Dan Gilbert converted Higbee's Department Store to a casino, which opened in 2012.
Ohio House Bill 29, which passed in late 2021 and took effect in March of this year, legalized sports betting in Ohio and established a regulatory framework for both the online and brick and mortar establishments where it will be permitted.
The bill set January 1, 2023, as the date when sports gaming must begin. And according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, that's still the most likely start date.
The Commission will formally announce the so-called "universal start date" at its meeting Wednesday, but WKYC reported
that the Commission's website already lists Jan. 1 as the probable date.
"Given the intricacies of the rule making process in Ohio and the number of licenses and investigations that the Commission must issue or undertake, the Universal Start Date is likely to be close to, if not exactly on, January 1, 2023," the site's FAQ page reads
The lengthy runway had made both legislators and gambling establishments, (to say nothing of diehard gamblers and sports fanatics themselves), hopeful that betting might get underway earlier than 2023, especially with the lucrative NFL season around the corner.
JACK Casino even launched a sports betting app last month — betJACK
— to hook potential gamblers on sports betting with a daily supply of imaginary tokens. JACK Entertainment had previously announced that it planned to build two physical sportsbooks at its Casino in Cleveland and at Thistledown Racino in North Randall. These will be traditional "Las Vegas style" lounges with a wall of TVs and comfortable seating and all that jazz.
But they won't be legally operable, it looks like, until 2023. (We'll know for sure Wednesday.)
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