The hopes of an early Ohio mobile sports betting launch in time for the start of football season have been dashed. On June 1, the Ohio Casino Control Commission confirmed a universal Ohio sports betting January 1, 2023 start date. That closes the door on NFL regular season betting, but it does come in time for massive events like betting Super Bowl odds and College Football Playoff odds.
Ohio Sports Betting Launch
Back in March 2022, Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 (HB29) into law, legalizing sports betting in the Buckeye State. The process to live sports betting was undoubtably a long one and a projected date of Jan. 1, 2023 was set to launch. That date was confirmed Wednesday.
Why the wait? Ohio laid out groundwork to be one of the most lenient and large-operation sports betting states in the country with 25 online sportsbook licenses. Among the expected operators are mainstays like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, along with local books like JACK Entertainment (betJACK).
Pushback still exist on regulations and limits, specifically from the Ohio State University surrounding betting on college sports. It appears regulators will use every day ahead of them to ensure smooth sailing.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission provided comment to TheLines on the matter:
“The Commission is aware that some stakeholders – specifically many online operators – have fewer preparations to make leading up to launch and could be prepared to start sooner. However, HB 29 requires all forms of sports gaming to launch on the exact same date… Prospective licensees need time to complete buildouts or buildings, distribute kiosks, hire and train employees, obtain partners, and make all other necessary arrangements to begin offering sports gaming.”
Their estimates for license applications in the state exceed 3,000. They also reiterated that the rule-making process for Ohio takes “several months.”
How Much Tax Revenue Would Ohio Make In The Fall?
In the United States, the NFL reigns king. There’s no exception in Ohio, which boasts two NFL teams with ravenous fanbases. The Cincinnati Bengals are coming fresh off a Super Bowl appearance and the Cleveland Browns are one of the most exciting upstart teams of 2022. According to the latest projections from PlayOhio, the state could be missing out on over $1 billion in revenue generated from sports betting this fall.
The NFL– while top dog– isn’t hardly the only massive moneymaker in the state. Ohio has five other professional franchises (Guardians, Reds, Cavaliers, Crew, Blue Jackets) and one of the top national brands in college football (Ohio State), all of which play games between September and December. This fall is even packed with the FIFA World Cup, an event bet worldwide.
For Ohioans, they’ll have to wait until next fall to wager on the Bengals, Browns, and Buckeyes … unless they are playing for a championship.
If that happens, the Ohio sports betting January 1 start date will still be very fun for millions of fans in the state.