Four other operators are looking for licenses online

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Posted on: August 20, 2022, 8:49 a.m.

Last update: August 20, 2022, 8:49 a.m.

Four other companies applied for online sports betting licenses in Ohio last week. However, only three of them would be guaranteed to start on January 1 if the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) approves their licenses.

Betway signs
Betway signage is prominently displayed during a Cleveland Cavaliers game. Last week, Digital Gaming Corp., which operates the Betway brand, was one of four companies to apply for an online sports betting license in Ohio. (Picture: Betway)

This is because these three – MaximBet, Prophet Exchange and Digital Gaming Corp. (DGC) – have applied to serve as a second Mobile Management Service Provider (MMSP) for an owner. The OCCC has set a July 15 deadline for owners and their first MMSP and a last Monday deadline for applying for a second MMSP.

This is why WynnBet, which is a first MMSP for JACK Thistledown, will not be guaranteed a January 1st start date. Wynn submitted its application on Monday, the same day as MaximBet, Prophet Exchange and DGC.

MaximBet would be the second skin of JACK Cleveland Casino. The sportsbook belonging to the Carousel Group, which is affiliated men’s publication Maxim, now operates solely in Colorado. However, it has access agreements in place in Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

ProphetExchange, which would be the second skin of the Columbus Blue Jackets, would also be the first exchange in Ohio. It was previously based in Britain, but company executives took stakes there and decided to start over in the United States. In July 2021, the company announced access deals in New Jersey and Indiana through Caesars Entertainment. Company officials hoped to go live in New Jersey last year, but the exchange has yet to go live in either state.

DGC operates under the Betway brand, which is licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It would be the second skin of Belterra Park, a Boyd Gaming racino in Cincinnati.

Expensive second licenses in Ohio

The state law that legalized sports betting in Ohio has set high prices for owners looking for a second skin and for operators who want those licenses.

Under the law, a professional sports team looking to host an online operator would pay $1 million for a five-year license. A team looking for two skins, or MMSPs, would pay $3.3 million for the license. Casinos and other businesses seeking to partner with one would pay $1.5 million for their license, but would pay $5 million for two.

The first MMSP partner from a sports team pays $2 million for a five-year license, while the first MMSP from a casino or other business pays $1.5 million for their license. For a second MMSP, the provider would pay a license fee of $6.67 million if partnering with a sports team or $5 million if the partner is another company.

State law allowed 25 online sports betting operators in the state. According to information from the OCCC, 25 suppliers have applied for licenses. However, a request does not guarantee approval.

The state may also choose to increase the number of online licenses if an economic analysis determines that it would benefit the state.

The law gives preference to casinos, racinos and professional sports teams. However, other entities have applied to host online operators. These candidates are the Hall of Fame Village in Canton and the SPIRE Institute in Geneva.

Kiosk Host License Deadline Extended

In addition to allowing online sportsbook operators, Ohio law also allows 40 retail sportsbooks in the state’s largest counties by population. It also allows some lottery retailers to host kiosks in their establishments.

Through Friday, the Ohio Lottery Commission has prequalified 1,303 retailers for kiosks. These retailers are for-profit businesses in good standing with the lottery. They also need a current D-1, D-2, or D-5 liquor license.

For the most part, candidates for kiosks are bars or restaurants. However, other candidates include bowling alleys, golf courses, and even grocery stores.

Prequalification does not mean that the OCCC will automatically approve the application. According to the Ohio eLicense portal, 745 kiosk applicants were received. Of these, the commission approved 200 conditionally.

Kiosks will have certain limitations on how they operate compared to online apps and physical sportsbooks. Kiosks will only be able to offer point spread, money line and totals to punters. Punters can place wagers, but these will be capped at four innings. Additionally, no bettor may wager more than $700 per calendar week via the kiosks.

As with the second MMSP applications, the OCCC initially set a deadline of last Monday for kiosk hosts as well if they wanted to go live on January 1st. However, on Wednesday the commission announced that lottery retailers interested in kiosk hosting can still request timing and be certain to go live on the universal launch date.

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