Sportsbooks will be able to go live for the first time in Ohio at midnight on January 1, 2023. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A definitive start time
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has revealed that retail and online sportsbooks will start accepting bets as soon as the clock hits midnight on January 1, 2023. The state gambling regulator announced the official start time for Ohio’s legal betting market at a meeting on Wednesday.
once the ball drops in Times Square, sports gaming can commence.”
Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director Matthew Schuler explained the reasoning behind the midnight launch. He said: “The common sense way to do this with absolute clarity, is that once the ball drops in Times Square, sports gaming can commence.”
Getting ready for launch
Schuler revealed that the regulator has already received 850 betting license applications since opening up the process. Just 65 licenses are up for grabs in Ohio, with 40 of them covering retail sportsbooks and 25 online sportsbooks. The deadline for second-skin operator licenses ends on August 15.
ensure they tick all regulatory boxes
After the midnight launch, Ohio bettors will get to place wagers on the array of college football bowl games scheduled for New Year’s Day. However, if operators and proprietors want to partake, they will need to ensure they tick all regulatory boxes before the launch date.
At the Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting, the chief technology and gaming officer Chris Fleenor revealed that the state will launch an online platform where problem gamblers can voluntarily self-exclude. This will go live at least one month before sportsbooks launch.
A long time coming
Efforts to introduce sports betting to Ohio began in 2018. The Ohio Governor officially signed sports betting legislation into law in December 2021. However, drawing up the rules and regulations has taken a long time, with state authorities now finally beginning the licensing process.
States bordering Ohio like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan already have sportsbooks up and running.
It appears that all of the major US sportsbook operators will seek an Ohio license. As it is the seventh most populated state in the country and has a passionate population of sports fans, Ohio is expected to boast a substantial potential market.