The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday morning declared Jan. 1, 2023, as the universal date for Ohio’s sports betting launch.
The official launch date will arrive a little over a year after Gov. Mike DeWine legalized sports betting in Ohio. He signed House Bill 29 into law on Dec. 22, 2021. The bill set Jan. 1, 2023, as the deadline for Ohio’s sports betting industry to launch. Speculation of an official launch began in earnest as Ohioans anxiously anticipated the arrival of legal sports betting.
An earlier arrival would’ve been ideal for prospective football bettors. However, Jan. 1 will represent the largest expansion of gaming in Ohio’s history and the largest ever simultaneous launch of sports gaming in the United States, so it’s worth appreciating the process required to launch the state’s legal sports betting industry.
“It will be a very busy fall and winter both for the operators, prospective applicants, and the commission,” executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission Matt Schuler said during Wednesday’s commission meeting. “There’s a lot to do between now and then.”
Why Is Ohio Sports Betting Waiting So Long To Launch?
Approximately 3,000 licensees will be subject to detailed due diligence investigations as well as comprehensive compliance examinations. This is not a process that can be fast-tracked to appease short-term desires.
By setting Jan. 1, 2023, as the launch date, Ohio’s sports betting industry can open all at once. Stakeholders will have adequate time to ready themselves for a universal launch on the same date. This includes businesses that want to offer a variety of sports gaming — from brick-and-mortar retail shops to those operating kiosks in bars and similar establishments across the state.
These businesses and prospective license holders still may need time to complete physical buildings, distribute betting booths and kiosks, and hire and train employees in addition to a host of necessary arrangements required prior to launch. Although mobile platforms may not have the same lengthy to-do list as retail shops, the universal start date allows for a smoother process for all involved.
Football fans may be a bit disappointed that they’ll have to go most of the season without placing wagers. However, they will still have the opportunity to wager on the last two weeks of the NFL regular season, including the Jan. 2 Monday Night Football Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills. and on the entire postseason.
It’s also possible that the Ohio State Buckeyes will be playing in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 2.
Which Sports Betting Apps Will Be Available?
With the official launch date set, bettors can shift their focus to the mobile sports betting apps that will become available in the Buckeye State.
We know that DraftKings, FanDuel, and Betfred are ticketed for a place in Ohio’s mobile sports betting industry. Additionally, Caesars Sportsbook struck a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers that will include the opening of a retail sportsbook in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Those eventual entrants into the Ohio market only represent the tip of the iceberg. Prospective bettors in Ohio can expect plenty of mobile sportsbooks through which they’ll be able to place sports wagers.