list of Ohio applicants here.

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

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton will partner with BetRivers Sportsbook to operate its retail sportsbook in the Hall of Fame Village and its sports betting app.

Penn Sports Interactive applied for a mobile management services provider license, representing the entry point for the Barstool Sportsbook app.

Elys Gaming Technology is partnered with Wright Bet to operate sports betting kiosks inside local establishments that are licensed through 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.

Still, an easy-to-recall number won’t solve a key problem that has dogged the prospect of creating an intuitive system. The NCPG and New Jersey numbers route calls to local helplines based on the caller’s area code, not their location.

It is currently not legal for any call center other than 911 to route calls based on geolocation. The Federal Communications Commission can change that with an exemption.

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.

The state expects to review around 3,000 Ohio sports betting license applications in the coming months.

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.

The commission will begin posting a list of applicants on its website starting June 17.

The second application window will run from July 15-Aug. 15. Bars, restaurants and grocery stores that operate Ohio Lottery terminals and are looking to host a betting kiosk operator may apply during this window.

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 alleysgolf courseshotelsconvenience storestruck 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.

Sports betting operators are allowed to advertise and market to new customers ahead of launch, which will take place on Jan. 1, 2023. The commission notes that it could take administrative action or change its stance on allowing pre-launch advertising and recruiting if operators don’t follow the rules.

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.

Once licensed, businesses will work on completing buildings, distributing kiosks, hiring and training employees, agreeing on and announcing partnerships, and many other tasks associated with opening a well-regulated sports betting business.

June 1: Ohio sports betting market will launch on Jan. 1, 2023

The Ohio Casino Control Commission today announced that the universal start date for sports betting in Ohio will be Jan. 1, 2023. The commission last week hinted that sports betting in Ohio would not launch much earlier than the original Jan. 1 deadline, if at all.Virtually every major online sports betting operator should be ready for the opening with plenty of lead-up time to secure licenses and gain approval from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. State residents can also expect a parade of Ohio sports figures to appear at in-person events on Jan. 1 at the state’s four casinos and other venues where folks 21 years or older will be able to bet on sports.

May 27: Date set to announce Ohio sports betting launch date

Ohioans will soon find out exactly when legal sports betting will arrive in the state. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will announce a universal start date on Wednesday for all operators to begin business.

May 18: We’ll get a sports betting launch date… soon

The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced the date for the launch of Ohio sports betting will come on June 1.

That’s when the OCCC will announce it, though its language indicated the original Jan. 1, 2023 start date just might be the actual one.

May 9: Feedback sought on final sports betting applications

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has released its final collection of application drafts for prospective sportsbetting suppliers and employees.

The commission is currently accepting feedback on applications for sports gaming suppliers, key sports gaming employees, and standard sports gaming employees. The application drafts can be found here:

  • Sports Gaming Supplier
  • Key Sports Gaming Employee
  • Standard Sports Gaming Employees

Anyone interested in providing written comments on the application must email the comments to [email protected] by 5 p.m. May 13.

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.

Ohio’s sports betting law will license up to 25 online sportsbooks, but the state will grant additional licenses based on market need. A sportsbook operator would need to prove such a need using market share analysis and reports by qualified third parties to show a benefit to the state in order to procure an additional license.

The law also details how a retail brick-and-mortar sportsbook that doesn’t meet the county population requirement for a license could still receive one if it has enough tourism.

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
  • Suppliers

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.

Bally Bet is the latest in a series of high-profile partnerships to take root in the Buckeye State. Since December 2021, BetRivers, Tipico, and BetPARX have each come to terms with Ohio-based entities that will give them access to the market. Respectively, the partnerships are with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, the MLS’s Columbus Crew, and the PGA’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

All of these deals are in addition to the other prominent sportsbook operators that already have pathways into the Buckeye State through their existing properties in Ohio. All signs are pointing to a major event for sports bettors in January 2023.

May 2: Feedback sought on Type-A and Type-B sports gaming licenses

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently seeking feedback on a draft of the application for Type-A and Type-B sports gaming licenses. Type-A licenses are for online sports betting companies, and Type-B licenses are for physical sportsbook locations.

The commission also released a draft application for mobile management services providers and management services providers

Anyone interested in providing written comments on the application must email the comments to [email protected] by 5 p.m. May 6.

April 25: Feedback sought on Type-C sports gaming license

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently seeking feedback on a draft of the application for a Type-C sports gaming license.

The state is only soliciting feedback from proprietors who will apply for Type-C license, which include self-service or clerk-operated terminals in establishments with D-1, D-2, or D-5 liquor permits. There will be a maximum of 20 Type-C proprietors, which can place kiosks within liquor establishments, known as “gaming hosts.” 

Anyone interested in providing written comments on the application must email the comments to [email protected] by 5 p.m. April 28.

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.

The fourth batch of rules require each gaming proprietor to use location-based technology to ensure all users are located within Ohio. They also require proprietors to only use approved gaming equipment that satisfies the state’s security, monitoring, and integrity provisions.

April 13: Gaming attorney: Ohio sports betting could launch by NFL kickoff

Could sports betting in Ohio be legalized in time for the 2022 NFL season? Gaming attorney Daniel Wallach believes the state has made enough progress to potentially launch that soon. 

“I think they are looking pretty good for near the beginning of the NFL regular season,” Wallach told the Springfield News-Sun

State Sen. Niraj Antani, who sponsored the bill that legalized sports betting in Ohio, also said he is optimistic that the state could launch early.

The law signed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in December stipulates that sports betting must be launched no later than Jan. 1, 2023. The NFL season and other fall sports offer the chance for Ohio to tap into additional tax revenue if it can launch early.

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. Anyone who believes they have a gambling problem may voluntarily exclude themselves for a selected minimum period of time. The state will maintain a system for indicating whether an individual is on either exclusion list.  

In a separate filing, the Ohio Casino Control Commission passed rules related to certification and requirements of integrity monitors in sports gaming. Independent integrity monitors will be required to observe gaming activity to identify unusual betting patterns and to notify appropriate parties of any suspicious activity. The new rules spell out the application process, conflict of interest policies and responsibilities of integrity monitors.

March 21: Rules continue to advance

The regulatory process continues on track in Ohio. The Ohio Casino Control Commissionadvanced 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.

There are five batches of sports gaming rules in total. The fifth batch, addressing supplemental Type-A and Type-B proprietor licensing, required procedures and general proprietor duties, just closed its first comment period.

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.

Also included were independent integrity monitors that were removed from batch 1 and revised. A spokesperson for the Commission says the changes better correspond with present practices of sports gaming proprietors in other states, while still ensuring that instances of unusual or suspicious gaming activity are appropriately addressed.

Ohio will have one more batch of sports betting rules focusing on generally applicable proprietor duties.

Feb. 16: Commission advances first batch of sports betting rules, plans total of five

At Wednesday’s February meeting, 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.

The Commission determined it will need five batches of rules to complete the rulemaking process. The second and third batches already are out for stakeholder comment. They likely will advance when the Commission next meets March 16.

The OCCC anticipates releasing Batch 4 in late February and Batch 5 in early March.

The Common Sense Initiative, led by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, reviews business-impacting rules for potential obstacles to Ohio businesses. It may ask the OCCC questions or return the rules with suggested amendments. Then the Commission drafts final rules and sends them to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, which can take up to 65 days to review them.

Feb. 11: Which Ohio sports teams can have sports betting

The Ohio sports betting bill gives preference for Type A mobile and Type B retail licenses to casinos/racinos and professional sports organizations.

These entities also may apply with the Ohio Casino Control Commission to partner with a second mobile sports betting operator. Leading up to the bill passage, Rep. Bill Seitz noted that 11 casinos/racinos and 10 professional sports organizations would get this preferential treatment.

The 10 professional sports organizations are referenced in the bill but not specifically named. PlayOhio confirmed with Seitz and the Commission that the legislation accounts for the following 10 sports organizations:

  • Cincinnati Bengals (NFL)
  • Cleveland Browns (NFL)
  • Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
  • Cleveland Guardians (MLB)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
  • Columbus Crew (MLS)
  • FC Cincinatti (USL)
  • PGA Tour events
  • NASCAR races

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.

Written comments can be sent to the OCCC at [email protected]ohio.gov by Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.

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.

The Commission also updated its sports gaming FAQs to include questions related to advertising, marketing and player recruitment.

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.

The new batch reveals that online sportsbooks can partner with up to four Type-A licensees. There are 25 Type-A licenses available. Each of 11 Ohio casino and 10 sports team needs to get its own license. That will leave four licenses up for grabs by entities with a physical presence in Ohio.

Public comment on the second batch runs through Feb. 4. The Commission could advance both batches at its next meeting Feb. 16. The OCCC is unsure as of yet how many batches of rules it will be putting out.

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.

The Commission plans to vote on approving the first batch at its next meeting on Feb. 16. Changes already were made to Batch 1 of the rules after receiving industry comments. It then went out for a second round of comments.

Once approved, Batch 1 will head through the formal rule filing process, needing legislative approval. This will take until May or June.

Simultaneously, the Commission will work on other batches. It’s unclear how many batches of rules will be needed. The first batch addresses areas needed for companies to get started on preparing for licensure, such as provisional licensing and independent testing laboratories.

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.

On it, the Commission states that it is unlikely to accept applications until the summer or fall of 2022.

At its December meeting, the OCCC offered an 18-page presentation explaining the Ohio sports betting law. Reading it, it’s no wonder the Commission believes it will need the full allotted time to Jan. 1, 2023, to prepare sports betting for launch.

The OCCC next meets Jan. 19. Commission meetings are not live streamed.

Ohio sports betting updates: 2021

Dec. 23, 2021

Rush Street will operate retail sportsbook at Canton’s Hall of Fame Village

And now, the partnerships.

With Gov. Mike DeWine signing the sports betting bill into law on Wednesday, it’s now open season for sports betting operators to announce their intentions for Ohio.

On Thursday morning, BetRivers Sportsbook owners Rush Street Interactive announced it would operate a retail sportsbook at Hall of Fame Village in Canton, which surrounds the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The 10-year agreement indicates RSI will come to Ohio, joining its 12 current live states, including Ohio neighbors Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Dec. 22, 2021

DeWine signs sports betting legislation into law

Gov. Mike DeWine put pen to paper on Wednesday.

The governor signed a law that will bring legal sports betting to Ohio soon, perhaps by next football season, but possibly not until Jan. 1, 2023.

PlayOhio is projecting that a mature market in the Buckeye State could produce as much as $900 million in gaming revenue, $12 billion in wagers, and $90 million in state taxes.

Dec. 15, 2021

Yes, you will be able to bet on Ohio State, college sports

There was some talk throughout the Ohio sports betting legislative process of banning betting on college sports.

The Inter-University Council of Ohio even asked for college sports betting to be banned at one point.

Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, said the regulator will not exempt college athletics from wagering, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

“That’s the big question: Will people be able to bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes?” Schuler said, according to the AP. “Yes, they will.”

Dec. 13, 2021

Regulator: Ohio sports betting launch won’t come until 2023

Ohio Casino Control Commission deputy director Rick Anthony told PlayOhio that it’ll be a year before sports betting launches in Ohio.

“We have a year, and we do feel a year is needed,” Anthony said at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States conference in Austin, Texas. “Because of the across-the-board universal start date, including the retail components in the bill, we feel that will be the date.”

Because lawmakers did not include an emergency rule-making provision in the bill, several steps will follow the release of draft rules and regulations.

The Common Sense Initiative will take public input, the OCCC will take stakeholder comments, and the commission will draft final rules and send them to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

Dec. 8, 2021

House Bill 29 sails through both Ohio legislative chambers

It finally happened.

After multiple years of build-up, House Bill 29 breezed through both chambers in Columbus: 31-1 in the Senate and 72-12 in the House.

The bill included provisions that would allow for the following:

  • 46 online sports wagering sites/apps
  • 40 retail sportsbooks 
  • Thousands of sports betting kiosks at restaurants, bars and grocery stores throughout the state where there are Ohio Lottery terminals

There is also a complicated fee structure, which favors sports teams, that is set up for online sports betting licenses.

Lawmakers are angling for every sports betting entity to launch at the same time, setting a Jan. 1, 2023 deadline.

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File

Matthew Kredell Avatar
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Matthew Kredell

Matthew has covered efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling since 2007. His reporting on the legalization of sports betting began in 2010 with an article for Playboy Magazine on how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting the expansion of regulated sports betting. A USC journalism alum, Matt started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News and has written on a variety of topics for Playboy, Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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