Pro Football Hall of Fame Among Ohio Sports Betting License Applicants

Written By Darren Cooper on July 6, 2022 - Last Updated on July 10, 2022
Hall Of Fame Gets Sportsbook License In Ohio

During his 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame speech, iconic broadcaster and coach John Madden said he believed the bronze busts of football’s greatest heroes inside talk to each other when the room is empty.

Now they can talk about point spreads and the US gambling industry.

There was a surprising candidate for a sportsbook license in Ohio, and it’s connected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. The company redeveloping the property around the Hall of Fame and turning it into an entertainment center, HOF Village Newco., applied for a Type A (online) sportsbook license last week.

Sports betting will have a universal launch date in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission can approve up to 25 online sports betting operators and 40 retail sportsbooks.

A chunk of those is already saved for the state’s existing casinos, racinos, and eight professional sports teams.

The OCCC has set a deadline of July 15 to apply for Type A (online) or Type B (retail) licenses. It will accept applications after that date but won’t guarantee they will be approved in time for the launch date.

What’s up at the Ohio Hall of Fame?

One of the topics the OCCC is supposed to consider when granting an operator license is the impact that license will have on the surrounding business community.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is undergoing a massive redevelopment project. Phase 1 was upgraded to the existing stadium, now called Tom Benson Stadium, named for the late New Orleans Saints owner.

Phase 2 is a major project that includes creating an adjacent retail and entertainment marketplace and opening a Hilton hotel and an indoor waterpark with a football theme.

Cooperstown, New York, is the home of the baseball Hall of Fame, and organically shops and restaurants opened around the spot, making it feel like Baseball USA. The Pro Football Hall of Fame had no commercial space around it until recently.

Tom Benson Stadium just hosted the USFL Championship Game last weekend and will host the Hall of Fame Game on August 7. Phase 2 of the redevelopment won’t be complete until 2023, but pieces are supposed to be in place by next month.

Who else has put in bids for Ohio sports betting licenses?

HOF Village Newco. listed itself as operators of an entertainment and media destination in Northeast Ohio. It did not list a Management Service Provider or Mobile Management Service Provider, but last December, HOF Village entered a contract with Rush Street Interactive to operate a sportsbook.

BetMGM, PointsBet, and DraftKings have also applied for online licenses to operate in Ohio.

Penn Sports Interactive, the company that owns a big chunk of Barstool Sportsbook, also filed for an online license opportunity. It is expected that one of Penn National’s two racinos or two casinos will run the retail sportsbook.

Sports betting kiosk management gets first bidder for

Ohio sports betting kiosks will be by-the-drink locations throughout the state. The kiosks will come with limits. Bettors will only be able to consider spread, over-under, moneyline wagers, and parlays. They will also be limited to $700 a week across all sports betting kiosks.

Elys Gameboard Technology has filed an application to create the kiosks that will be available for approved locations in Ohio (getting approved for a kiosk in your establishment requires a different set of applications).

Elys is a European company that has expanded its offerings in the U.S. It recently got the go-ahead from the NJ Division of Gaming to run the sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Elys also runs the sportsbook at a pair of tribal casinos in New Mexico and the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Colorado.

Photo by Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper is a staff writer for PlayUSA. He’s been a sports writer in the Northeast since 1998 and developed a keen interest in covering the gaming, casino and sports betting industry and has written for multiple additional Play state sites. He always bets responsibly although his grandfather did have a secret system for betting on the ponies at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

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