Midnight Madness: Ohio Sports Betting Starts Promptly Jan. 1, 2023

Written By

Updated on

Ohio sports betting

Sports betting in Ohio will start at midnight on Jan. 1, 2023, according to Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler.

Ohio sportsbooks can take their first bets “once the ball drops in Times Square,” Schuler said at Wednesday’s commission meeting.

There should be plenty of operators ready to go based on applications received so far. More can still join, as the application window for second-skin operators to launch day one runs through Aug. 15.

Ohio sports betting application update

There were no sports betting operators added to the applicant list when the CCC updated it July 29.

That leaves the number of mobile sportsbooks guaranteed a Jan. 1 launch at 21 for now.

There are still slots open for second-skin operators. So far, only Rush Street Interactive‘s BetRivers is listed as a second-skin operator after negotiating that market access with Penn National in February 2021.

Pre-approved lottery locations continue to rise

There are plenty of Ohio Lottery-licensed businesses out there for the seven applicants looking to operate sports betting through kiosks.

As of July 29, there are 1,073 pre-approved locations that want to host sports betting kiosks in their businesses. That is about 11% of the 9,800 licensed locations listed by the Ohio Lottery.

There can be two kiosks in each business, or more with approval, that offer limited betting options:

Will Ohio sports betting advertising be more subdued?

A universal start date for more than 20 online Ohio sportsbooks could be a disaster for an operator’s bottom line. The combination of costly promotions and an advertising push easily can wipe away profits in exchange for early market-share leads.

Ohio is a bit different, though. Operators technically can sign up customers now for accounts that will not be live until Jan. 1. That could lead to a less hostile marketing environment with fewer concentrated promos and ads as launch day nears.

Some companies also have changed their marketing tactics since the last big state launches. Caesars Sportsbook, for example, will seem like its ads “left the air entirely” compared to how many were run last fall, CEO Tom Reeg said on Caesars second-quarter conference call.