Regulated online gambling will begin in Buckeye State on January 1, 2023.
Ohio Casino Control Commission regulators announced the date on Wednesday. Last year, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed legislation to legalize in-person and online sports betting.
Ohio’s neighbors Michigan and Pennsylvania both have online sports betting and online casinos, but Ohio decided to start with just internet sports betting first. It’s unclear when Ohio will be able to allow online slots and table games, products offered by many companies that will offer sports betting in the state.
Sports betting has been one of the biggest expansions in gambling for Ohio since the state saw its first physical casinos open about a decade ago.
Ohio sports betting legislation called for a start date of no later than January 1, 2023, and regulators will use the full clock to clear the launch. A multitude of books should open on the earliest date they are allowed.
Ohio will have up to 25 online sportsbooks and up to 40 retail sportsbooks.
“For anyone interested, they should really expect it to be very close to – if not – January 1,” the Ohio Casino Control Board said in May. “We expect around 3,000 (license applications) could arrive. We’re going to have to do all of these investigations to issue these licenses and then make sure they comply with all the rules and regulations. We will need all this time until January.
As the industry awaits the launch, sports teams in Ohio have been busy preparing. The Cleveland Browns and Bally’s Interactive have teamed up to bet, while the Cleveland Cavaliers have entered into a relationship with Caesars Entertainment.