Ahead of Jan. 1 launch

Ohio sports betting licenses approved for eight pro sports teams and gaming venues; 300+ granted to bars and restaurants

Ohio's Cleveland Browns.
Reading time 2:18 min

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has approved over 300 sports betting licenses ahead of the state’s market launch in 2023. The Cleveland Browns, JACK Casino, JACK Thistledown Racino, Hollywood Casino Toledo and the Cincinnati Reds are among the parties that have been approved for online (type A) and in-person (type B) licenses.

Of the total number of greenlighted licenses, the majority of them –300– correspond to type C permits for various restaurants, bars, and suppliers who will now have the opportunity to offer gambling kiosks on their premises. As for type A and B licenses, the OCCC only considered 10 licensure applications from companies who submitted “complete and timely applications.”

Among the 10 parties are three professional teams and a number of Ohio casinos. Licenses were approved for eight of these applicants: MLS club FC Cincinnati and NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals have yet to receive a ruling, as commissioners delayed their approval because neither had representatives at the meeting. The approved list of companies is as follows:

  • JACK Cleveland Casino (A/B)
  • JACK Thistledown Racino (A/B)
  • Cleveland Browns Football Company (A/B)
  • Crew SC Stadium Company (A/B)
  • Muirfield Village Golf Club Subsidiary (A/B)
  • Cincinnati Reds (A/B)
  • Hollywood Casino Toledo (A/B)
  • Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley (A/B)

The Crew received conditional approval to be a sports gaming proprietor with Tipico Ohio serving as its 1st mobile management services provider. Muirfield Village also received conditional approval to be a sports gaming proprietor, but with Parx Interactive. The Reds will see Underdog Sports Wagering as its 1st MMSP. Bally’s Interactive will be providing mobile management for the Cleveland Browns.

Under Ohio House Bill 29, the commission can authorize up to 25 Type-A licenses, which are meant for casinos or professional sports organizations and venues. Up to 40 Type-B licenses are available, which are for stand-alone sportsbooks. The licenses are valid for five years.

Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler scolded the 33% of applicants who have yet to submit required materials about the employees and leadership personnel that will be tasked with operating the company’s sports betting, reports NBC4. If those applicants fail to do so by Oct. 5, they will be disqualified from being guaranteed a license in time for the new year.

“We do not have the time or the resources to carry them across the finish line,” he said. “They have to be capable of doing the very minimum requirements set forward by the General Assembly.”

Matt Schuler

The OCC has also approved its fourth batch of rules surrounding the operations of Ohio’s sports gambling market, to launch on January 1, including requiring approved license-holders to submit a plan to address and prevent problem gambling. According to reports, a fifth and final set of rules will be considered on Oct. 5.

A Nov. 2 deadline has been set for applicants whose licenses have yet to be approved: compliance materials, such as required procedures and facility plans, must receive commission approval by that date. Otherwise, the applicants might not be granted a license to launch on Jan. 1.

Please submit them with some time in advance, a few weeks, so that our staff here can thoroughly review and vet them and make sure that gaming that’s offered in the state of Ohio, it’s safe, it’s conducted with integrity and is not going to take advantage of any Ohio citizens,” a commission representative quoted by NBC4 said.

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