Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals fans in Ohio will now have to wait until Week 17 of the 2022 NFL regular season to bet on their cherished teams. This news comes after a long wait for the legalization of sports betting within the Buckeye state.
It was initially hoped that licenses would have been approved well before the hard deadline of January 1, 2023. Despite Governor Mike DeWine signing a bill legalizing Ohio sports betting in December 2021, raising hopes of some earlier licenses, the wait continues.
Any hope of licenses being approved sooner has now evaporated. So, OH sports fans will have to hold out until New Year’s Day to legally wager on their favorite teams.
It’s a frustrating reality, with many potential bettors left wondering why things can’t move along quicker. Here’s our take on what’s caused the wait…
No Ohio sportsbook left behind!
Ask anyone at the Ohio Casino Control Commission and they’ll quickly remind you that they are embarking on the largest launch of simultaneous licenses ever seen on U.S. soil.
Over the past few years, multiple states have begun the journey to legalize gambling. Yet most have opted for a softly, softly approach. Several states legalized land-based locations first before granting online licenses months later.
Take the neighboring state of Pennsylvania as a classic example. The began with retail sports betting lounges before permitting residents to wager online around 7 months later.
Comparatively, Ohio is going all guns blazing from the start. Online sportsbooks, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and sports betting kiosks are all being launched on the same date.
This is certainly a first among US states and is sure to have maximum impact. However, it has meant that no sportsbook could launch before the January 1 deadline, leaving Buckeye residents to wait a little longer yet.
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How many Ohio online sportsbooks will there be?
We can now get a clear idea of just how many options Ohio residents will have when it comes to wagering on sports locally. There will be a total of 25 licenses issued that are classified as ‘Type A’. These will go to casinos, pro sports teams, and racinos within the state.
Each license holder can host 1 online skin with the option to apply for a second one if they can demonstrate certain benefits. Add all this up and it means that there could be just under 50 online sportsbooks operating in Ohio in the future.
There will also be 40 ‘Type B’ licenses issued in Ohio. These cover betting in-person betting kiosks, thus increasing the possibility to wager at venues, shops, and stadiums.
As you can see, Ohio residents will be spoiled for choice come January 1, 2023. With plenty more possibilities in the pipeline. Plus, the second window of applications is currently open, closing on August 15.
IMAGE: AlexanderJonesi, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons