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Ohio launches legal sports betting


Legal sports betting has launched in Ohio, with a number of major brands going live on January 1.

Ohio set out a January 1, 2023 launch date for sports betting in a bill agreed by conference between both houses of its legislature.

Among the operators to have already received licences are national market leaders, FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings, European businesses Bet365 and Tipico and startups Betr and Prophet.

Ohio is set to represent a major opportunity to operators and suppliers as the seventh-most populous US state, with 11.8 million residents.

“Today marks a monumental day of growth for both BetMGM and the sports betting industry,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “Ohio is home to thousands of passionate sports fans, who now have the opportunity to enjoy first-hand the excitement and benefits of wagering with BetMGM.”

DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish noted that Ohio residents were especially passionate about sports, and that the launch was perfectly times for the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship and the NFL playoffs.

“We’re excited to ring in the New Year with the launch of our top-rated DraftKings Sportsbook app in Ohio,” he said. “Ohioans are passionate sports fans with hometown pride, and we’re thrilled to offer them a variety of ways to have more skin in the game ahead of the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship and the NFL playoffs.”

PlayUp Ohio licence denied

While a number of operators were approved to launch sports betting in the state, one that missed out was PlayUp after the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that it would deny the operator’s licence application.

The operator had received conditional approval for its licence, but the regulator said that, during its investigation of PlayUp’s suitability to hold a licence, “staff uncovered information regarding potential illegal gambling activity by PlayUp”.