Ohio sports bettors made history during the 1st week of legalized sports betting. Still, many lottery agents and bar owners failed to get in on the act as the gaming tech company Intralot could not deliver several sports betting kiosks, as reported by Cincinnati TV station WKTC-TV.
The failure to deliver the betting kiosks on time or have delivered machines fully operational has been frustrating for sports bar owners like Erik Richman, who paid $1000 on a license to use the Intralot kiosks he says haven’t been delivered or aren’t operational.
“It’s frustrating because we did advertise for months leading up to this, saying we were going to have this,” Richman said. “Not only that, they’re advertising it on their website saying we are one of the locations, and we still can’t do it. So, we have people coming in here and get disappointed about it.”
The reason for the delays is still a mystery. Six hundred ninety-seven other lottery agents and sports bar owners like Richman eagerly await a response, but Intralot hasn’t offered any updates on its company website. Bowling Centers of Ohio executive VP David Corey has no idea why the kiosks have been delayed.
“To tell you the truth, we’re not sure why [there is a delay]. They’ve had a year to get ready and we’re not sure why the lottery’s not live yet,” Corey said. “Intralot showed the machine, they showed the equipment, we had sessions all throughout the state of Ohio where we had hundreds of bar and bowling center owners at those training sessions and reviewed everything.”
Intralot is currently operating some clerk-operated machines and is in the testing phase of these machines. Ohio Lottery deputy director of communications Danielle Frizzi told Legal Sports Report;
“Lottery sports gaming went live with three proprietors on January (1) in 63 counties at over 760 host locations in Ohio. Bet IGG and UBet Ohio launched with kiosks and Intralot launched on clerk-operated terminals only as their kiosk software continued to be tested. This week, Intralot’s kiosk software solution began in-venue testing at pilot locations.
“If the pilot program is successful, additional locations’ kiosks will go live in the coming weeks. Additionally, we expect another two proprietors, BetSkybox and Gold Rush, to begin launching their own self-service kiosk solution very soon.”
Intralot is a Greek-based company headquartered in Athens, and operates lottery and betting kiosks worldwide. Intralot runs its Ohio operation through SportsBet Ohio and claims 698 locations, and 708 cashing places, along with special pre and in-game events at their various locations.
Some betting kiosks are operational, while others can be used with an app downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. Still, all winning tickets over $599 must be redeemed at the local lottery office.
Richman and many others were also disappointed they were unable to take advantage of the Cincinnati Bengals’ deep playoff run;
“It is a money maker when people are spending money in those machines, but it also brings people in here and then they start eating and drinking so it’s a win-win for me to have it here,” Richman said. “Not only that, with the Bengals doing so well right now, this is the time that I really need it and we can’t use it.”
Controversy Follows Intralot
Intralot is the sports betting kiosk provider for the Montana Lottery. Customers complained that initial bets were offered at off-market prices and that the betting lines were far off leading markets like Las Vegas and New Jersey.
It was further claimed the betting lines involving the Kansas Jayhawks (-1,111) and Oklahoma State Cowboys (+310) were way off the market, and the vigorish on some sides and total bets was as high as -135.
Washington D.C. sports bettors also complained of terrible, off-market pricing and off-betting lines when it launched in May 2020. At that time, Intralot was the only game in town and could get away with the lousy pricing. Still, things have stabilized with sportsbook operator William Hill opening at Capital One Arena.
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