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Sports betting in Ohio to start January 1, 2023

A customer makes a sports bet at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City N.J. just before the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament began.
Wayne Parry
A customer makes a sports bet at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City just before the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament began.

Gambling sports fans in Ohio can expect to start placing wagers on their top picks in time for next year's Super Bowl.

The state will start allowing sports betting on January 1, 2023. People will be able to make bets online, in gambling establishments and in licensed liquor establishments. The announcement was made by Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, at a meeting of the commission on Wednesday.

Businesses interested in bringing sports betting to their customers can start turning in applications to the commission on June 15 for the kickoff next year. The applications are available now on the sports betting page on the commission’s website, along with drafts of the rules expected to be implemented and fact sheets.

Schuler expects staff to process and investigate 3,000 applications before the rollout.

“Leading up to the universal start date, prospective licensees will be completing build outs or buildings, distributing kiosks, hiring and training employees, obtaining partners and making all the other necessary arrangements to begin offering sports gaming from the very same starting line,” said Schuler.

Although online betting operations might take less time to set up, Schuler said a universal timeline is being used for the launch.

“This would include businesses looking to offer online gaming, sports gaming at brick and mortar sports gaming facilities, as well as kiosks and bars and taverns across Ohio,” he said.

The bill allows 25 Class A licenses for mobile betting, 40 Class B licenses for brick and mortar operations at casinos and racinos and for professional sports teams, and thousands of Class C licenses for liquor permit holders to have betting kiosks.

The bill imposes a 10% tax on gaming receipts. The revenue is expected to fund education in the state.

Schuler encouraged interested businesses to start the process as early as possible and to start gathering up documentation if they want to begin offering sports betting on January 1, as it will take some time for staff to complete the licensing procedure.

“January 1 will represent the largest expansion of gaming in Ohio's history and the largest ever simultaneous launch of sports gaming in the United States,” he said.

Businesses will need their application in by July 15 or August 15, depending on the type of license. They will also need to file responsible gaming plans, complete equipment testing, finalize rules and regulations and file employee applications two months before implementation.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News.