Ohio is moving forward with the launch of its legalized sports betting market. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced on Wednesday that it will begin accepting sports betting license applications in June.
A first application window starts on June 15 for Type A, B and C proprietors, first-designated mobile management services providers (MMSPs), management services providers, and suppliers. The window is to close on a July 15 deadline.
A second application window will then commence on July 15 for Type C sports gaming hosts and second-designated MMSPs. It will close one month later, on August 15. Type C licenses bring sports betting to bars and restaurants, while Type A and B licenses cover casinos and pro sports stadiums.
Holy Grail Tavern, a restaurant seeking to enter the sports betting market
New documents show there will be a “universal” start date, meaning approved operators will be launching on the same date. 60 days prior to this date will be the deadline for submission of responsible gaming plans, facility plans, equipment testing, geolocation procedures, house rules, required procedures; as well as standard sports gaming employee application.
A deadline of 30 days prior universal start date is set for all equipment to be ready for Commission verification. As required by sports gaming law, the universal start will be announced for a date no later than January 1, 2023, although the state could launch sooner than that given recent progress made in terms of regulations approval.
A second round of sports betting rules was approved in March, laying out details for type A and type B licenses and license fees. A maximum of 25 Type A licenses -for online sportsbooks – will be issued; while a total of 40 Type B licenses -which are for brick-and-mortar facilities- will be granted.
Meanwhile, rules for Type C licenses were published by the Ohio Lottery Commission last month. However, a provision stating that unless otherwise approved by the director, “no Type C sports gaming host shall have more than two self-service terminals” at their facility draw backlash from restaurants and bars seeking to enter the market.
Casino operators such as JACK intend to expand into the new market
The Ohio Casino Control Commission hopes the application process may advance smoothly and at a quick pace given many operators seeking to enter the market are already live in other states. Thus, OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler said there is “no reason” why they wouldn’t be able to provide complete applications by the scheduled deadlines.
Strict adherence to these timelines is also important for the commission, as it must also carry out other work required by law prior to market launch. Thus, in order for licensing applications to commence on June 15, the regulator will submit by a June 1 deadline a batch of proposed sports gaming rules for final consideration.
The commission has also been seeking stakeholder comments on draft applications for both Type A and B licenses, which will be accepted until today (Friday).