Legal sports betting begins in Ohio at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2023.
Ohio sports betting laws assure there will be plenty of places to place that first wager while revelers are out and about for their New Year’s Eve celebrations. Ohio sports betting laws allow for both mobile/online wagering and placing bets at physical sportsbooks. Around a dozen mobile apps and up to 25 retail locations are expected to begin taking bets on New Year’s Day.
Gaming Today lays out the landscape for sports betting in Ohio.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?
Yes. HB 29 passed both chambers of the Ohio Legislature in December 2021 and became law with Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature on Dec. 22.
When Will Ohio Sports Betting Launch?
Jan. 1, 2023 at one minute past midnight.
Can I Bet Online in Ohio?
Yes. Sports betting in Ohio will be available on mobile devices and computers using licensed sports betting apps.
Will Online Sportsbooks be Open on Jan. 1?
Online and mobile sports betting apps in Ohio will begin taking bets at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2023.
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
- BetMGM Ohio
- BetRivers Ohio
- Caesars Ohio
- DraftKings Ohio
- FanDuel Ohio
- Hard Rock
Can I Bet In Person in Ohio?
Yes. There will be many places to make legal sports bets in Ohio if you chose not to use a mobile device or computer. Ohio sports betting law also includes those options.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is regulating retail sportsbooks using two different types of licenses:
- Type B — The OCCC will issue up to 40 licenses for retail sportsbooks in Ohio. Physical, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are regulated under Type B licenses. These are the traditional type of sportsbooks that are operating in casinos and racetracks in neighboring states such as Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Lots of television, big comfortable loungers, ticket windows, kiosks, beer, and nachos.
Professional sports teams in Ohio can also apply for these types of licenses. They are entering marketing agreements with operators like DraftKings and FanDuel, which will open their own retail sportsbooks in or around the venues. You won’t see a Bengals retail sportsbook. The team chose not to open one, since NFL rules prohibit a physical sportsbook from being placed inside a stadium. The Browns, on the other hand, have partnered with Bally’s Interactive and will open a sportsbook-themed lounge in First Energy Stadium.
The population will partially dictate the number of retail sportsbooks in a given Ohio county. The largest Ohio counties — like Franklin (where Columbus is), Cuyahoga (Cleveland), and Hamilton (Cincinnati) — can have no more than five retail locations. Those with fewer than 50,000 residents are not permitted sportsbooks under Ohio sports betting law.
- Type C — These licenses allow for sports betting kiosks in Ohio. These are reserved for Class D liquor licensees in Ohio such as bars, restaurants, and other venues that sell alcohol. In addition, stores that sell Ohio Lottery tickets may apply for Type C sports betting licenses in Ohio, which loops in grocery stores like Kroger.
Will Retail Sportsbooks Be Open on Jan. 1?
Hard Rock Cincinnati better be, because it has planned a New Year’s Eve soirée that assembles several local sports stars and features Pete Rose making the ceremonial first bet. At least 25 retail locations are expected to be open.
Amy Anker, senior vice president and general manager of Scioto Downs in Columbus, told WOWK-TV in early December that the sportsbook was already about 95% ready before an OCCC inspection.
Not every licensee is leaping in, though.
Cincinnati-based Kroger will not install betting kiosks until later this year although fully approved to do so, according to WOWK. A spokesperson for the grocer told the station that it’s “still doing our due diligence for the program.”
Will There be Sportsbooks at Ohio Pro Sports Venues?
Yes. Ohio law allows professional sports teams to sign official sports betting partners and open sportsbooks on their premises. the NFL does allow the Cincinnati Bengals or Cleveland Browns (NFL) to put sportsbooks inside their stadiums, however. The Arizona Cardinals became the first NFL to open a sportsbook on-property this year, but it’s adjacent to, not inside, State Farm Stadium. The Bengals haven’t applied for a retail sportsbook license, apparently, because the facility can’t be inside Paycor Stadium. Some NFL teams get around this rule by opening sportsbook-themed lounges, which may have odds screens and sportsbook-branding, but not betting windows or kiosks. The Browns are going this route with Bally’s at FirstEnergy Stadium.
MLB rules allow the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians to open sportsbooks connected to their ballparks, like the BetMGM facility at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Plans are underway in Cincinnati. According to a BetMGM release: “The BetMGM Sportsbook will be in the space currently serving as the Machine Room restaurant on the northeast side of Great American Ball Park. It will only be accessible from outside the ticketed areas of the ballpark via the arena plaza-level entrance. The new venue will allow fans to watch and wager on games all year long.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and Crew (MLS) have no such restrictions. The Cavs didn’t waste any time, announcing in February that they had partnered with Caesars Sportsbook and would build an in-arena sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage Field House. The approximately 10,350-foot will be open year-round for ticketed and non-ticketed fans at the northwest atrium of the venue.
Ohio Pro Sporst Teams That Will Have Retail Sportsbooks:
- Cincinnati Reds (BetMGM)
- Cleveland Browns (Bally Bet)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (Caesars)
- Cleveland Guardians (Fanatics)
- Columbus Blue Jackets (Fanatics)
- Columbus Crew (Tipico)
Other sports facilities that will have retail sportsbooks:
- Belterra Park (FanDuel)
- JACK Thistledown Racino (betJACK)
- Pro Football Hall of Fame (BetRivers)
- Murfield Village Golf Club (Parx Interactive)
- Scioto Downs (Caesars)