With only three days remaining before the first window for submitting sports wagering licenses comes to a close in Ohio, Caesars Sportsbook is one of several big-name operators that have yet to apply. However, a company spokesperson said an application is in the works.
Bally’s, Hard Rock, and Rush Street Interactive are also among the operators that have yet to apply for a license. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has made it clear that prospective licensees who submit applications during the appropriate installment periods will be in a position to go live on the universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
The commission began accepting applications for sports betting licenses on June 15, and the window for the first group of applicants ends this week. A total of 18 applications — four Type A, three Type B, one Type C, six Mobile Management Service Providers (MMSP), and four Management Service Providers (MSP) — have been received by the commission. FanDuel, Fanatics, and the NFL Cincinnati Bengals were the most recent to apply, according to the commission’s list of applicants.
The law requires the commission to establish deadlines for enabling consideration of applications before the Jan. 1, 2023, launch date. The commission, in compliance with HB 29, found the first application window for Type A, Type B, and Type C proprietors, first designated MMSP, MSP, and suppliers from June 15-July 15. The second application window, July 15-Aug. 15 is meant for Type C sports gaming hosts and designated mobile management service providers.
This week, the Ohio Lottery Commission, which will serve as the manager for Type C sports gaming hosts, released a list of approximately 850 businesses pre-qualified to apply for a Type C sports gaming host license. These include bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and others with certain liquor licenses.
Applications received by the commission outside the designated windows, or incomplete applications, are not guaranteed to receive consideration to start operations on the universal launch date. When OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler announced the universal start date at the beginning of June, he stressed the importance of punctuality.
Despite having yet to apply for a license, Caesars established an agreement earlier in the year with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers that involves building a retail sportsbook inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Caesars believes that the sportsbook expects to be active in Ohio when sports betting is up and running on New Year’s Day 2023.
BetMFM, DraftKings, Fan Duel, Penn National Gaming, PointsBet, and Fanatics have all applied for mobile management services provider licenses. Fanatics is the only applicant among the group that does not appear to have direct access to Ohio.
JACK Entertainment’s Cleveland Casino and Thistledown Racino have applied for Type A and Type B sports gaming proprietor licenses. Hall of Fame Village at the Pro Football Hall of Fame has also applied for Type A and B licenses. The Bengals, who have not announced any partnership deals with an operator, are the only other Type A applicants.