If You Live Here, Kroger Will Let You Do This in Stores Starting Jan. 1
Get ready for a completely new experience at certain locations.
Walking the aisles at your local Kroger store is probably routine at this point, and aside from throwing a package of Oreos in your shopping cart on a whim, there aren't too many surprises to encounter on your weekly run. Soon, however, Kroger will be switching things up on shoppers and offering a brand new amenity. Come Jan. 1, 2023, the popular grocery store will let customers in one state have a special in-store experience for the first time. Read on to find out what Kroger is planning to introduce, and where you can take advantage of it.
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Kroger has been making headlines lately.
Kroger has been making waves lately, and not always for good reasons. On June 9, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) announced that it would partner with Green America, a nonprofit organization, to launch an initiative against Kroger due to use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigeration systems. The EIA claimed that these HFCs are greenhouse gases that have high Global Warming Potential (GWP).
That same month, Kroger was also forced to pull three different store brand pain relievers—including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen—from shelves. According to a June 16 announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the pain relievers' packaging didn't have proper child-resistant packaging, as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA).
Now, Kroger is in the news for a different initiative, but thankfully it's of the positive variety—at least for some shoppers.
Sports fans will want to check this out.
If you enjoy taking a little risk and dabbling in gambling, you'll be happy to learn that Kroger is planning to introduce sports betting to some Ohio stores. According to Cleveland.com, the grocery store chain has applied for a license to install sports gambling kiosks at specific locations. These kiosks are similar to those you would see in casinos and sports stadiums, as reported by Action Network, and you have to be 21 or older to use them.
On Dec. 8, 2021, Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill to legalize sports betting in the state, and Jan. 1, 2023 will be the first day to make your wager, the Ohio Casino Control Commission confirmed in June, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.
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Kroger has to meet certain requirements to be officially approved.
As a grocery store, Kroger is categorized as a "Type C" location, and is required to meet certain requirements to become a "sports gaming host." In order to be granted official Type-C gaming host licensing, applicants must be a for-profit corporation or association with a specific form of liquor permit, a valid lottery sales agent license, and a recommendation for licensure from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the agency's website states. Applications are still being accepted and reviewed, and in order to start offering sports gaming on the Jan. 1, 2023 date—which the Casino Commission notes is the "universal start date"—businesses are required to apply by Aug. 15.
A pre-approval list was issued on July 22, confirming that Kroger has already been pre-approved to install these kiosks at 42 Ohio locations. This includes 13 stores in and around Cincinnati, the Enquirer reported, as well as stores in Columbus and Fairborn, among others. But if you're looking to do any gambling at Kroger in Cleveland, you might be out of luck: No Kroger locations or other grocery stores have been pre-approved in Ohio's second-biggest city, per Cleveland.com.
There are other local spots vying for a license.
Kroger isn't the only store aiming to take advantage of this opportunity, as several local restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys also claimed spots on the pre-approval list. As of July 22, approximately 1,009 brick-and-mortar locations were pre-approved as locations to place your bets, and as sports betting becomes legal in January, you can even get in on the action for the tail-end of the 2022 NFL football season.
But you don't even have to leave your home if you don't want to, since the bill that legalized sports gambling in Ohio also allows mobile apps. Per House Bill 29, online sportsbooks operators fall under Type A, while brick-and-mortar sportsbooks establishments fall under Type B.