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Fans of the NFL and USFL are familiar with the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) in Canton, Ohio, the museum that enshrines “exceptional figures in the sport of professional football,” and the location of the Tom Benson HOF Stadium where important matchups are held annually.
Pro football matchups like the first NFL preseason game as well as the recent USFL Championship game, all in the 200-acre HOF Village where fans “eat, stay, and play” and, starting in 2023, “gamble,” assuming a license to operate a sportsbook is granted there.
It looks like that’s the plan now that the HOF Village Newco, a company with a development project tied to the HOF, submitted an application to host a retail sportsbook and online app to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), whose job it is to accept or reject the paperwork.
Should the OCCC give the HOF Village Newco the greenlight, those two licenses will cost them $1.6 million and will be valid for the next five years, a hefty startup cost for a share of a market that has the potential to generate millions of dollars in annual revenue for its operators.
And besides the HOF, plenty of other Buckeye State operators want in on this upcoming legal sports betting market launch in 2023.
As we reported recently in Ohio Casino Control Commission Now Accepting Sports Betting License Apps, the sports betting regulator machine is running in Ohio as they frantically attempt to put all the pieces in place in time for their upcoming launch, and applicants are lining up.
For example, last week Elys Gameboard Technologies, a B2B global gaming company that has operated in Europe for more than 20 years, applied for a Type C license, which, if approved, will give it the right to offer sports betting kiosks to bars that are licensed to sell Ohio lottery tickets.
Plenty of other operators including Penn Sports Interactive are throwing their sports betting hats in the ring, a process that started at the end of 2021 when both state chambers approved a sports betting bill that Governor Mike DeWine signed into law in December.
That law gives the OCCC the job of regulation including overseeing the application process, ensuring that the payment systems work properly and are secure, that the tax revenue systems are in place, and dozens of other critical details that need to be in order in less than six months.
Part of the language of HB 29, the Ohio sports betting bill, establishes a launch deadline of January 1, 2023, so that is most likely when that market will start (or face steep penalties), about half a year before Ohio joins the other over thirty states who have already launched.
Ohio is home to some major pro sports teams – the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, the MLB’s Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and more – so it makes perfect sense to let resident fans place legal bets on all that action.
Expect there to be hiccups along the way, but there will be sports betting in Ohio just in time for the end of the upcoming 2022 NFL season, so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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