The Ohio Casino Control Commission recently provided stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the Type-C sports gaming proprietors application. It didn’t take long for stakeholders for Type-C establishments. It includes restaurants and sports bars, to express concerns about certain details included in the draft.
Most notably, a “two-kiosk limit” per Type-C establishment has garnered the most attention.
Kevin Olthaus, co-proprietor of Scoreboard Sports Bar in Miami Township, and Jim Moehring, owner of Holy Grail Tavern & Grille at the Banks, were among the first stakeholders to publicly comment with concerns after the commission shared the Type-C sports gaming proprietors draft.
Olthaus said he was “not happy” with the two-kiosk limit. Moehring said he wasn’t sure how many sports betting kiosks he would need to support his customers. He stated that he’d like to have the option to have more than two.
Their issue is that a limit of two may not be enough to meet the needs of a large crowd looking to place wagers on the day of a sporting event.
A backed-up line at the sports kiosks right at the starting time for the tipoff of several basketball games, or at the opening kickoff of football games, may deny some patrons the chance to place certain bets.
By comparison, casinos typically have a few dozen self-service terminals available for use.
The Ohio Lottery Commission this week published five pages of proposed rules for sports-betting kiosks in Ohio bars and … https://t.co/pnQSvwKSqv
— Springfield News-Sun (@springfieldnews) April 22, 2022
Not everyone is so worried
However, all public comments coming from Type-C proprietors don’t express the same level of concern about the cap on sports betting kiosks.
Robert Kelm, owner of Frogtown Johnnie’s Sports Bar & Grill in Toledo, shared that he has plenty of room in his establishment to house more than a pair of sports betting kiosks. But it won’t bother him if he chooses to apply for a Type-C license and is limited to only two.
“For me, two is more than enough,” Kelm said. “The majority of my customers are already going across the border [to Michigan] for online sports betting, so I think it would be a great fit.”
Still too many unknowns for some proprietors
Scott Radel, executive vice president of Tony Packo Food Company, isn’t sure about applying for a Type-C sports betting license for his five Tony Packo’s restaurants, which are located throughout northwest Ohio.
Packo’s became nationally famous after Toledo native Jamie Farr mentioned the restaurant while playing Klinger on M.A.S.H.
“We’ve only had one conversation about [sports betting] and that’s when it passed,” Radel said. “It’s too soon to tell.”
Radel also said he’s waiting for more details to come out over the summer about the rules and the entire set-up before committing to the idea of featuring sports betting on the premises.
“It’s on the radar screen, but we just haven’t given any thought to it,” he said.
While the OCCC is responsible for issuing Type-C licenses, the Ohio Lottery Commission will be responsible for managing the sports betting kiosks at restaurants and bars.
To that end, proprietors expressed concern about the proposed lottery rule. It requires gaming hosts to pay up to $599 on winning bets. That could force restaurants and bars to keep more cash on hand than in the past.
Kelm said that could be asking “a lot” for restaurants and bars to be responsible for those kind of payouts.
Plenty remains to be done before restaurants and sports bars across Ohio can even think about placing any sports betting kiosks in their establishments. The OCCC is still working to approve a total of five batches of proposed sports gaming rules.
The sports betting platform is not expected to be completed until later this year. The law states that Ohio mobile sports betting must be launched by Jan. 1, 2023.
Stakeholders have until April 28 at 5 p.m. to email written comments about the draft application. They should email the commission at [email protected].
Wright Bet Ventures partners with Elys Game Technology
In other news, Dayton-based startup Wright Bet Ventures LLC has agreed to partner with Elys Game Technology Corp. to manage up to 12 sportsbooks in Ohio. The partnership will lead to Elys’ subsidiary, US Bookmaking, providing sports wagering services for the sportsbooks.
A Type-B license is required to provide sports wagering services for sportsbooks that will operate in restaurants and bars. The commission is able to issue up to 40 Type-B licenses statewide.