Launch of Ohio Sports Betting Remains On Schedule; No Surprises in Process

Launch of Ohio Sports Betting Remains On Schedule; No Surprises in Process
By Howard Gensler

The Buckeye State has made it through the first quarter of its year-long plan to launch Ohio sports betting and is still on schedule.

The first two sets of batch rules are making their way through Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (the poorly-initialed CSI for short) and then are off to, or will soon be off to, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). Rule batches 3-5 are still receiving comments from stakeholders (sportsbooks, lawyers, citizens, etc.) and they should be amended and heading to the CSI in April.

As we explained in January, after JCARR gets its review which can last up to two months, it’s back to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) to approve the twice-reviewed rules. There’s a short waiting period and then four to six months for the rules to become active. And it all has to happen on or before Jan. 1, 2023.

A previous update from the OCCC provided the timeline for rolling out sports betting.

So what’s new?

Commission Updates FAQ

For one thing, the OCCC updated its sports betting FAQ on March 23. That can be found here.

Second, the OCCC has “released all of the draft rules that we believe we will need for stakeholder comments,” says Jessica Franks, director of communications for the OCCC. “The first two batches have been submitted for what we refer to as the formal rule filing process. From there it's sort of out of our hands. But based on where we are with having released all of the rule drafts, we will be ready to go by January 1st of 2023.”

Franks says there haven’t been any surprises so far in the process — there have been a lot of comments, but almost all from sportsbooks, sports teams and their lawyers looking for clarifications or the tweaking of language. If you’re interested, or have trouble sleeping, you can read the comments on the OCCC’s sports gaming webpage where it says Business Impact Analysis.

Trying to Work Ahead

While the five batches of draft rules make their way through committees, Franks says the OCCC will continue to work on “other documents that we’re going to need when we eventually get to the place where we're ready to start accepting applications from potential licensees.”

“We can't accept applications until the rules that we've put forth have sort of crossed the finish line and are effective,” she said. “But we are working to make sure that when that happens, we're ready to go, because we are going to need time to accept applications, answer questions and then do our licensing investigations.”

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Contributors

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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