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Ohio Announces Launch Date Deadline for Operators Who Have Not Gone Live

Written by: Michael Savio
Published November 30, 2023
6 min read
Ohio Launch Date Deadline for Operators Not Gone Live

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced a June 30, 2024, deadline for all licensed operators to be up and running. The new deadline comes after the group voted to set it in June instead of January, allowing operators an extra six-month grace period to launch their platforms. Most states set a date for one year after the launch, but the OCCC agreed to push it after 15 licensees ran into issues getting their product launched. 

The commission believes that an extension will help create a level playing field for licensees that have been unable to launch. The decision to extend the deadline doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cleveland Browns are among the 15 licensees that have been unable to find a partner to launch a sportsbook. 

The Cavs are a great example of why the OCCC approved the extended deadline. The NBA franchise had initially partnered with Fubo Gaming but found out at the end of 2022 that the operator was shuttering operations in the US. That put the Cavs back to square one while 19 other licensees already have partners and have launched sportsbooks. That means the remaining 15 licensees must find smaller operators to partner with to go live. 

The sports betting market has not been kind to smaller operators, with FanDuel and DraftKings claiming around 80% of the US market share. Ohio also recently doubled its tax rate on operators, making it a less appealing market to smaller operators. 

While the Buckeye State is one of the largest markets in the US, the cost of doing business is too high for some operators.

Ohio Legislature to Consider Cut to Operator Tax

State senator Niraj Antani introduced SB 190 before Thanksgiving, which would cut the tax rate for operators back down to 10%. Antani and several other legislatures have argued that doubling the rate has a trickle-down effect on Ohio bettors, who see odds and promotions with lower value than in other states.

A cut to the tax rate could also help the remaining 15 sports betting licensees to find partners, further expanding the already large market. That would create more competition, while the lower tax rate would generate more value for bettors. 

The next step will be for the Legislative Service Commission to estimate the tax implication of SB190.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

358 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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