The Buckeye state finally joined the growing list of states with legal sports betting. This came after both legislative houses passed a bill on the same with landslide margins. In December 2021, Gov Mike DeWine signed into law the bill giving leeway for sports betting to commence in the state.
However, no legal sportsbooks have been launched. Even so, sports bettors can breathe a sigh of relief since there is a set deadline of Jan 1, 2023. Operations are set to begin before or on the said date.
According to a recent timeline set by the regulator, the first application window for Type A, B and C licences, first designated Mobile Management Services Providers (MMSPs), Management Service Providers (MSPs) and suppliers will open on June 15, 2022.
Applications will close on the same day and the second application window will open next. This will be for Type C gaming hosts and second designated MMSPs. August 15th will be the deadline for submitting these applications.
Two months before sports betting goes live, all the qualified operators should have submitted to the regulator all responsible gaming plans, facility plans, equipment testing and house rule procedures. In addition, all the gaming equipment must be ready for the commission to inspect and verify a month prior the launch date.
Ohio’s sports betting bills
Earlier bids to have legal sports betting in Ohio started in 2019. By then, there were several bill sponsors from the House and Senate. Several amendments were proposed and with no time to make them and secure a hearing, the efforts were thwarted.
HB29 is the bill that brought sports betting to Ohio. A previous bill SB176 had been drafted, but its hearing in the House was unforeseen. For this reason, Sen Schuring decided to move the infrastructure of SB176 to HB29. Thereafter, HB29 passed through both legislative Houses with a vote margin of 72-12.
What Ohioans can expect
Sports bettors in Ohio will have a myriad of options when sports betting goes live. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will be in charge of regulating sports betting in the state. In addition, the commission is currently in charge of drawing out the regulatory framework since the betting industry will be massive.
As per HB29, Ohioans can expect;
- 25 online sportsbooks issued under Type A licences
- 40 retail sportsbooks issued under Type B licences
- Betting kiosks in Class-D liquor-licensed businesses issued under Type C licences.
For online sportsbooks, casinos and sports team licence holders can apply for a second online licence once they demonstrate its financial impact. As for retail sportsbooks, there will be strict location requirements to be adhered to. The number of retail sportsbooks will be determined by the population size or the number of tourists that visit annually. Ohio’s tax rate for sports betting revenue will be 10% where 2% will be allocated to help alleviate problem gambling.
In recent months, Ohio has been buzzing with activity as sportsbooks rush to secure a place in Ohio’s betting market. This has seen the state’s professional teams make remarkable partnerships with premier brands.
The Cleveland Browns for instance made a long-term partnership deal with Bally Bet. This deal will see the gaming operator become the official betting partner to the team. The partnership’s intent is to deliver a fan-focused experience for sports bettors in Ohio.
Also, Fubo Gaming clinched a partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers to be their official sports betting partner. This partnership will have its perks such as a sports lounge at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Even so, with 25 sportsbooks expected to launch in Ohio, major brands are expected. Here is a list of operators most likely to feature.
This sportsbook is already operating in Ohio as a Daily Fantasy Sports provider. FanDuel has been expanding to most states that have legal sports betting. It’s therefore unlikely to miss out in Ohio.
As a DFS operator in Ohio, DraftKings will not miss out on an online sportsbook licence. The operator has been in good legal standing with Ohio. Moreover, DraftKings is known to offer great partnerships to local teams, therefore, becoming an indispensable partner.
BetMGM Sportsbooks being an extension of MGM Resorts is most likely to partner with MGM Northfield Park. The racino offers horse racing betting and casino gambling in Ohio. The addition of a sportsbook will offer the ultimate sports betting experience.
The presence of Eldorado Gaming Scioto in Columbus, Ohio is the necessary footing Caesars needs to secure a licence in Ohio. The establishment already offers a great space for horse racing betting and a state-of-the-art casino. Caesars Sportsbook will be a great addition.
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