Applications for sports betting in Ohio crowned by fireworks – really!

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Posted on: Jul 16, 2022 9:08 am.

Last updated on: July 16, 2022 10:47 am.

As expected, Friday’s deadline for submitting applications for sports betting licenses in Ohio brought a flurry of paperwork from parties wishing to host or operate an online or retail sportsbook in Buckeye State.

Phantom Fireworks
The Phantom Fireworks location in Youngstown, Ohio. The company was one of several who applied to host a sportsbook in Buckeye State. (Image: Phantom Fireworks)

The Ohio Casino Control Commission updated the list of applicants early Saturday morning, and with it the state regulator also revealed many of the partners seeking cooperation in the country’s fourth largest legal sports betting market.

The OCCC set the Friday deadline for businesses seeking online and retail licenses to begin accepting bets on the January 1 universal start date in Ohio. The commission will continue to accept applications, but does not guarantee that the online app or brick-and-mortar book will be approved in time for a New Year’s Day launch.

Ohio also allows bars in the state to install sports betting kiosks for their patrons. Four companies have applied to offer kiosks to bars, the window for license applications for which opened on Friday.

Online operators find their partners in Ohio

Ohio sports betting law allows up to 25 online operators and 40 retail sportsbooks, and these businesses must work with an owner. Pro teams and casinos are eligible to apply to own up to two online operators and one retailer.

Given the number of licenses available, we’re seeing some new names among the 18 companies that submitted online license applications through Friday.

This includes Underdog Sports, which is involved in fantasy sports. The Brooklyn-based company is applying to be the online sportsbook partner for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are also looking to partner with BetMGM for a retail sportsbook.

Up in Canton, HOF Village Newco, which operates a sports and entertainment district centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is partnering with Latin American Instabet Inc. for an online application. BetRivers will be partners in the development of retail sportsbooks.

According to the OCCC list, the following applicants are looking for online sports betting partners in Ohio: JACK Cleveland Casino and PlayUp; HOF Village Newco-Instabet; Cincinnati Bengals-Betfred; MGM Northfield Park-BetMGM; Scioto Downs-Caesars Sportsbook; Hard Rock Cincinnati-Hard Rock Sportsbook; Cleveland Browns-Bally Bet; Columbus Blue Jackets fanatics; Columbus Crew Tipico; Muirfield Village Golf Club Parx Interactive; Cincinnati Reds underdog sports; Cleveland Cavaliers Fubo; Hollywood Casino Columbus Bar Stool Sportsbook; Cleveland Guardians-bet365; Hollywood Casino Toledo-DraftKings; Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley-PointBet; FC Cincinnati SuperBook; SPIRE Institute – Out the Gate.

Three other companies have applied to host online sports betting – Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, Belterra Park and Miami Valley Gaming.

Belterra Park is owned by Boyd Gaming and will likely partner with FanDuel, which has applied for an online license in Ohio. Boyd and FanDuel are sports betting partners in several states. Miami Valley Gaming is a joint venture between Delaware North and Churchill Downs. Delaware North’s Gamewise division has also applied for a cellular license in Ohio.

A sportsbook with a bang?

Retail sports betting in Ohio will be limited to the state’s largest counties. Pro teams and casinos. There are currently 20 applications listing both an owner and a sportsbook. One of the more interesting names on the list, however, is a company that doesn’t yet have a named sportsbook partner.

Phantom Fireworks applied Friday to operate a sports book in Mahoning County. The national retailer is based in Youngstown which is located in Mahoning.

The OCCC’s list indicates that it is still being updated and that the notification of enrollment does not necessarily indicate that the enrollment is complete.

This story may be updated.

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