The Cincinnati Bengals lost Super Bowl LVI by a field goal. They are now seeking to win an Ohio sports betting license.
Ohio is poised to become one of the biggest players in the US gambling and US online gambling world when sports betting goes live on Jan. 1, 2023.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has created a process for businesses and institutions to apply for one of five different sets of licenses giving them access to the Ohio market and its 11.7 million sports-mad citizens.
The OCCC has ensured that if applications are in by June 15 – that’s Friday – if approved, the proprietors will be able to go live on Jan. 1.
In the future, the Bengals will host the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 2.
What can the Bengals do with an Ohio sports betting license?
The Bengals have applied for a Type A license, which allows it to partner with up to two other service providers that can divide profits from sports betting apps. What this means is that the Bengals can put a retail sportsbook under its name at Paul Brown Stadium.
Could it be the Bengals Barstool Sportsbook? That’s where the partnership comes in. The Bengals have the facility and the name and outsource the digital work.
There have been three other applicants for Type A licenses: The JACK Cleveland Casino, the JACK Thistledown Racino, and the HOF Village Newco., a development company that is revitalizing the area around the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Those three have also applied for Type B licenses, which allow for a retail sportsbook on-site. Other professional sports teams in Ohio have expressed interest in getting involved in the sports betting industry.
Caesars has a deal to build a sportsbook inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but has not yet applied for a license. The Cincinnati Reds have talked about a sportsbook at The Banks, Cincinnati’s riverfront entertainment district, but also haven’t applied.
The Cleveland Browns have a partnership in place with Bally’s, but neither of those entities has applied for any licenses.
What about Ohio mobile sports betting apps?
Six different entities have applied to be Mobile Management Service Providers in Ohio, meaning having the ability to provide a betting app in the state. They are BetMGM, PointsBet, DraftKings, Penn Sports Interactive (Barstool), FanDuel, and Fanatics.
The most interesting name on that list is Fanatics, which is a clothing company that specializes in team apparel. Fanatics has not publicly disclosed any connection to an existing company with the technical expertise to build a betting app framework.
The company filed to trademark the brand name BetFanatics back in May and was approved as a facility operator in Maryland in June. That’s the first state to approve Fanatics as a sports betting operator and its clear the brand eventually wants to become a major player nationwide.
What’s the next step for Ohio sportsbooks?
There’s still a lot of work to be done with the deadline looming and seeing just who officially partners with who and where.
Ohio will also allow for local bars and restaurants to have betting kiosks, and the OCCC produced a list of 850 businesses that are pre-qualified. These kiosks will come with limits on what and how much can be bet on.
The OCCC doesn’t have applications from many big players you would expect, but the deadline is Friday.
“We are talking daily with a lot of folks that are interested,” said Jessica Franks, spokeswoman for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to WCPO.com.
“The deadline is just for those folks who want to be guaranteed to be considered for starting on January 1. We’re not going to stop accepting applications on July 16.”