Not All Sports Betting Kiosks Will Be Ready on Jan. 1

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Sports wagering becomes legal in Ohio on Jan. 1, but not all of the wagering kiosks in bars and restaurants will be ready on that day.

The kiosks are upright computer-operated machines that have a screen through which sports bets can be made. They are similar to the Ohio Lottery machines that are commonplace, but a bit smaller.

At least 75 bars in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties were approved for the kiosks. Statewide, the number is roughly a thousand.

Bar operators were required to select one of seven kiosk proprietors approved by the state casino control commission to manage their kiosks. However, not all will be ready to launch on New Year’s Day, according to Danielle Frizzi-Babb, Lottery spokesperson.

Some proprietors are planning to launch in phases in the early part of the new year, but not on Jan. 1, she said in a news release.

Kiosks operated by proprietors BetIGG and UBet Ohio will be ready at their 50-plus locations in the state.

Intralot’s sportsbook, Sportsbet Ohio, is expected to be available at clerk-operated terminals at the counter at approximately 700 locations. To place a bet, players will need to download the Sportsbet Ohio companion app, which will allow them to build their bets and provide a code to be scanned at the counter to place the bet.

But betting at Sportsbet Ohio’s kiosks will not be ready to launch on Jan. 1. The kiosks should be ready by mid-January, according to Frizzi-Babb.

Additional proprietors will begin to launch in January. BetSkybox will begin a phased launch mid-January, followed by Gold Rush Sports Betting in February and Elys Game Technology and Wright Bet Venture later in 2023.

Sports betting at the kiosks is limited to point-spread, over-under, moneyline and parlay wagers. There is a four-component limit on parlay wagers, which involve multiple sporting events.

The Lottery has recommended more than 1,500 host locations for licensure. For a list of all pre-qualified host locations, click here. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has conditionally approved more than 1,000 host locations for a formal license to operate.

A list of Ohio Lottery sports gaming kiosks will be posted here no later than Jan. 1, according to Marie Kilbane Seckers, spokeswoman. As of Wednesday, the list had not been posted.

Bar owners statewide were instructed to select the kiosk proprietor that best suits their needs, Seckers said, and could pick any of the seven regardless of their location.

In addition to kiosks, Ohio has also legalized sports wagering apps and sports gaming parlors, both of which will go live on Jan. 1.

Locally, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Austintown will open its parlor in mid-January. A second parlor will open at Covelli Centre in Youngstown at a later date.

The apps and parlors are under the oversight of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and not the Lottery Commission.

As the launch of sports wagering apps nears, the casino commission recently admonished some operators for not following the standards issued by the state regarding advertising.

The commission’s prelaunch advertising regulations specify that all ads must include a responsible gaming message that is easily noticeable, and that ads do not target persons under 21 years of age. Sports gaming in the state is illegal for those under 21.

In a statement, the commission said it has seen these standards broken in recent weeks. The major sports gaming apps have been flooding the state with advertisements.

The commission is not taking administrative action against offenders at this time but is insisting they review their advertising to make sure it is in compliance.

Pictured at top: A sports wagering kiosk operated by BetIGG.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.