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Ohio sports betting regulator grants first operating licenses

Ohio sports betting news

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) recently authorized 300 type-C sports betting licenses to a total of eight proprietors in a meeting held on Wednesday.

The Ohio law enables only 25 proprietors to create partnerships with online sports betting operators, while 40 can host brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. The locations of physical sportsbooks are usually restricted to the most populous provinces in the state.

The OCCC has declared that January 1 will be the start date for all sports betting options, including kiosks in bars as well as other qualifying Ohio Lottery retailers, online apps, and retail sportsbooks.

Overall, the authorized applicants were JACK Thistledown Racino, Hollywood Casino Toledo, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Reds, JACK Cleveland Casino, the Columbus Crew, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley, and Muirfield Village Golf Club.

These applicants are among the 22 proprietors that are actively striving to collaborate with sports betting operators. They are also among the 26 proprietors that applied to host brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Furthermore, Ohio gambling laws prioritize the issuance of licenses to the state’s 10 professional sports teams and venues, four casinos, and seven racinos.

Generally, bars and restaurants are known to apply for kiosk licenses, but currently other establishments like grocery stores, golf courses, and bowling alleys have submitted applications also for kiosk licenses.

Overall, 819 applicants have submitted proposals to the OCCC to host sports betting kiosks. The Ohio eLicense portal has also provided authorization for only 499 lottery retailers who applied, while the rest are under review.

A leading Cincinnati-based supermarket that has also applied for a kiosk license is Kroger. The popular supermarket had gained approval for one of its stores out of the 42 it had applied for a license for.

In comparison to online apps and physical sportsbooks, kiosks will have some restrictions on what they can deliver.

When compared to retail sportsbooks and online apps, kiosks will have a more limited selection of betting options available to customers. Bets on games can only be placed using the point spread, moneyline, and totals at the kiosks before the event begins. Additionally, the machines restrict parlays to having no more than four legs each. Bettors who use kiosks are also restricted to placing wagers totaling no more than $700 in a single seven-day period through the machines.

The Ohio Lottery Commission has already given their preliminary approval for 1,337 possible kiosk hosts. Although the recommendation of the lottery is one of the prerequisites for qualifying for a license, a recommendation from the lottery does not necessarily mean that the OCCC will automatically approve the application.

Proprietors who were seeking to obtain a sports betting license were required to submit their application to the OCCC by July 15 (with a few exceptions) in order to qualify for the January 1 launch date.

The commission also distributed multiple email reminders on Wednesday urging stakeholders to provide the required information regarding essential employees and leadership personnel.

According to the executive director of the commission, Matt Schuler, at least 33 percent of applicants did not submit these required information.

There is no excuse for these not coming in,” Schuler said. “And, by the way, if they don’t and just to make this crystal clear for everybody: If they do not meet this deadline, they are disqualified from guaranteed consideration for universal start date.”

Furthermore, applicants have until November 2 to submit responsible gaming strategies that have been completed and authorized by the OCCC, as well as applicable protocols, house rules, geolocation measures, and any other relevant compliance documentation. It is important to note that this deadline applies to all regular employee applications for sports betting as well.

If the deadline is missed, sports betting will not be permitted for the applicant to start on January 1.

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