Jun 2, 2022 - News

Ohio sports betting to start in 2023

Illustration of a slot machine featuring a basketball, baseball, football, and dollar signs.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Place your bets! … next year.

Driving the news: Legal sports betting in Ohio starts Jan. 1, 2023, the state's casino control commission announced yesterday.

Why it matters: This wait is a very costly delay for state tax coffers, which will take in 10% of all net betting revenue.

  • Ohio will miss out on a busy fall sports season, which includes pro and college football, MLB playoffs, the starts of the NBA and NHL seasons along with the FIFA World Cup.

State of play: Though the bill legalizing sports betting was signed into law last December, commission director Matt Schuler said in the announcement that the long wait time is needed to prepare for the "largest expansion of gaming in Ohio's history."

  • Some national online betting sites may already be ready to go, Schuler acknowledged, but the legislation calls for a "universal start date."

Details: Ohioans will place bets via mobile apps along with kiosks inside casinos, sports arenas, bars and restaurants.

  • Specific betting locations are still TBD regulators start taking applications from potential gambling vendors later this month.

What they're saying: PlayOhio, part of a network of websites that cover and advocate for sports gambling, estimates the delay will cost the state upwards of $5 million in NFL betting proceeds alone.

  • "There's a lot of money at stake here both in terms of operator revenue and state tax revenue," Danny Cross, PlayOhio's managing editor, tells Axios.
  • The program is so wide-ranging in scope encompassing a variety of digital and brick-and-mortar betting options that it's worth taking the time to get the launch right, Cross says.

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