Mobile and retail sports-betting licensees that have yet to launch in Ohio will get a six-month extension after gaming regulators approved a waiver for more than a dozen licensees.
Ohio sports-betting regulations include a “use it or lose it” provision that was supposed to revoke a license for any operator that was not accepting wagers by January 1, 2024, or within one year of the market's launch.
Anna Marin Russell, director of licensing and investigations for the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), said regulators have been reaching out since June to those operators that have not yet launched and received several reasons for the delay. Russell attributed the delays to some not finding partners, construction delays, and geopolitical impacts to third-party providers.
The next deadline will be June 30, 2024, but commissioners acknowledged that another extension could be possible.
“This will give these operators time to launch sports betting,” Thomas Stickrath, chairman of the OCCC, said on November 15. “We are not locked into it, if change is needed.”
On January 1, 2023, retail, lottery-run and mobile sports betting launched in Ohio.
Last week, 15 entities were granted an extension of the “use it or lose it” provision, including several professional sports franchises, retail locations and mobile operators. The seven-member commission also approved a rule change that would amend the law to extend the provision to all retail and mobile licenses, bringing the total number of operators able to benefit from the exemption to 17.
According to the latest list of licensees published in September by the OCCC, there are some notable sports franchises and businesses that have either yet to launch sports wagering operations in Ohio or are looking for new partners.
The National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers, for example, lost its mobile management service provider after Fubo Gaming withdrew from the U.S. sports-betting market. The Cavaliers have partnered with Caesars Entertainment on a retail sportsbook inside their arena.
Other sports-betting operators that have withdrawn from the state include PlayUp Interactive, MaximBet, PointsBet Ohio, Gamewise, WynnBET and Stake Trade, which did business as Prophet Exchange.
The commission also reported that J&J Ventures Gaming of Ohio, an Illinois-based video gaming terminal operator, has surrendered its Type C proprietor license, which allows companies to operate sports-betting kiosks in bars and restaurants.
As of September 20, the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton did not have a declared partnership for retail sports wagering despite having obtained a license and partnered with Betr for mobile wagering.
BetMGM has partnered with MGM Northfield Park and the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball for retail sports wagering, but the Reds' designated mobile partner Underdog Sportsbook has yet to launch.