Ohio Lottery Sports Betting Rolling Out at Slower Pace than Mobile

Lottery-connected sports betting at bars, restaurants, and other businesses is taking a bit more time to come together than it did for the wagering that has already begun en masse online and at casinos.

Geoff Zochodne - Senior News Analyst at Covers.com
Geoff Zochodne • Senior News Analyst
Jan 3, 2023 • 12:23 ET • 2 min read
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Legal sports betting got off to a fast start over the internet and at casinos in Ohio, but it will be a more gradual process to get kiosks up and running at hundreds of bars, restaurants, and other businesses in the Buckeye State.

Retail and online sports betting in Ohio began at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, the first day of legal event wagering in the state. 

However, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and mobile sports betting sites are only two of the three avenues of legal wagering in Ohio. The third is lottery-linked betting via kiosks at businesses with liquor licenses. 

The Ohio Lottery technically operates the so-called "Type-C" sports betting in the state, with kiosk-providing "proprietors" that will accept wagers on its behalf at the "host" locations, which are the bars, restaurants, and otherwise with kiosks. The Ohio Casino Control Commission licensed more than 700 businesses for lottery sports gaming in the run-up to the January 1 start date, as well as seven kiosk providers. 

Slower, steadier

According to a December 23 press release from the lottery, two proprietors, betIGG and UBet Ohio, were ready to launch on January 1. Their kiosks were expected to be operational at more than 50 locations.

But most sports-betting kiosk hosts plan to use hardware provided by Intralot Inc., as the company's clerk-operated sportsbook Sports Bet Ohio is slated for use at around 700 locations. Players will need to download a Sports Bet Ohio app that will allow them to build their bets and generate a QR code that will be scanned for their ticket. 

Intralot, though, told the lottery that its sports-betting program for kiosks will not be ready to launch until "mid-January," the release noted. 

“Additional proprietors will begin to launch in January,” the lottery said. “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.”

Yet the more gradual rollout of lottery-linked sports betting in Ohio is more of a bump in the road than a roadblock for legal wagering in the Buckeye State. Residents who are 21 or older and want to bet on sports already have more than a dozen online sportsbooks they can use, in addition to a handful of retail betting locations at casinos and professional sports venues.

FanDuel, for example, announced its online sportsbook and retail sportsbook at Belterra Park Cincinnati are now taking bets.

Furthermore, the type of sports betting that Ohioans will be able to do with the lottery kiosks will be more limited than what is offered by mobile apps.

“Lottery sports gaming is limited to spread wagers, over-under wagers, moneyline wagers, and parlay wagers with no more than four components,” the Ohio Lottery noted

The lottery has a webpage where residents can look up retailers with sports betting.

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