Ohio Officials Extend Window for Sports Betting Kiosk Host Applications

If you own a bar, a restaurant, a bowling alley, a golf course, or even a grocery store in Ohio, there’s still time to apply for a sports betting license and be ready for the state’s Jan. 1 launch date.

Ohio map
Come Jan. 1, sports betting will become legal in hundreds of places across Ohio. On Wednesday, the state’s Casino Control Commission urged businesses interested in applying to host kiosks to still apply, saying they could still open on the Jan. 1 universal launch date. (Image: klenger/Adobe Stock Images)

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) said it was encouraging so-called “Type C” hosts to apply for licenses. “Type C” is one of three classes of sports betting in Ohio and is reserved for lottery retailers with certain liquor licenses to host kiosks in their establishments.

Previously, the OCCC set a Monday deadline for entities interested in hosting kiosks to apply and be guaranteed to launch on Jan. 1 if approved. But Wednesday’s memo indicated there was still time, for now, since the requirements for kiosk hosts were far less cumbersome than other sports betting licenses.

As such, the Commission anticipates being able to continue to process and license Type-C sports gaming hosts who missed the application window ahead of the universal start date,” the commission said in an email. “This does not mean that hosts can wait and apply at any time but does mean that hosts that apply within the next few weeks are still likely to receive consideration in time to launch sports gaming on January 1.”

According to Ohio’s eLicense portal, 727 applications for hosting sports betting kiosks have been received, although two have been withdrawn. Of the 725, 200 applicants have received “conditional” approval.

To qualify, lottery retailers must be in good standing with the Ohio Lottery Commission. They must also be for-profit ventures and hold a D-1, D-2, or D-5 liquor license.

While the lottery recommends applicants, the OCCC still has the final say on approving the license.

Companies that have applied to host sports betting kiosks include a couple of major supermarket chains. Kroger, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, has applied for licenses at 42 of its locations across the state. Giant Eagle has been prequalified for 63 of its Ohio stores, and Acme Fresh Market has been prequalified for nine of its locations.

Betting Options Limited at Kiosks

Besides kiosks, Ohio also will allow online sports betting (“Type A”) and retail sportsbooks (“Type B”) to operate in the state. The kiosks, though, will operate a little differently than the other types of wagering platforms.

For instance, sports betting kiosks will be limited in the wagering opportunities it can offer. Bettors can only gamble on point spreads, moneyline, and totals (aka over/under). Parlays are available, but those are also capped to no more than four legs.

Bettors at kiosks will also be limited to wagering no more than $700 in any given week.

Other Sports Betting Options in Ohio

While the OCCC has extended the application window for kiosk hosts, the window has closed for other sports betting license applicants – at least in terms of being able to launch on Jan. 1 if they’re approved.

Most of those applications were due on July 15, and those applicants still have deadlines to meet in order to stay on track for the universal launch date.

In the same notice Wednesday, the OCCC stated that Type A and B applicants needed to submit responsible gaming plans, required procedures, house rules, facility plans, geolocation processes, and equipment test reports by Nov. 2.

Ohio’s sports betting law allows for up to 25 online sports betting operators and 40 retail sportsbooks.

The state’s casinos, racinos, and major professional sports teams have been given preference for proprietor licenses that let them partner with a sports betting operator. However, other entities have applied for licenses as well, including SPIRE Institute and Phantom Fireworks.

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