COLUMBUS, Ohio — While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill last December legalizing sports betting in the state, those hoping to place a legal wager in the Buckeye State will have to wait a little bit longer.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that the universal start date for sports gaming will be Jan 1., 2023. House Bill 29, which DeWine signed into effect late last year, stipulated that sports gaming begin no later than Jan. 1, 2023, although some lawmakers had been hopeful that it would begin even earlier than that.
Hopes of having sports betting ready by the start of football season in the fall, however, took a hit last month when the Casino Control Commission said that the universal start date would likely be closer to -- if not exactly -- Jan. 1, 2023. Speaking at Wednesday's meeting, the commission's executive director, Matt Schuler said that the Jan. 1, 2023, start time would be necessary as the state and prospective sportsbooks prepare for the launch.
Additionally on Wednesday, Shuler laid out a timeline of the state's preparations for the Jan. 1 launch, which includes a July 15 deadline for applications for licenses. Under House Bill 29, a total of 65 licenses will be available in the state, including 40 retail and 25 mobile licenses.
The launch of sports betting in Ohio brings an end to a years-long process to legalize sports gambling in the state following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down a federal ban on sports gaming in 2018. Even prior to the passing of House Bill 29 last December, bordering states Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia had each launched sports gaming programs.