Pete Rose To Make First Ohio Betting Wager at Hard Rock Cincinnati

Pete Rose To Make First Ohio Betting Wager at Hard Rock Cincinnati
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The headline on a recent sports betting Ohio news announcement surely has to come with some important qualifiers.

The overarching point is that Pete Rose will make the first sports bet at the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati when sports wagering launches in Ohio on Jan. 1.

Along with savoring the irony, let’s get the specifics straight.

Ohio Sports Betting Launching Jan. 1

It certainly is not Rose’s first sports bet, by any means. And it’s not even his first sports bet in Cincinnati, an admission he made in one of his own books. But — and here’s the important distinction — it can be presumed it is the first legal sports bet Pete will have made in Cincinnati.

In what should prove to be an interesting start to sports gambling and Ohio betting apps, there will essentially be a land rush for market share starting at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, when retail sportsbooks (like the one at Cincinnati’s Hard Rock Casino), online sports gambling operators, and gambling kiosks all over the state will let gamblers bet on sports in a legal, regulated market.

Though sports gambling is now legal in more than 30 jurisdictions in America, Rose’s well-known banishment from Major League Baseball, including being ineligible for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame despite his numerous batting records, has been a bitter fruit of his illicit gambling past. MLB’s policy then, as it is now, is that active competitors cannot wager on MLB games.

So Rose’s ceremonial first wager is a touch of theatricality as the curtain lifts on the Hard Rock Sportsbook Ohio at the casino.

Hard Rock Sportsbook Approved in Ohio

The timing of this week’s announcement could not have been better for Hard Rock Cincinnati, in the city where Rose is still a favorite native son. Rose amassed a record 4,256 career hits in Major League Baseball, spending most of his career (from 1963-78 and again from 1984-86) playing for the hometown Reds as well as managing them from 1984-89.

On Wednesday, the casino and its Hard Rock Sportsbook were approved by the Ohio Casino Control Commission to take wagers beginning Jan. 1. Hard Rock was among the latest operators approved to begin accepting wagers when the market goes live on New Year’s Day.

That leads to a question as the stroke of midnight approaches at year’s end in Ohio: When “Charlie Hustle” places that first legal sports wager in a Cincinnati casino, what will be his gamble be?

We put together some hypothetical odds on which wagers will interest Rose the most on New Year’s Day. Here’s a look:

Hypothetical Odds on Pete Rose’s Ohio Sports Betting Wager

Bet% Chance Odds
Bengals ML vs. Bills (Jan. 2) 63.6% -175
Bengals Spread vs. Bills (Jan. 2) 21.3% +370
Bengals to win 2023 Super Bowl 10.3% +870
Over on Reds 2023 Win Total 3.7% +2840
Reds to Win 2023 World Series 1.1% +8990

Possible Bets Pete Rose Could Place

Football will still be in season so that would provide the more immediate outcome. For instance, the Cincinnati Bengals playoff chances could be on the line when they face the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 2. 

But there are always baseball futures, such as the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning the 2023 World Series. Considering the Reds finished 62-100 this past season, at least their former legendary player would get pretty good odds on that longshot.

In any event, the Ohio sports betting promos you want will be at for wagering on any sport.



Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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