Pro Football Hall of Fame, Penn National Join List of Ohio Sports Betting Applicants

Pro Football Hall of Fame, Penn National Join List of Ohio Sports Betting Applicants

The third week of Ohio sports gambling applications is in the books, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton has added its name to JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino as the first companies to apply for Type A Gaming Proprietor licenses.

Like the two JACK properties, the Hall of Fame has also applied for a Type B license. Penn Sports Interactive (Barstool Sportsbook) was the week’s new applicant in the Mobile Management Service Provider (MMSP) category, the first of which were Crown Ohio Gaming LLC (DraftKings Ohio), BetMGM Ohio and PointsBet Ohio.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a deal with Rush Street Interactive to bring a BetRivers retail sportsbook to the facility.

Penn National is likely to open Barstool Sportsbooks at its four Ohio casinos — Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Casino at Mahoning Valley (Austintown), Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Casino at Dayton Raceway. Penn National also has an access agreement with Rush Street Interactive that was announced in February and with Unibet, announced in 2020.

There were no new Management Service Provider (MSP) applications this week. The two previous applicants were JACK Cleveland Casino and BetMGM Ohio.

On June 1, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced there would be a universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023. The OCCC wanted all Ohio sports betting apps to be ready at the same time

Elys Applies for Type C License

The OCCC received its first application for a Type C proprietor, from Elys Gameboard Technologies. In April, Elys entered into an agreement with Italy-based Lottomatica for whom it would license a customized sportsbook platform for Lottomatica’s B2C activities, with a main focus on the North American market.

It would be a reasonable assumption that Elys/Lottomatica or ELys by itself are looking to provide the sports betting self-service terminals for the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) to oversee in OCCC-approved establishments with Class-D liquor licenses.

More Pre-Qualified Businesses for Kiosks

On that front, the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) this past week added another few hundred pre-qualified businesses to the list, bringing that number up to 787 establishments which are licensed lottery sales agents and also hold a valid D1, D2, or D5 liquor permit.

According to the OLC, the OCCC will issue licenses based upon the OLC’s recommendation. Interested sales agents must be in good standing with the Lottery’s rules and regulations and to obtain approval from the OLC before applying for a license with the OCCC. Being pre-qualified by the OLC does not guarantee a license by the OCCC. The cost of the application fee, paid to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, is a non-refundable $1,000.

Once licensed by the OCCC, Hosts will be able to enter into an agreement with an Ohio-licensed Type-C Sports Gaming Proprietor (a sportsbook with the requisite remote terminal equipment and licensing to accept wagers) to offer sports gaming in their venue. So far the only Type-C applicant is Elys Gameboard Technologies.

Different Types of Ohio Licenses

The  OCCC is accepting sports betting license applications from Type A, B, & C proprietors, first designated Mobile Management Service Providers (MMSPs), Management Service Providers (MSPs), and suppliers.

The window will be open until July 15. New applicants are announced on Friday afternoons.

Type A licenses are reserved for mobile gaming and professional sports. The state’s existing casinos and racinos, which saw revenue decline in May, can apply for these licenses.

Type B licenses will be allotted to brick-and-mortar sportsbook facilities.

Type C licenses will go to proprietors of self-service terminals, who have D-class liquor licenses. The proprietors are the companies supplying the betting terminals and handling the wagering. The hosts are the places housing the betting terminals.

The window for applications from Type C sports gaming hosts & second designated MMSPs will run from July 15 to Aug. 15.



Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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