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David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 4 mins

Ohio Sports Betting To Officially Go Live On January 1, 2023

Ohio Sports Betting To Officially Go Live On January 1, 2023

If you’re a fan of sports betting in Ohio and you're hoping to wager legally on the NFL games this year, you’re going to have to wait until the final two weeks of the regular season.

Despite hopes to the contrary, legal sports betting in the Buckeye State won’t be available in time for the start of the 2022 football season. Turns out, NFL betting won’t be available in 2022 at all. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced Wednesday that legal sports betting won’t launch until Jan. 1, 2023—the deadline set in the state’s new sports betting law.

That start date is a “universal” launch in which all sports betting license holders, both mobile and retail, can begin accepting wagers. No sportsbook or sports betting app can take bets before then, scuttling the hopes of some state officials who aimed to kick off sports betting before the start of the 2022 NFL season on Sept. 8. Now Buckeye State bettors will have to settle for the final two games of the regular season and the playoffs.

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Get Ready For Ohio Sports Betting Rush

Of course, nothing has come easy for legal sports betting in Ohio, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine in December after a three-year legislative tussle over tax rates and oversight. Even the final vote on an amended sports betting bill in the state’s Senate was delayed for hours, prompting a late-night approval days before the end of the legislative session that ultimately sent the bill to the governor’s desk.

The pressure was on Ohio lawmakers to act, given that the neighboring states of Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia had all legalized sports betting, leading many Buckeye State bettors to spend their bankrolls—and the associated tax revenues they generated—across state lines on NFL Sundays. That trend will continue, at least through the end of this year.

But once it does begin, expect Ohio legal sports betting to kick off with a bang—Jan. 1 is a Sunday that features a full slate of NFL games, with college football’s Rose, Cotton, Citrus and Tampa Bay bowls all set for the following day. For the state’s new sportsbooks, it will be trial by fire.

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Mobile Sports Betting In Ohio In January

Once legal sports wagering does launch in Ohio, residents will have a variety of options to choose from. The law allows three types of licenses, varying from retail sportsbooks to mobile platforms associated with casinos to gaming kiosks in bars and restaurants with on-premises liquor licenses. Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 10 percent.

Some bookmakers have already unveiled big plans for Ohio. Caesars Sportsbook Ohio in February said it would build a betting facility inside the Cleveland Cavaliers’ home arena, with a planned opening by the end of this year. Likewise in April, Bally's Interactive (Bally Bet) announced plans for a branded lounge inside the stadium of the Cleveland Browns.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has set two different windows for license applications, the first being June 15 through July 15, and the second being July 15 through Aug. 15. All gaming plans, facility plans, house rules and geolocation procedures must be submitted by Nov. 2, and all equipment must be ready for verification by the commission by Dec. 2.

And on Jan. 1? It’s time to place your bets, Ohio. At last. 

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.