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Ohio Gearing Up for Online Sportsbooks Launch on Jan 1. What about Online Casino?

Legal sport betting officially begins in Ohio in just a few days! Starting at 12:01AM on January 1st, 2021 residents in the Buckeye state aged 21 and older can legally place wagers from anywhere inside the borders of the state.

Online casino gambling will not follow any time soon. There are no bills and no current momentum of any sort to legalize it. While a good portion of the country either has legalized sports betting or has wheels in motion to get it approved, online casino gambling has not spread quite as quickly. As of now six states allow it in some form. They are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

There are some signs that suggest Ohio will approve online casino gambling at a later date. There is infrastructure in place with four retail casinos in the state, and seven racinos (horse tracks with some casino gambling). Plus three bordering states have online casinos, and no state likes to bequeath a potential revenue source to a neighbor.

Until then, Ohioans can start enjoying online sports betting in just a few days. It sets up as a massive launch as 16 online Ohio sportsbooks and 12 retail (physical) sportsbooks have made their way through the Ohio Casino Control Commission approval process and can open up their windows immediately on January 1st.

Ohio’s rollout provides for three types of sports betting licenses. There are 25 Type A licenses. Licensees are required to operate in state, and can then affiliate with an online sportsbook. Thus this is effectively the path for online sportsbooks to get licensed, with the provision that each online operator must partner up with an in-state operator.

Actual physical sportsbooks get Type B licenses. Ohio allows for up to 40 of these licenses. The holders here are casinos, sports teams, arenas and other similar properties or organizations.

The following online sportsbook-retail establishment partnerships have passed the approval process and can open up on January 1st.

  • Barstool: Hollywood Casino Columbus
  • Bet365: Cleveland Guardians
  • Betfred: Cincinnati Bengals
  • BetMGM: MGM Northfield Park
  • BetPARX: Muirfield Village Golf Course
  • BetRivers: Hollywood Casino Columbus
  • Caesars: Scioto Downs
  • DraftKings: Hollywood Casino Toledo
  • Fanatics: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • FanDuel: Belterra Park
  • Hard Rock: Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
  • Instabet/Betr: Pro Football Hall of Fame Village
  • PointsBet: Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
  • SuperBook: FC Cincinnati
  • Tipico: Columbus Crew

There are applications submitted already for nine more online slots, while the remaining slot was set for a Cleveland Cavaliers partnership with FuboTV. Unfortunately for the Cavs, FuboTV shut their sportsbook.

The final license is a Type C license that allows bars, restaurants and any other establishment with a Class D liquor license to open up a sports betting kiosk on site. Retailers licensed to sell Ohio Lottery tickets can also run a kiosk.

This launch looks monstrous as unlike many states, Ohio is not scaling it all in over time. Everything potentially opens at once on January 1st, meaning Buckeye State residents have many choices and the sportsbooks will compete for all that business.

Ohio residents can start signing up now ahead of New Year's Day. The Ohio sportsbooks offer two types of welcome bonuses for new accounts.