Ohio shoppers can now add something else to their shopping list—bets. This is after Ohio’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, announced adding betting kiosks to 20 locations across Greater Cincinnati and Dayton.
Let’s explore the key aspects of this recent addition and analyze what its outcomes reveal about the online sportsbooks industry in Ohio.
These self-service machines, managed by UBet Ohio, a sportsbook company established after Ohio legalized retail and online sports betting in 2021, provide a new way for customers to conveniently engage with sports and teams.
The kiosks permit individuals aged 21 and older to insert cash and place bets. The winning tickets are redeemed by Kroger staff, similar to cash in a lottery ticket. However, they will only pay out winnings up to $599 in cash.
Kroger Joins Other Businesses With Sports Betting Kiosks
A statement from the grocery store retailer read: “This new feature allows Kroger to join other retailers in Ohio already offering this service. Introducing these kiosks will offer customers a new, convenient way to engage with various sports and teams through sports wagering.”
In Ohio, more than 900 businesses across the state have introduced retail sports betting kiosks regulated by the Ohio Lottery. These wagering terminals are strategically located in various establishments, including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations, bowling alleys, and fraternal clubs.
The kiosks do come with some rules, including:
- A weekly wagering limit of $700 per person.
- Patrons are required to present a valid form of identification for age verification before placing bets.
- The ID verification component serves as a measure for the Ohio Lottery Commission to monitor and enforce the $700 per week betting cap.
Online Sports Betting Still Preferred in Ohio
At the end of December, there were more than 840 places in Ohio with sportsbook kiosks.
Like in many states where sports betting is allowed both online and in person, the numbers will show that most bettors in Ohio prefer making their bets online.
In December alone, the retail sports betting kiosks saw a little more than $1.2 million in bets. From that amount, the machines made just under $130,000.
Legal Online Casinos May Be Next for Ohio
Starting on February 20, the Ohio Legislature’s Sports Gaming Study Committee will explore various topics, including the idea of allowing online casino games in the state. Currently, playing casino games online for real money in Ohio goes against federal and state laws.
While it’s unlikely for a bill to change Ohio’s law in the current legislative session, the possibility exists for 2025.
If this happens, the framework for expanding online gambling might mirror Ohio’s approach to online sports betting. Online gambling companies could be required to partner with existing physical casinos and racetracks.
Indiana is also contemplating a similar move. Why? These three active states are cashing in on higher tax revenue from online casino play compared to what they generate from online sports betting.
So, Ohio, which is coming off a massive year in the sports betting industry, is already looking to add more options for residents. The kiosks at Kroger appear to be the first step.