Ohio residents and vistors finally have a date they can begin legal sports betting. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced the date as January 1, 2023.
Happy New Year Ohio!
January 1, 2023 was the last possible start date listed by the law HB 29 that passed in March. Sports fans hoping that the activity would begin sooner should be disappointed, but the OCC explained its decision in the email. (And hey, all in all, at least it’s in time for the 2023 Super Bowl.)
“This date was chosen to give all stakeholders time to start offering sports gaming on the same date – including businesses looking to offer online and brick-and-mortar sports gaming, as well as kiosks in bars and taverns across Ohio.”
What will be available for Ohio sports betting on January 1?
There have been efforts to eliminate parts of college sports from the Ohio sports betting equation, but that has not gained any traction.
Ohio State’s football regular season will be over by Jan. 1.
I had thought the OCC may try to speed things up and have the regulations in place before the Ohio State/Michigan game (Nov. 26), but no.
Buckeye fans will be disappointed to learn that even if the Buckeyes make the 2022 College Football Playoff, the semifinal games (the Fiesta and Peach Bowls) are being played Saturday, Dec. 31.
The CFP National Championship game will be open for Ohio to bet on. It’s scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in California.
Ohio State won the CFP title in 2014, but lost in the championship game to Alabama (where sports betting is not allowed) in 2020.
There is not yet a schedule posted for the Buckeyes basketball team. The college basketball regular season typically begins in early November.
What about Ohio NFL teams?
The first local NFL game pro football fans in Ohio will be able to legally bet on is January 1, when the Cleveland Browns play the Washington Commanders at 1 p.m. The Browns play at the Pittsburgh Steelers the next weekend.
Over in Cincinnati, the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals play the Buffalo Bills at home on Monday night Jan. 2. That is one of the marquee match-ups of the entire season.
Gambling will be allowed on the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team as well, but the NBA schedule for 2022-2023 is not yet released.
The United States Football League playoffs will be held in Canton, Ohio later this month, but those games will not be available to wager on for Ohio residents.
What happens next for Ohio sportsbooks?
The OCCC said it needs as much time as possible to review up to 3,000 applications for licenses for sports betting. June 1 is the first day that the final application versions were made available online.
Expect a large number of top operators to seek the rights for a skin in Ohio. This is good for the consumer, more options mean better promotions and, in some cases, better odds.
The OCC was determined to have a universal start date, one for every operator, knowing that while the infrastructure exists on many platforms, it takes time for others.
“The Commission is aware that some stakeholders, specifically many online operators, have fewer preparations to make leading up to launch and could start sooner. However, all forms of sports gaming must have the opportunity to launch of the exact same date.”