COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — At the start of the new year, Ohioans will have three ways to place bets on sports. That’s all part of House Bill 29 which passed late last year.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission approved 200 bars and restaurants across the state were approved to have sports gambling kiosks come January first. There are 2,500 total places in Ohio that are eligible to apply, and lawmakers encourage them to do so.
“It just opens the opportunity up for those smaller venues to be able to participate in this process,” State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale) said.
“We are helping them put people in seats, people at their tables to drive business,” State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) said.
What will it mean for you if you see a sports gaming kiosk at your favorite bar or restaurant? There will be limitations on what you can bet on and how much money you can spend, Thomas said the limit will be under one thousand dollars per person per week.
“It keeps someone from spending their paycheck in one bet,” Thomas said.
“We don’t want people rolling in with $100,000 in cash to bet at your local pub,” Antani said. “That’s more appropriate for a full sports book that have the security measures, the security cameras, the ability to pay out a bet of that size.”
The other two types of sports betting that will start on Jan. 1 are online and in-person at casinos and lawmakers said bringing sports betting to Ohio will help the state earn extra revenue.
“Sports betting brings in a significant number of additional resources and we can apply that to some areas that will be very beneficial for the state,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the state is prepared for issues that may arise.
“We did allocate a significant amount of dollars for individuals who may have gambling problems or show signs of gambling problems,” Thomas said.
According to the Ohio Lottery, you will be able to get a payout at the bar or restaurant under $600 but details are still being finalized.
The general manager of a restaurant pub in Hilliard said while the process is all very new, he’s excited about the opportunity to offer his guests something new that could bring in additional revenue.
“Any money that goes into the machine is potential opportunity for us to grow our sales,” said Dustin Hackney, general manager of Grandad’s Pizza and Pub in Hilliard.
Grandad’s was one of the 200 businesses statewide selected for a Type C sports betting license, which will allow those businesses to install sports betting kiosks.
Hackney said right now, the restaurant is in the process of selecting the betting distributor, and while many of the businesses await more guidance from the state, the team at Grandad’s said they are excited. That excitement is based on the success of the Keno kiosk at the restaurant, a machine that’s been in place since the restaurant opened in 2014.
“All things considered, the little bit of a headache that it will be, I think, will be worth it more financially for us in the long run,” Hackney said.