While sports betting won’t start in Ohio until January 2023, the process for getting the industry up and running is well underway. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has now released the list of applicants for licensing in the state. Operators can apply for online sports betting licensing, retail services, and sports gaming lottery products.
Who Applied for Licensing?
Applications for licensing have been coming into the Commission since late June. Companies have found their gaming partners and submitted applications to obtain an available license. One of the first companies to apply was JACK Cleveland Casino, which partnered with PlayUp. The JACK Thistledown Racino is also hoping for a license.
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati has partnered with Seminole Hard Rock Digital to obtain online sports betting licensing. The brand would be a major player in the market if approved. Hollywood Casino Columbus is teamed up with Penn Sports, ready to offer services in Ohio under the Barstool brand.
Hollywood Casino Toledo has signed a partnership deal with DraftKings, while Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley will work with PointsBet.
Sports Teams Also Have Partners
Local professional sports teams are also hopeful that they will be allowed to offer services in the state. The Cincinnati Bengals NFL team is ready to work with Betfred Sports. If approved, it is expected that both brands will feature logos to gain sports fans attention.
The Cleveland Browns don’t want to be left out, so they have decided to apply for online gaming with the help of Bally’s Interactive. The Reds MLB team are also vying for licensing, having signed a deal with Underdog Sports Wagering.
The Cleveland Guardians Baseball Company filled out an application this month for licensing, teaming up with Hillside Ohio LLC.
Why the Delay in Services?
With so many entities showing interest in licensing and the process underway, why will it take so long for services to launch? Officials announced in May that the industry would not start until January, though a fall start date is possible.
Thousands of applications are expected due to the many licensing options in Ohio. Officials feel that as many as 3,000 licensing applications may be sent in. If this is the case, the process will take a long time to complete. Each application must be investigated to ensure the operator is in compliance with state rules and regulations before approval is given.
The state began accepting applications on June 15 and the second window for applying opened on July 15. The third licensing window will begin later on, towards the end of the year.