Ohio may not have been fastest to jump on the wagering bandwagon, but when Ohio sports betting begins on Jan. 1, 2023, the designated universal start date, no state in the country is going to have more different places to place a bet.
In reality, no one is going to have to move off the couch, as mobile wagering will be available from most likely every company legally operating in the U.S. But if a Bengals, Browns or Buckeyes bettor wants to get a little fresh air, sip an icy cold one at a friendly watering hole or even pick up a sandwich and a bag of chips, in-person sports betting in Ohio is going to be available at casinos, racetracks, bars, restaurants and even supermarkets.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week approved 200 drinking and dining establishments for gaming kiosks and still has another 500 Type C applications to go through.
If you have a friend or loved one working at the OCCC, don’t expect to see them for the next four months. They will have a lot of gambling dens to approve, equipment to check, employees to vet and more. They might even have to deal with some appeals.
When the New Year hits, it’s likely that about 90% of wagers will be placed on Ohio mobile betting apps, but that doesn’t mean the process changes or gets easier for approving retail sportsbooks and those wanting to house betting kiosks.
In addition to the progress on Type C licenses, four sportsbooks submitted mobile management services provider applications on Monday. They were WynnBet (JACK Thistledown Racino), Digital Gaming Corp. (Belterra Park), Prophet Exchange (Columbus Blue Jackets) and MaximBet (JACK Cleveland Casino), according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission website. They hope to launch on Jan. 1, 2023, when the market goes live.
Appeals Process for Those Not Licensed
If an applicant doesn’t get approved, OCCC spokesperson Jessica Franks said there is a process to get a second look.
“If we uncover information that leads us to believe that an applicant shouldn't be given a license,” Franks said, “we will issue them a notice for an opportunity of hearing. We're basically saying we are intending to deny your application and if that entity or individual would like to object, they can go through what's called a Chapter 119 process.
“It's used by many state agencies. When that happens, the individual or entity comes before an independent examiner and presents its case. The commission presents its case. And then the hearing examiner issues a report and recommendations based on whether the commission was correct in its determination to deny the license or if some other action should be taken.”
Grocery Stores Apply for Kiosks
One of the unique twists in Ohio is the possibility that grocery stores will be allowed kiosks, making it more difficult to decide whether dinner that night is more important that taking the Cavaliers getting 6.5 points on the road. Numerous Kroger and Giant Eagle locations have already applied for kiosk licenses.
Franks said, “If an entity meets the four requirements outlined in the law, they are permitted to apply for and receive that license. We do not pre-judge any application.”
“We do have quite a bit of work ahead of us,” she acknowledged. “Between all of our license types, we've got over 1,000 applications to go through, with more on the way. But we have a very good team here and we're just going to make sure that we get our work completed.”
Licenses for Kiosks Made Available to Numerous Businesses
There is no limit to the number of places which could be licensed for kiosks. As for who’s going to supply those kiosks, there have been seven applications, and all may get a piece of the Buckeye pie.
The bill states there must be at least two providers of kiosks, but there can’t be more than 20, Franks said. So, as the kiosk vendors get approved, they’ll have to make deals with locations to house their kiosks. Barkeeps, prepare for a bunch of sales pitches.
When the market launches, you can expect to see Ohio sportsbook promo codes made available by operators in the state.
Top Sportsbooks Expected in Ohio
One of the first to apply for a sports betting license, BetMGM Ohio, will look to continue the strong momentum it has gained in other legal wagering states.
It will have a retail sportsbook at Northfield Park racino, and it has applied for a retail sportsbook with the Cincinnati Reds, meaning a BetMGM retail sportsbook or lounge could be coming to the Reds’ Great American Ballpark.
Ohio has a population of around 11.8 million, the seventh-largest state. BetMGM Ohio promo codes will be popular with those looking to place bets.