A concrete launch date
Sports betting in Ohio has an official start date: January 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced the news on Wednesday following much speculation and it appears that the application process for sports betting licenses will begin in the coming weeks.
A new licensing site is set to go live on June 15, which will provide all relevant information about applying for a license. The public will also have the ability starting in August to look up the applicants for various types of licenses.
allows for the issuance of up to 46 online sports betting licenses
The state’s gaming regulator believes that it could receive as many as 3,000 applications, which will take some time to process. The law allows for the issuance of up to 46 online sports betting licenses, therefore it seems likely that most major operators will have no issues getting their hands on one.
Operators preparing themselves
Major sportsbook operators tend to aim to be ready to launch at the same time as the overall market in order to maximize the first-mover advantage. They will be allowed to begin signing up customers in Ohio before the January launch date.
numerous big names have signed partnership agreements
Many operators have been setting themselves up claim a spot in Ohio’s legal sports betting market for some time. Numerous big names have signed partnership agreements during the past couple of years with major professional sports teams in the state. This includes Bally’s partnering with the Cleveland Browns, WynnBET with the Cincinnati Reds, and Caesars Entertainment with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Local casino operator JACK Entertainment has even launched a free-to-play sports betting app called betJACK. The idea is to convert the free-to-play customer database into real money bettors by the time January rolls around.
A long time coming
It has taken some time for legal sports betting to come to the Buckeye State. Over the years, there a number of bills that would have legalized the activity failed to make much progress. Finally, though, House Bill 29 made it through the legislature and was signed into law in December. There were many people who believed that the legal market would launch in 2022.
However, Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director Matt Schuler outlined in the official launch date announcement that there is still much preparation to be done before going live. The January 1, 2023 date is the absolute latest that the market can go live, according to the sports betting legislation. Operators had been hoping to be up and running in time for the beginning of the NFL season, as it is usually one of the most popular times of the year for sportsbooks.