Pro Sports Teams Among Those to Receive Ohio Sports Betting Licenses

  • Ohio’s legal sports betting market will launch on January 1, 2023
  • The Blue Jackets, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, Guardians, and the Bengals got licenses
  • Some sportsbook operators had already received license approval from the OCCC
  • Ohio’s governor signed sports betting legislation into law in December
Ohio flag
A number of professional sports teams have been granted sports betting licenses in Ohio. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Getting in on the action

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has issued a number of sports betting licenses, including to some of the state’s professional sports teams. Some of the well-known sportsbook operators to get the conditional green light to launch on January 1, 2023 include Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, and FanDuel.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, Cleveland Guardians, and the Cincinnati Bengals were the pro sports teams that received approval on Wednesday. The Bengals got an online-only license, while the other teams got both online and retail sports betting licenses.

sportsbook operators also partnered with local casinos and racetracks

Each of the teams already has partnered with at least one sportsbook operator. In addition to the pro sports teams, sportsbook operators also partnered with local casinos and racetracks in Ohio in order to gain access to a license.

A race for licenses

There have already been some licenses issued by the OCCC, including to DraftKings, PointsBet, and BetRivers. Other operators, such as Seminole Hard Rock and Betr, are still waiting to hear if they have gotten the relevant approvals.

could eventually be as many as 50 online sportsbooks in Ohio

In total, there are up to 25 online sports betting licenses up for grabs in the Buckeye State. Each license holder can partner with two operators, so there could eventually be as many as 50 online sportsbooks in Ohio. There are limitations on the number of retail sportsbooks that can be in certain counties.

Finally, over 300 businesses have applied for another type of license that will allow them to have a sports betting kiosk on their property. Businesses are eligible to pursue such a license if they have a liquor permit.

Getting market access

When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed legislation into law in December that finally legalized sports betting in Ohio, operators began pursuing market access opportunities. Caesars Entertainment has a deal in place with the Cleveland Cavaliers that will see a retail sportsbook open at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The Cavaliers also have an agreement with the Fubo Sportsbook.

The official date on which sportsbooks can launch in Ohio is January 1, 2023. The 7th most-populated US state and home to a passionate group of sports fans, Ohio is set to be a significant legal sports betting market.

While the Guardians do not yet have a retail partner, the team has Bet365 and BetFanatics on board as online partners. The latter is currently the sole partner for the Blue Jackets, while SuperBook has a deal in place with FC Cincinnati and Betfred has partnered with the Bengals.