BallyBet Sportsbook, Betway Sportsbook and Underdog Sportsbook have been approved to operate in Ohio.
At its Dec. 14 meeting, the Ohio Casino Control Commission awarded its latest round of retail and online sportsbook licenses, just two and a half weeks ahead of the launch of legal sports betting in Ohio on Jan. 1. (Update: Betway was among the operators who launched Jan. 1 in the Buckeye State.)
As of this writing, the state had now issued licenses for 20 online sportsbooks and 22 retail sportsbooks.
Cleveland Browns sportsbook partner among latest approvals
A pair of sportsbooks partnered with two of Ohio’s most storied professional sports franchises were among the latest operators to receive the green light from the OCCC.
BallyBet Sportsbook received an online sports betting license and a retail license.
That will make Ohio the seventh state in which the BallyBet Sportsbook app is available. The app is used by bettors in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, New York and Virginia.
BallyBet is partnered with the Cleveland Browns, so its retail license approval means that the Browns can move forward with its plan for a retail BallyBet Sportsbook at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bally’s-branded lounge will be open all year but, thanks to NFL rules, it will not be allowed to take bets during Browns home games. (Fans will still be able to make bets through the BallyBet app in the stadium’s sportsbook lounge on game day.)
Ohio becomes second state to green-light Underdog Sportsbook
Underdog Sportsbook, which is partnered with the Cincinnati Reds, received its online sportsbook license at the Dec. 14 OCCC meeting. (The Reds’ retail sportsbook at Great American Ball Park will be operated by BetMGM.)
Underdog is a newcomer to the sports betting business, with its sports betting app and website still yet to be launched. But Underdog’s fantasy sports site, available in most states (including Ohio), has been popular since launching in 2020.
Ohio is the second state to grant a license to Underdog Sportsbook app. In October, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission gave Underdog the go-ahead to operate in Colorado.
In a statement issued after the Ohio approval, Underdog President and Chairman Jeremy Levine said:
“Today marks a significant milestone in Underdog’s history and we’re thrilled to have been granted a license to operate in Ohio. We’re building a unique, immersive sports betting platform and our partnership with the Cincinnati Reds will create an immediate channel to users in the state once our products are unveiled.”
Betway Sportsbook is also coming to Ohio
Based in London, Betway Sportsbook has a global reputation, with its sports betting and online casino products available in legal markets worldwide.
In the U.S., Ohio became the eighth state in which Betway operates, joining Virginia, Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Betway Sportsbook was granted a license to operate an online sportsbook in Ohio at the Dec. 14 OCCC meeting. Betway Sportsbook’s market access partner is Belterra Park, a racino in Cincinnati. FanDuel Sportsbook, which earned an online operating license from the OCCC in October, is also an online sportsbook partner of Belterra.
Ohio sportsbook landscape coming into focus as Jan. 1 launch nears
At the Dec. 14 meeting, the OCCC also approved Out the Gate (which is partnered with SPIRE Institute) for online and retail sportsbook licenses. Additionally, Lori’s Roadhouse, a country music bar/concert venue in Butler County, was granted a license to operate a retail sportsbook on its premises.
That brings the total number of online sportsbooks licensed to operate statewide in Ohio to 20:
- Bally Bet
- Hard Rock
- Out the Gate
There are 22 entities currently approved to launch retail online sportsbooks in Ohio:
- Belterra Park
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Browns
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Cleveland Guardians
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Columbus Crew
- FC Cincinnati
- Hall of Fame Village
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
- Jack Cleveland Casino
- Jack Thistledown Racino
- Lori’s Roadhouse
- MGM Northfields Park
- Miami Valley Gaming
- Muirfield Village Golf Club
- Scioto Downs
- SPIRE Academy