The long march to legal sports betting in Ohio continues with two batches of proposed rules available for public comment.
The Casino Control Commission uploaded its second batch of proposed rules Monday. Those rules concern licensing for mobile and retail sportsbooks, general betting provisions and equipment. The release followed the first batch from last week, which focused on provisional licenses and testing standards.
To be clear for anyone waiting to bet legally: Ohio sportsbooks are not expected to launch anytime soon. HB 29 mandated a start date by Jan. 1, 2023, and the CCC estimates the application period will not start until the summer or fall.
That likely means limited legal NFL betting in Ohio next year, which is perfectly fine with Ohio’s border states that offer legal betting:
Four partnerships max for each mobile operator
The newer batch stipulates any mobile sportsbook can only partner with up to four licensees at once.
HB 29 left that number up to the CCC, so it could change based on public input. Penn National, for instance, owns two casinos and two racinos. That could mean the Barstool Sportsbook brand would be left out of partnering with professional sports organizations.
As a reminder, Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos and its 10 professional sports organizations have first preference for mobile Type A licenses. That leaves four available under the 25 listed in the statute, though more can be approved if it benefits Ohio economically. So, in reality, there is no cap on mobile licenses.
The only limiting factor will be who can afford a license. Non-sports organizations will pay $1.5 million every five years for a license. That increases to $5 million up front and $1.5 million on renewal if a licensee partners with two mobile sportsbooks.
Closer look at some Ohio sports betting rules
This is the boring part of sports betting legalization: reading through dozens of pages of repetitive rules and industry jargon.
Corporate lawyers and government relations employees of these sportsbooks are earning their money by poring over these documents looking for any little changes that might be made to help their companies.
The first batch stipulates provisional licenses will last for three months. That license can be renewed once for another three months. No provisional license will be valid after June 30, 2023.
Also in batch one is a note about operators keeping records of all ads and promos for two years.
Public comment for the first batch ends this Friday. The CCC will accept comments on the second batch through Feb. 4.