Ohio Sports Betting Update: Launch Set for Jan. 1, 2023

A major market will soon be added to the ranks of states with legal sports betting. On Jan. 1, 2023, Ohio will launch sports betting, making it one of the largest states to do so.

Sports bettors in Ohio will be able to wager on the final week of the 2022-23 NFL season, the NFL Playoffs, the College Football Playoff, other major bowl games, and the Super Bowl.

By law, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is charged with implementing and regulating sports betting in Ohio, which was signed into law in December 2021. The roughly 12 months between legalization and launch will be one of the most protracted timelines for a state to implement sports betting.

It’s expected that many or all of the most popular sportsbooks, including DraftKings, BetMGM, and PointsBet, which have already applied for licenses, will eventually operate in the Buckeye State. Other sportsbooks such as Caesars, Bally Bet, Barstool, and Fubo Gaming also have deals to gain access or have partnerships with casinos in Ohio and would be expected to launch in Ohio in the future.

Ohio Sports Betting Timeline

  • December 2021: Ohio state legislature passed House Bill 29, approving legal sports betting in the state. Later that same month, Gov. Mike DeWine attached his signature to the bill, making it law.
  • March 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission began public hearings on the implementation of legal sports betting.
  • June 1, 2022: Following a prior meeting when the OCCC and state officials released a timeline for the launch of Ohio’s sports betting market, the committee revealed that Jan. 1, 2023, would be the first day the market would open. By law, New Year’s Day of 2023 is the latest date the state can launch its sports betting market.
  • July 15, 2022: Deadline for sports betting operators to submit an application for a license in Ohio.
  • Jan. 1, 2023: Announced launch of legalized sports betting in Ohio, the seventh-largest state in the U.S.

Best in the nation: Three Ohio State football players in discussion for No. 1 pick in 2023 NFL Draft

Professional and College Teams in Ohio Forge Sports Betting Partnerships

In anticipation of a legal sports betting market, several Ohio sports teams have entered into deals with sportsbooks.

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers entered into a partnership with Caesars Sportsbook early in 2022. As part of the arrangement, Caesars will eventually open a retail sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It will be one of the first sportsbooks at an NBA arena.
  • Also in 2022, the Cavs inked a deal with Fubo Gaming that makes the company an official mobile sports betting partner of the team.
  • In April 2022, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Bally’s Interactive reached a deal on an official sports betting partnership. As part of the partnership, Bally’s will host a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium.
  • The Ohio State University has yet to announce a partnership with a sportsbook, but at least two Big Ten schools have Maryland and Michigan State. Given the immense popularity of Buckeyes sports (particularly football), it will probably only be a matter of time before the school strikes a deal. Anyone over 21 in Ohio can wager on sports, including college athletics and teams within the state.

Greatest of all time: Top 5 players in Ohio State football history

How Large Could the Ohio Sports Betting Market be?

Given the success of neighboring states Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana, as well as the growth of sports betting in Illinois, it’s fair to anticipate that Ohio will be a major market.

Not only is Ohio one of the most populous states, but it also has one of the marquee college athletic programs in the nation, OSU. The Buckeyes have competed in the College Football Playoff in 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2020, winning the national title in 2014.

From January to April 2022, Michigan took in  $1.8 billion in total sports wagering handle, while Indiana was at $1.7 billion, and Pennsylvania reported $2.7 billion. In that same period, Illinois accepted more than $2.5 billion in wagers. Ohio will need some time to ramp up, but given the deliberate way the state has launched the market, and the fact it will be hitting the ground in a month with many highly-bet football games, it’s not out of the question that Ohio could set records for the total handle for a Midwest state when it launches.

In 2021, the Ohio Casino Control Commission co-released a study by a third-party market research firm which indicated that sports betting could be a $1.1 billion industry in its first year in Ohio, and possibly grow as large as $3 billion in year two. Given the numbers that we’re seeing in other Midwest states, a $1-2 billion total handle for year one seems possible in Ohio.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.