In the Buckeye State, they’re counting the days until New Year’s Day. Not for resolutions or a special moment. Because finally, legal sports betting in Ohio is near the finish line.
Unfortunately, Ohioans won’t be lucky enough to place their first wager on Ohio State’s New Year’s Eve College Football Playoff semifinal matchup with Georgia. All the same, when midnight strikes on Jan. 1, legal sports betting will be available at last.
Once the ball drops, an adventurous four-year journey to bring legal sports betting to the nation’s seventh most populous state ends. Ohio is a market of nearly 12 million people that could see legal sports betting mature into a $3.5 billion industry.
Thankfully, it will start with a bang. Jan. 1 is an NFL Sunday and the regular season’s penultimate weekend. Additionally, the next day features a college football bowl schedule that includes the Rose, Cotton, and Tampa Bay bowls.
According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Jan. 1 will represent the largest gaming expansion in Ohio’s history. On top of that, it will be the largest-ever simultaneous launch of sports betting in the United States. As a result, Ohio is awarding mobile and retail licenses, several to the state’s professional sports teams, while many bars and restaurants can add sports wagering kiosks.
It all begins on Jan. 1.
Pro sports Teams Go All In As Legal Sports Betting In Ohio Nears
Ohio’s sports betting law, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December of 2021, allows those aged 21 or over to wager via mobile device with a licensed operator from anywhere within the state.
Following the announcement, the industry’s major sportsbooks received conditional approval to operate in the state. The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which oversees the licensing process, announced the approval on Nov. 16.
Obviously, pro sports teams were significant proponents of bringing sports betting to Ohio. Unsurprisingly, they’re all getting in on the action.
Every major pro sports entity in Ohio received conditional approval from the commission to operate a mobile sportsbook. A variety of operators are partnering up with the state’s many franchises.
Online Sportsbook Partnerships In Ohio
Cleveland Browns (NFL): Bally’s
Cincinnati Bengals (NFL): Betfred
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA): Fubo
Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL): Fanatics
Columbus Crew (MLS): Tipico
FC Cincinnati (MLS) SuperBook
Cincinnati Reds (MLB): Underdog
Cleveland Guardians (MLB): bet365
Pro Football Hall of Fame: Betr
Muirfield Village Golf Club (PGA Tour): Parx
In addition to online sportsbooks, some pro sports entities in Ohio have received conditional approval to operate retail sportsbooks.
What’s the difference between an online sportsbook and a retail sportsbook?
Simply put, retail sportsbooks are bets placed in person at a kiosk or cashier, and online sportsbooks are placed via a mobile device or desktop.
Retail Sportsbook Partnerships In Ohio
Pro Football Hall of Fame: BetRivers
Blue Jackets & Guardians: Fanatics
FC Cincinnati: SuperBook
Columbus Crew: Tipico
Spire (sports performance institute): Out of the Gate
Casinos & Racetracks Get Thumbs Up From Regulators
In addition, racetracks and casinos in Ohio will also be part of the state’s sports betting scene. Scioto Downs in Columbus has received conditional approval to partner with Caesars for mobile and retail sportsbooks. Belterra Park near Cincinnati has received conditional approval to offer mobile and retail wagering with partner FanDuel. Hollywood Gaming’s four Ohio properties have received a preliminary OK to offer retail sports betting with Barstool and mobile sports wagering with different providers.
Dayton Raceway: BetRivers
Mahoning Valley: PointsBet
On top of Hollywood Casino, four other casinos received conditional approval.
JACK Cleveland: mobile with PlayUp and MaximBet, retail with BetJACK
JACK Thistledown: mobile with WynnBET, retail with BetJACK
MGM Northfield Park: mobile and retail with BetMGM
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati: mobile and retail with Seminole Hard Rock Digital
In all cases, equipment was due to be ready for inspection by the Ohio Casino Control Commission on Dec. 2. This was the last major step on the state’s timeline leading to its launch on Jan. 1.
Finally, legal sports betting in Ohio is (almost) here. As a result, operators are ready for bettors to cut the ribbon at midnight.