Sports betting will officially launch in the Buckeye State on Jan. 1, 2023. Up to 25 licenses are on offer so from 2023 the world’s top sportsbooks will also be the top Ohio online sportsbooks. With less than six months to go we can now see how the market is shaping up and what options it will provide.
Ohio Sports Betting Early License Applications
PointsBet, BetMGM and DraftKings have already applied for Ohio sports betting licenses, as did local champion JACK Entertainment. JACK’s Cleveland casino has 100,000-square feet of gaming space. The opportunity for legal online sports betting on its doorstep virtually compelled JACK to get involved.
The surprise applicant so far is the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. The Tom Benson Stadium redevelopment offers plenty of space for a retail sportsbook and a foundation for an online sports betting operation.
PointsBet Ohio is a long way from PointsBet’s own doorstep. The company started in Australia but since 2018 it has launched in 10 states including Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois. In other words, it is targeting larger sports betting markets and Ohio has a population of almost 12 million.
BetMGM is available or soon to launch in 23 states. As one of the industry leaders the decision to apply for an Ohio license was automatic. BetMGM Ohio will be one of the most popular sportsbooks judging by its success in other state markets.
DraftKings Ohio has operated in the state since 2018. Brand recognition is high and has contributed to the company’s great success in online sports betting.
FanDuel Ohio has the same advantage and the additional benefit of being the overwhelming market leader across legal US sports betting.
Early applications are only part of the business of marketing sports betting in Ohio. Deals with local sports teams are equally critical. Ohio is one of just 13 states to have teams from each of the four major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL). The state also has two MLS franchises (FC Cincinnati, Columbus Crew), Ohio State football and several prominent college basketball programs.
Ohio Sports Betting Partnerships
In April, the Cleveland Browns announced a multi-year agreement with Bally Bet. The deal includes the launch of the mobile Bally Bet Sportsbook app in Ohio and a Bally Bet Sportsbook lounge inside of First Energy Stadium, according to a news release from the team.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been involved with two companies. Caesars Ohio is the “official sports betting partner of the team” after an agreement was reached in February with plans to open a retail sportsbook inside the northwest atrium of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, according to NBA.com.
Fubo Ohio, one of the newer gaming operators, which currently operates in only Iowa and Arizona, also reached an agreement with the Cavaliers in February to be the team’s “official mobile sports betting partner,” with plans to open a 3,000 square-foot sports lounge inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Tipico and the Columbus Crew announced a long-term partnership in January of this year. Tipico Ohio has plans to launch a mobile sports betting app in the state and will receive entitlement rights to marquee Crew assets like the Tipico Beer Garden and Tipico Club, along with brand integration at Lower.com Field, according to the team’s website.
Less than 20 miles outside of Columbus, betPARX is set to become the exclusive sports betting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament, held annually at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin. The Memorial Tournament and betPARX reached its agreement in March, according to the PGA Tour.
Top Sports Betting Promotions Coming to Ohio
This level of competition bodes well for Ohio sports bettors. Marketing offers and special Ohio promotions will come thick and fast when the market launches on Jan. 1, 2023.
BetMGM is offering a $1,000 risk-free bonus bet for first-time customers, Caesars is offering even more. DraftKings has a deposit match bonus where you can get up to an extra $1,000 at 25% of your first deposit. Of course, these offers aren’t available until launch but that hasn’t stopped Hard Rock from breaking the paradigm.
The Hard Rock Ohio Sportsbook hasn’t yet applied for an Ohio sports gambling license, but the online sportsbook is offering a $500 betting bonus to Ohioans who download its app. The bonus reduces by $50 each month until the end of the year.
If that sounds a bit ambitiously creative, it is because there is a lot of money at stake. The New York market launched on Jan. 8, 2022. By Jan. 30 $1.62 billion in sports bets were made generating $112.99 million gross gaming revenue for the operators and $55 million in taxes for the state.
Ohio has half the population of New York but even half of these revenues would be a big win for the state.