The Ohio Casino Control Commission expects to receive “roughly 3,000” license applications for the launch of sports betting in the state, which is likely to happen close to January 1, 2023.
It was initially expected that sports wagering in the Buckeye State would launch in time for or during the NFL season and the MLB World Series later this year, taking advantage of the betting interest in those events.
However, Jessica Franks, Spokeswoman for the Ohio Casino Control Commission, recently told WCPO 9 News that the state will likely be going live with sports betting close to or on January 1 due to the number of license applications the commission is expected to receive.
“For everyone interested, they really should expect it to be very close to – if not on – January 1st. We anticipate roughly 3,000 (license applications) might come in,” Franks said.
“We’re going to need to do all of those investigations to issue those licenses and then make sure they’re in compliance with all of the rules and regulations. We’re going to need all of that time right up until January.”
Ohio will have three licensing windows for businesses interested in the state’s sports betting market to submit their applications.
Starting June 15 for 30 days, the first licensing window will see the state accept applications for 25 online sportsbooks (Type-A licenses), 40 retail sportsbooks (Type-B licenses), kiosks/clerk-operated terminals in bars and restaurants via the Ohio Lottery Commission (Type-C licenses), first-designated mobile management service providers (MMSP) partnering with Type-A and Type-B license holders, and sports betting equipment suppliers.
Beginning July 15, the second licensing window is for second-designated MMSP or service providers that want a second online sportsbook partnership, as well as for establishments to add up to two sports betting kiosks if they already do business with the Ohio Lottery (Type-C licenses).
The third licensing window will begin 60 days before the Ohio sports betting start date. It is for sportsbook employees to become licensed, and for sportsbooks to submit responsible gaming plans, house rules, and equipment tests to state regulators. Sportsbooks must also have their equipment ready for commission verification 30 days before the launch day.
The starting date for the third licensing window is expected to be announced on June 1.
Franks added: “The businesses themselves need that certainty about when it’s going to start because they’ve got to get their facilities ready.
“They’ve got to hire staff. They’ve got to get them trained. They’ve got to get them licensed when needed. So, for them, having that universal start date where they know they have that time, it’s also going to be important for them as well.”
The Ohio Lottery Commission has already received at least 550 sports gaming interest forms after it notified more than 2,000 bars and restaurants earlier this month that they could be eligible for a sports-gaming host license. Companies that weren’t invited can still declare their interest by filling out a form on the lottery’s website.
Jon Dillinger, the lottery’s Deputy Director, noted: “At the end of this month, we will start to post the pre-qualified host retailers on our website.
“The goal will be for potential proprietors to access and really start to gather that information to give them an idea of the number of pre-qualified hosts that we have, where those are located throughout the state, and also start initial conversations about partnering together.”