No. 4 Ohio State’s date with No. 1, undefeated and defending national champion Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal is a tease.
The Peach Bowl matchup kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, Dec. 31.
Legal online, mobile, and retail sports betting begins in Ohio at 12:01 a.m., EST Jan. 1. So close.
Undoubtedly, given the fervor that following Ohio State entails in the state, this would have been an incredibly popular betting market. But as it stands now, Buckeyes fans and new Ohio bettors alike will have to root a little harder for the 11-1 Buckeyes, so they can get a crack at laying a bet on them in what would be a national championship game against either No. 2 Michigan (what!?) or No. 3 Texas Christian.
Can I Bet on Ohio State Against Georgia in Ohio on Dec. 31?
No. Not as of right now.
There were rumors circulating that the official launch of sports betting in Ohio could be moved up. It happens sometimes. It would not be a stunner if it did happen — though state officials have refuted the buzz — depending on certain sportsbooks being ready to launch and the Ohio Casino Control Commission being comfortable enough to allow it. But all indications now are that Ohio will wait.
While starting ahead of the Buckeyes’ kickoff would be immensely popular with sports bettors, it might not ultimately be worth the risk of some mistake that could foul a launch the state has been preparing for since sports betting was legalized in Ohio in December 2021.
“While the Commission received inquiries regarding a change to the launch of sports gaming, in order to keep the start date universal for those looking to launch as required by law, sports gaming in Ohio will begin on Jan. 1, 2023,” Ohio Casino Control Commission communications director Jessica Franks said in an email to Gaming Today.
There’s also the strong possibility that not every outlet will launch on Jan. 1 at 12:01 a.m. Some may not be ready. That’s just the earliest that they can begin taking bets. Be sure to check with your sportsbook of choice. Hard Rock Cincinnati would seem to be a sure bet to begin on time as the casino has a soirée set for its retail sportsbook that includes a ceremonial first wager by Pete Rose.
What if the Ohio State Game Goes Really Long?
You might just have a chance. And maybe the game doesn’t have to go that long as compared to similar prime-time affairs. But you’ll really want overtime.
The average college football game last 3 hours, 22 minutes, according to stats from the NCAA.
But, the most recent national championship game, a 33-18 Georgia win over Alabama, lasted 3 hours and 41 minutes, ending at 11:57 p.m.
So hang in there.
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Peach Bowl Betting Comes Down to State Approval, Sportsbook Readiness
Said Franks to Gaming Today: “If the OSU/Georgia Game goes past midnight, it is possible that individuals could place wagers on the game – however, each sportsbook would determine whether it will accept wagers, and any offered must be in the Commission’s wager catalog.”
BetRivers says it will be ready.
BetRivers told Gaming Today: “[Parent company Rush Street Interactive] plans to launch its award-winning BetRivers sportsbook for online and mobile wagering in Ohio as soon as it is legal in the state. Eligible sports fans across the state can sign-up and begin wagering immediately.”
BetRivers has online and mobile access in Ohio through a licensing partnership with Hollywood Casino in Columbus, and this summer will open a retail sportsbook at the Hall of Fame Village at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pre-Registration is Still a Good Idea …. Because, Maybe … Overtime
No, you’re probably not going to get to bet on the Peach Bowl if you’re in Ohio. But if the Buckeyes beat Georgia, you’re going to have some strong opinions on the national championship game, especially if it’s going to be against Michigan.
So, new Ohio sports bettors would be wise to be pre-registered at their sportsbook or sportsbooks of choice, if for no other reason to capture the scores of offers being dangled in front of new customers.
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What Sports Betting Apps are Coming to Ohio?
A lot. There’s plenty of room for mobile sports betting platforms in Ohio. Here’s some to expect:
- Bally Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Hard Rock