What To Expect When Legal Sports Betting Launches In Ohio

Ohio sports betting will launch January 1, 2023, after being signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in December 2021. Legislators will be gearing up for the largest simultaneous sports betting launch in US history, as online, retail, and betting kiosks will all launch on the same day. What can bettors in the Buckeye State expect when legal sports betting launches? Let’s dive in.

Ohio Mobile Sports Betting

Ohio set up two separate month-long sports betting application windows, the first of which ended July 15 and guaranteed applicants access to the January 1 launch. The Ohio wagering law allows for up to 25 mobile sportsbook apps and the Ohio Casino Control Commission received 22 applications.

Sportsbook Promotions

With more than 20 sportsbooks potentially launching at the same time, Ohio bettors can expect to see operators step up their game when it comes to new user bonuses and promotions. Sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel that already have an established user base because of their daily fantasy sports platform may not “need” to up the ante, but other companies surely will. Here are some of the types of bonuses Ohio sports bettors will see offered:

  • Risk-free bets: With risk-free bets, sportsbooks are giving you a “safety net” with your first bet. If the first bet you place results in a loss, you will receive that amount back as a site credit. You won’t be able to withdraw the credit but you can use it again to place another bet. Any money won using the credits will be deposited into your account as withdrawable cash, however.
  • Deposit match: Deposit match promotions are preferred to risk-free bets because you get the bonus independent of any wagers. With risk-free bets, you only get the “bonus” if you lose your first bet. Deposit matches will vary by percentage and playthrough requirements. DraftKings, for example, has a 20% deposit match and 5x playthrough while BetRivers offers a 100% deposit match and only requires a 1x playthrough.
  • First bet match: This is similar to risk-free bets except you get the bonus no matter if your first bet results in a win, loss, or push. These only apply to your first bet, so be sure to choose your first wager amount wisely.
  • Free bet: After making a minimum deposit, sportsbooks will give you a free bet as a site credit. They have no cash value and must be wagered. Any winnings from the free bet will be deposited to your account.

It’s important to note that these new user promotions are only available through online sportsbooks and not in their retail counterparts.

Ohio Retail Sportsbooks

More retail sportsbooks will be available than mobile apps, as HB 29 allows for up to 40 brick and mortar operations. In addition to finding retail sportsbooks at casinos, Ohio sports fans will also be able to place bets while attending games at their favorite professional sports team. All of Ohio’s major professional sports teams applied for licenses along with both Major League Soccer teams. Fans attending the Bengals Monday Night game on January 2, 2023 against the Buffalo Bills will be able to place wagers right at the stadium as long as everything is operational at Paul Brown Stadium.

Ohio Betting Kiosks

Finally, Ohio sports bettors will also be able to place wagers at some of their favorite bars and restaurants across the state. As of this writing, more than 1,000 businesses have applied for the ability to place betting kiosks inside their establishments. These betting terminals will be overseen by the Ohio Lottery Commission as opposed to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

The Bottom Line

Given the timing of when sports betting will launch, along with the strong sports culture in the state, Ohio will quickly position itself as a leading sports wagering state. Bettors will have no shortage of options and can feel confident knowing they’re placing bets with reputable companies. Each sportsbook that is ultimately approved to do business in Ohio will have been thoroughly vetted and will continue to be regulated by the OCCC.

Huynh Nguyen

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