When Ohio legalized sports betting, they set a self-imposed deadline of January 1, 2023 for it to go live throughout the state. Entering spring 2022, however, they had yet to release an official start date for when sports betting would be live. That's all apparently set to change as of June 2022. The question is: Will Ohio have legal sports betting up and running in time for the 2022 football season?
At long last, betting on sports in Ohio is about to take the next step in the legalization process. Though the state okayed online gambling many months ago, the subsequent process of setting up an infrastructure, going through licensing applications and all that technical stuff has prevented them from delivering a specific date for when sports betting will go live. Now that they're deeper into their setup, though, Ohio legal sports betting will get a start date at the beginning of June, at the next Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting.
This is big news for obvious reasons. Ohio sports betting enthusiasts will finally be able to place wagers inside their own state rather than traveling to neighboring regions or using online sportsbooks, and the state themselves is on track to rake in tens of millions of dollars in revenue during the first year that sports betting is up and running.
And yet, the fact that the start date has remained a mystery for so long has many wondering whether there could be a delay in the process.
Projected Start Date of Legal Sports Betting in Ohio
When Ohio first approved legal sports betting, they set a goal of having it live throughout the state in time for people to invest in betting odds on the 2022 NFL season. Using that timeline as a basis, the expectation was that Ohio legal sports betting would be fully operational no later than August or September of this year.
However, with the summer fast approaching, Ohio has yet to release an official date. That suggests some hangups in their workflow. So while Ohio is scheduled to announce a start date for legal sports betting, experts believe they will end up missing their targeted timeline of August or September. It remains to be seen by how much they'll miss, but the early speculation is that Ohio will have legal sports betting live closer to January 1, 2023—which was their absolute latest start-by date months ago.
Delays in Ohio's Legal Sports Betting Setup
Eager bettors are of course wondering what's behind Ohio's delay. The truth is, it's not any one thing. It's a variety of factors.
First and foremost, however, Ohio ended up having a lot more applicants for sportsbook licenses than they anticipated. And if we're being honest, they probably should have seen this overflow coming. After all, not only did Ohio open up the application process to corporate and retail sportsbooks, but they offer a variety of different licensing possibilities.
Applicants can pursue one of three different licenses in total. There's the Type A license, which are reserved for mobile sportsbooks and professional sports franchises. There's the Type B license, which is for brick-and-mortar sportsbook locations. Then, finally, they have the Type C license, which will be for self-service kiosks at places with a specific liquor license. The latter category is expected to account for a lion's share of the sports betting applications since there is no shortage of liquor licenses throughout the state.
And with so many options, comes a great number of candidates. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, in fact, they have more than 3,000 applications to review between June 15 and July 15—the month-long window in which final decisions will be made.
Impact of Delayed Sports Betting in Ohio
Not many changes for Ohioans if legal sports betting gets pushed back a few months. They won't be able to bet on college football or NFL games to start the season. They also won't be able to bet on the start of the next NBA and NHL seasons. That's a bummer, but it's not the end of the world.
If Ohio rolls out sports wagering in time for the start of 2023, residents will still be able to bet on the Super Bowl and bet on the College Football National Championship, in addition to the rest of the NBA and NHL seasons and any other sports that tickle their fancy. And hey, if Ohioans absolutely cannot wait that long, they are always free to check out our reviews of the top online sportsbooks to see which operators will accept wagers from them in the interim.
In all actuality, the state will be more impacted by this delay than anyone else. Their pockets are already missing out on plenty of sports betting revenue, and they're about to miss out on a ton of potential proceeds if they don't have legal sports betting set up to start the NFL and college football seasons. Those landmark dates are most likely worth tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, in total sports bets on their own.
Granted, the state can't technically miss money it never actually had. Ohio isn't really losing money it wasn't generating in the first place. But problems could start to arise if state programs baked sports betting revenue projections into their planned spending to start in 2023. That will be something to monitor once Ohio announces the official rollout date for legal sports betting.
All in all, however, sports betting enthusiasts have nothing to worry about. Legal online gambling is coming to Ohio a little later than expected, but it'll still be up and running very soon.
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