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Ohio Sports Betting Rules Advance, Launch Still on Track for End of Year

Ohio Sports Betting Rules Advance, Launch Still on Track for End of Year article feature image
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Gaelen Morse/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio Stadium.

The latest round of Ohio sports betting rules were unanimously approved Wednesday by regulators, keeping the state on pace to launch by late 2022.

The rules describe the terms of retail and online licenses and their cost, as well as which types of sporting events can be bet on. They now need three more rounds of Casino Control Commission review before they’re finalized. 

When the legislature legalized sports betting in December 2021, it did so with a mandate that its market launch no later than January 1, 2023. But as we’ve seen with Maryland—which has yet to launch online over two and a half years after legalizing—states don’t always meet their deadlines.

Today’s news is a sign Ohio’s post-bill process is moving smoothly and on time.

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The Nitty Gritty

Framework laid out by the commission regulates three types of licenses, online (Type A) brick-and-mortar (Type B and clerk terminals at establishments with liquor licenses (Type C).

It provides up to 25 online licenses, with holders allowed to partner with two sportsbooks each. This means Ohio could have up to 50 mobile apps, though a regulator said during the meeting they’re not expecting that many.

Type A license holders must hold Type B licenses or have a physically operational place of business within the state. Under the rules, 29 of 88 counties are eligible for at least brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

The Operators and Their Fees

They give license preference to Ohio’s eight professional sports teams, along with NASCAR and PGA events, four casinos and seven racetracks.

Licenses will be awarded based on a thorough 13-factor suitability an economic development vetting process to be laid out in the final rules.

Pro sports teams will pay between $1-3.3 million for an online license. Others will pay between $1.5-$5million. Their sportsbook partners will pay $2 million, and $6.67 million if they partner with more than one license holder.

Applications should be available by the Summer or early Fall, according to the rules. Ohioans should be able to place first wagers by 2023 at the latest.

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