When Will Ohio Launch Online Sports Betting?
The official arrival date of legal sports betting in Ohio has yet to be determined. However, the latest signs indicate that a specific launch date could arrive early enough for Ohioans to bet during the football season — both college and the NFL. The release of deadline dates by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) provides a loose timeline for when the first legal wagers could be placed in Ohio.
The first deadline for sportsbooks to apply for licenses is July 15, 2022. The OCCC also released a draft of a Sports Gaming Proprietor License Application in April, signaling that the gears were starting to shift into motion.
One date has remained in place for quite some time: January 1, 2023. Ohio law requires that the first legal bet be placed by the first of the new year. The timeline currently in place puts Ohio on track to do that. Sports Betting Hall of Fame inductee Sara Slane provides additional optimism for the eventual launch.
“I’m cautiously optimistic, but maybe we’ll see something in the fourth quarter of 2022 in Ohio,” said Slane. That may not allow for a full season of NFL betting, but Ohioans would still be able to wager on the Super Bowl and March Madness if the launch of sports betting proceeds as Slane anticipates.
Sports betting in Ohio is legal as a result of Governor Mike DeWine signing House Bill 29 into law late last year. Ohioans and prospective bettors have naturally been anxious for the official launch of sports betting. However, there is plenty for future Buckeye bettors to become familiar with while they wait.
Read more about Ohio sports betting laws here.
Ohio Sports Betting
The arrival of sports betting is something the state of Ohio has gradually worked toward for years. The state has loosened some of its restrictive policies on gambling activities. This has included the embracing of casinos, which have become more prominent throughout the Buckeye State. It’s taken longer for sports betting to see that same invitation, but prospective bettors are certainly happy with the strides being made on that front.
Ohio sports betting has taken a long road to arrive at its current point. Continue reading to catch up on the history of Ohio gambling and sports betting, and become familiar with some of the sportsbooks that will be candidates to hit the market.
History Of Gambling And Sports Betting In Ohio
Ohio’s gambling history is relatively straightforward in comparison to some other states. It has long allowed horse racing and continues to maintain several racetracks throughout its territory.
However, sports betting legislation has lagged behind. It took a couple of years for the first potential sports betting bill, HB 194, to cross the right desks even though the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. The fall of 2020 saw HB 194 finally reach Columbus. SB 176 passed in the Senate in June 2021, but there was not enough support in the House to push through a bill.
In early October 2021, senators announced the convening of a committee dedicated to negotiating terms of the Ohio sports betting bill to find common ground between both sides of the table. This paved the way for the drafting of HB 29, which was approved by both the Ohio state House and state Senate on December 8, 2021. And then finally, on December 22, 2021, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 29 into law, officially legalizing sports gambling within the state’s borders.
Ohioans must continue to exhibit patience, however, as they await the launch of sports betting. The Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected to accept its first license application in the summer of 2022. The OCCC has, however, set application fees for Type A and Type B licenses. They’ve also drafted the application that sportsbooks will use to secure licensure to operate within the state.
There’s a firmer date for Ohio’s residents to keep in mind: January 1, 2023. The law states that sports gambling must be launched by the new year, so it’s reasonable to expect the first mobile app to reach the market in the fall of 2022.
Timeline Of Ohio’s Gambling History
- November 2020 – HB 194, at the time the only sports betting bill currently being discussed in the Ohio legislature, reaches Columbus and starts making the rounds.
- January 2021 – Senate President Matt Huffman announces the creation of a seven-member Select Committee on Gaming, which will convene in May of the same year to discuss various gambling and sports betting legalization related issues.
- October 2021 – Ohio state officials announced their intention to pass sports betting in the House by the end of the month.
- December 8, 2021 – Ohio lawmakers reach an agreement on sports betting, and the state Senate and House both vote to approve the bill, sending it to Gov. Mike DeWine to sign.
- December 22, 2021 — Gov. DeWine signed the sports betting bill (House Bill 29) into law.
- January 1, 2023 — Deadline for Ohio to launch legal sports betting.
Ohio Sportsbooks – Coming Soon
One thing has become apparent as the Ohio market awaits the official launch of sports betting: Ohioans will have access to some of the top sportsbooks in the sports betting industry.
The OCCC will issue up to 25 mobile sportsbook apps and there are already strong indications as to what brands Ohioans will have access. Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most prominent brands in the industry, and in February 2022, they forged a sports betting partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As part of the agreement, Caesars will open a retail sportsbook within Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
While Caesars is a great brand with a wonderful sportsbook app, bettors are encouraged to try multiple apps. Not only is it worth taking advantage of the welcome bonuses they offer, but it’s the best way to find the best odds for any given contest.
DraftKings is one of the largest operators in North America. It’s likely that it will pursue licensure in some capacity in Ohio so it can maintain its dominant presence in the market.
DraftKings has one of the best sportsbook platforms in the industry, and it’s a great place for both recreational and experienced bettors to place wagers. The mobile app is intuitive and easy to navigate and comes with specialized betting pools that you can’t access using the desktop platform.
Furthermore, DraftKings is well known for its varied markets, especially for major American sports like basketball, football, and baseball. But it’s also a great app for international betting, and for niche activities like eSports.
The app has all the major functions you might want, including live streaming and in-play betting.
BetMGM Sportsbook offers very good betting markets for international and American sports leagues, and it even offers quality live streaming for your favorite sports activities.
The BetMGM mobile app experience is solid overall. The app allows you to place in-play or live wagers on currently running games and its rewards program is one of the best, making this a platform worthy of serving as a pillar of anyone’s sportsbook app rotation.
Caesars is a good choice if you want to place wagers in international sports leagues like soccer, cricket, and rugby. Of course, it also offers deep betting markets for American sports, like baseball, football, and more.
Caesars’ mobile app interface is easy to navigate and minimalist, so there aren’t a ton of confusing buttons to sift through. It offers regular promotions and a good opening bonus worth up to $1,500 for new account holders. Sports bettors can count on a quality overall experience with Caesars Sportsbook, and they’ll want to be sure to check it out as they make their initial — or next — foray into sports betting.
FanDuel is DraftKings’ most direct competitor — especially considering their presence in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry. It has a streamlined mobile app that consistently provides great performance. Live streaming and in-play betting are offered for most sports activities, and players will find tons of wager variety regardless of the league or game on which they want to place a wager.
FanDuel is also notable for its generous opening bonus, which is worth up to $1,000 in the form of a risk-free bet. FanDuel’s regular promotions, unique wagers, and solid app experience make it a sports betting juggernaut likely to acquire licensure in Ohio when sports betting launches.
BetRivers might be another prospective operator in this state. It’s only a few years old but is looking to expand throughout the country.
Fortunately, BetRivers has a specialized mobile app that provides great performance and extra ease-of-use since it was designed for mobile platforms first and foremost. The app comes with good betting markets and player-friendly odds, plus live streaming and in-play betting if you want to place wagers in the middle of the action.
It’s a great app for betting on major American sports, although its betting markets are a little more limited for international or foreign sports.
Finally, while mobile sports betting offers wonderful convenience to bettors, Ohio will have retail locations as well. Not only will Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse host a Caesars-operated retail sportsbook, but Dayton-based Wright Bet Ventures will also open a sportsbook location in Ohio. The Cleveland Browns also struck a deal with Bally’s Interactive, naming them their official sports betting partner.
Ohio Gambling FAQs
There is no specific official date for when Ohioans will be able to place legal sports wagers. However, recent developments provide more structure to the timeline of when legal sports betting will launch in Ohio. Ohio law requires that legal sports betting arrive in Ohio by January 1, 2023.
Each casino in Ohio is privately owned, which is distinct from most other states, who usually have their casinos run at least in part by Native American tribes. Ohio does not have any officially recognized Native American tribes running gambling activities, however.
Yes. Sports betting is legal, but it won’t be available to the public until it launches. There is no official date for when this will occur, but timelines suggest it will be fourth quarter of 2022. Ohio law dictates that it must launch by January 1, 2023.
Ohioans must be 21 years old to place wagers. This is the same age restriction bettors will face in other states.
No. The state does offer a retail-based lottery program, however.
Yes. In spite of pleas issued by the Ohio State University, Ohio will not restrict its residents from betting on in-state collegiate programs.