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Ohio Sportsbook Registration Deadline Capped by Fireworks – Really!

Posted: July 16, 2022, 9:08 a.m.

Last update: July 16, 2022, 10:47 a.m.

As expected, Friday’s deadline for submitting Ohio sports betting license applications prompted a deluge of paperwork from parties seeking to host or operate an online or retail sportsbook in the state of Buckeye.

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The Phantom Fireworks location in Youngstown, Ohio. The company was one of many to apply to host a bookmaker in Buckeye State. (Image: Ghost Fireworks)

The Ohio Casino Control Board updated the slate of nominees early Saturday morning, and with that, the state regulator also revealed numerous partners looking to work together in what will be the fourth largest legal sports betting market in the country.

The OCCC set a Friday deadline for companies seeking online and retail licenses that wanted to start taking bets on the universal start date of January 1 in Ohio. The commission will still accept applications going forward, but it won’t guarantee that the online app or brick-and-mortar book will be approved in time for a New Year’s Day launch.

Ohio also allows bars in the state to set up sports betting kiosks for their patrons. Four companies have applied to offer kiosks to bars, whose license application window opened on Friday.

Online operators find their partners in Ohio

Ohio sportsbook law allows up to 25 online operators and 40 retail sportsbooks, and these entities must partner with an owner. Professional teams and casinos are eligible to apply as owners for up to two online operators and one retailer.

Given the number of licenses available, we’re seeing new names popping up among the 18 companies that submitted license applications online on Friday.

This includes Underdog Sports, which operates in fantasy sports. The Brooklyn-based company is applying to be the Cincinnati Reds’ online sports betting partner. The Reds are also looking to partner with BetMGM for a retail bookmaker.

In Guangzhou, HOF Village Newco, which operates a sports and entertainment district around the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is partnering with Latin American company Instabet Inc. for an online bid. BetRivers will partner in the development of the retail bookmaker.

According to the OCCC list, the following candidates are seeking online sports betting partners in Ohio: JACK Cleveland Casino and PlayUp; HOF Village Newco-Instabet; Cincinnati Bengals-Betfred; MGM Northfield Park-BetMGM; Scioto Downs-Caesars Sportsbook; Hard Rock Cincinnati – Hard Rock Sportsbook; Cleveland Browns-Bally bet; Columbus Blue Jackets-Fanatics; Columbus Crew-Tipico; Muirfield Village Golf Club-Parx Interactive; Cincinnati Reds-Underdog Sports; Cleveland Cavaliers-Fubo; Hollywood Casino Columbus-Barstool Sportsbook; Cleveland Guardians-bet365; Hollywood Casino Toledo-DraftKings; Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley-PointBet; FC Cincinnati-SuperBook; SPIRE-Out the Gate Institute.

Three other entities have applied to host online sports betting – Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, Belterra Park and Miami Valley Gaming.

Belterra Park is owned by Boyd Gaming and will likely partner with FanDuel, which applied for an online license in Ohio. Boyd and FanDuel are multi-state sports betting partners. Miami Valley Gaming is a joint venture between Delaware North and Churchill Downs. Delaware North’s Gamewise division has also applied for a mobile license in Ohio.

A sportsbook with a bang?

Retail sports betting in Ohio will be limited to the largest counties in the state. Professional teams and casinos. There are currently 20 apps that list both an owner and a bookie. However, one of the more interesting names on the list is a company that does not yet have a named sports betting partner.

Phantom Fireworks applied Friday to operate a retail sports betting site in Mahoning County. The national retailer is based in Youngstown, which is located in Mahoning.

The OCCC list indicates that it is always subject to updates and that the filing announcement does not necessarily indicate that the application is complete.

This story can be updated.