Ohio Regulator: Nothing Guaranteed From Sports Betting Applications

Commission's executive director stresses detailed vetting process awaits the many applicants seeking to be part of Jan. 1 launch.

Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler made it clearly known at Wednesday’s monthly meeting that applicants for sports wagering licenses are not guaranteed to receive them.

Schuler said all of the applicants will go through a review process that includes background checks on financial history, criminal history, and business history. Submitting all the requested paperwork and paying the application fees aren’t all that is needed to receive approval for a license. There’s much more to it than that, according to the commission.

“I don’t want anybody to think for a minute that this is a rubber-stamp activity,” Schuler said.

Discussions with others about the application process and media reports since the commission began accepting applications several weeks ago led Schuler to talk in detail about what it will take for applicants to be issued a license. He noted an applicant’s past and present reputation, experience, and finances will be examined closely. Applicants with prior history working with the commission perhaps have less hurdles to clear since a working relationship is already in place.

Considering the full vetting, “this is a reminder for all of us how serious we take this particular task,” Schuler said.

The commission began accepting applications on Friday for its second installment window, which will include applicants for Type C sports gaming hosts and second designated Mobile Management Service Providers. The universal launch date for sports wagering is Jan. 1, 2023.

Updated list of sports wagering applicants

The commission announced that it had updated the list of applicants by adding applicants that submitted applications late Friday after the OCCC’s most recent post. Lori’s Roadhouse, a music and entertainment venue in the Cincinnati area that features country musicians, applied for a Type B license. A number of applications came in late for supplier licenses.

The commission has been receiving sports betting license applications since June 15, which was the first day of the initial installment window. The commission announced that $1.4 million in revenue has been received from license application fees.

The application fee to apply for a Type A sports gaming proprietor license is $150,000 and for a Type B sports gaming proprietor license is $20,000.

OCCC approves Steinhauer as vice chair

Commissioner John Steinhauer won unanimous approval as the OCCC’s vice chair during the meeting. June E. Taylor previously served in that role before being appointed commission chair.

Steinhauer is a private practice attorney in Akron who previously served in the Ohio General Assembly Legislative Reference Bureau, as an assistant city attorney in Columbus, and as special counsel for the Ohio Attorney General.

“For anyone that might take notice, if Commissioner Steinhauer gives you a compliment, it actually means something,” Schuler said. “He’s tough and keeps us sharp and is very supportive. If he says ‘Good job,’ I’m popping the champagne cork.”

Independent testing labs certified

The commission unanimously approved two independent testing laboratories for sports gaming platforms.

BMM North America and Gaming Laboratories International received approval to serve as independent testing labs for Ohio sports gaming. The commission has also updated its Compliance FAQs to include questions pertaining to testing sports gaming equipment, the submission of compliance-related materials, and the sports gaming catalog.


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