By Alan Wooten
The Center Square

Predictions of sports wagers in Ohio, where legalization takes effect Jan. 1, are up $1 million more than just a month ago.

At $9 billion to $12 billion, the prediction by PlayOhio is up 12.5% over its October forecast. PlayOhio is a part of PlayUSA, a content and resource center for the legal gambling industry that focuses on the United States.

In its nationwide annual forecast unveiled this month, PlayUSA’s release said, “Ohio’s best-in-class framework will create the largest synchronized launch in U.S. history, with several retail sportsbooks and, perhaps, two dozen online apps available on Day 1.”

The release added, “recent trends seem to suggest an especially quick ramp-up.”

PlayUSA said, “an optimistic $8.10 billion in handle and about $600 million in operator revenue” is realistic, “which could be enough to secure Ohio a spot in the U.S. top five in its very first year of operation.”

Appetites are whet in the Buckeye State, where critics lamented waiting until Jan. 1, missing all but two games for the NFL’s Browns and Bengals. College football national champion contender Ohio State, is already a national draw for wagers, and certain to be a popular betting option. In addition, Ohio missed out on the availability of the USA participating in the World Cup this month, which continues until mid-December.

All equipment must be ready for commission verification by Friday, Dec. 2, the Ohio Casino Gaming Commission said. The timeline for the sports gaming implementation process began June 1.

In an update, PlayOhio said more than 1,380 businesses have been preapproved to host kiosks. Multiple sportsbooks have prelaunch offers leading up to the Jan. 1 launch, including: DraftKings, BetMGM, Bet365, FanDuel and Caesars.