Sports betting in Ohio will launch on New Year’s Day 2023 at 12:01 a.m. ET, according to a statement by the Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
While the January 1 start date had previously been established, this announcement sets the exact time when sportsbooks can open for business.
In what the OCCC calls “the largest expansion of gaming in Ohio’s history and the largest ever simultaneous launch of sports gaming in the United States,” Ohio will flip the switch as soon as is legally possible, launching a sports betting market in the country’s seventh most-populous state.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a sports betting bill into law in December of 2021, and under mandatory waiting periods, the process has been deliberate, perhaps too deliberate for some in the industry and for hopeful sports bettors in the Buckeye State.
But the OCCC is facing the monumental task of establishing sports betting guidelines in a state from scratch.
Online And Retail Sports Betting To Launch On Same Day
Sportsbook apps, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and sports betting kiosks in bars will be eligible to start on the same date, the OCCC has said.
“Ohio is undertaking the largest gaming expansion in its history and largest-ever simultaneous launch of sports gaming in the United States,” the OCCC said in an email. “This will necessitate the Commission to undertake due diligence investigations and ensure compliance requirements for approximately 3,000 applications in time for the Universal Start Date.”
The universal start date ensures all sports betting operators are given the chance to get off on the same footing.
Hundreds of businesses, including national sports betting brands, the state’s professional sports teams, casinos, and horse racetracks have applied for Ohio sports betting licenses.
Under the Ohio sports betting law, citizens 21 years of age or older will be allowed to place legal wagers on professional and college sports online via computer or mobile device, as well as at retail sportsbooks and kiosks.
Ohio Sports Betting Will Be Operational In Time For Super Bowl 57
Ohio State Senator Kirk Schuring once hinted that sports betting might launch in his state by the fall of 2022, in time to take advantage of the NFL season. That timeline has been pushed back, but fans will be able to wager on the tail end of the NFL season.
With a 17-game schedule, the NFL regular season ends January 8, 2023, which means both Week 17 (most games played Sunday, January 1) and Week 18 (games on January 8) will be eligible for Ohio bettors. The NFL Playoffs commence later that month, and the biggest sports betting event of all, the Super Bowl, will be played on February 12, 2023.
The launch date will just miss, however, the College Football Playoff national semifinals, where Ohio State is expected by most projections to be. The Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl are both scheduled for December 31, 2022. Should the Buckeyes advance to the CFP National Championship, set for January 9, 2023, Buckeyes fans will be able to wager on their team in a regulated environment.
Ohio has numerous neighboring states with operational sports betting markets: Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It’s anticipated that millions of dollars in tax revenue could be generated in Ohio once its sports betting market matures.