BetMGM Sportsbook’s retail location inside the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park will be closing and moving to a new space just across the street from the stadium.
BetMGM and the Reds announced that the sportsbook would be moving to a new location in the riverfront entertainment district known as The Banks. The new sportsbook space at the corner of Second Street and Joe Nuxhall Way will include a Nation Kitchen & Bar, the fourth local location for the Cincinnati-based restaurant.
The existing BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park, which opened with the launch of legal sports betting in Ohio on Jan. 1, will remain in operation through this fall. An opening date for the new BetMGM Sportsbook location has yet to be announced.
Cincinnati location one of two BetMGM retail sportsbooks in Ohio
“Bringing BetMGM and Nation Kitchen & Bar together adds another exciting destination to our vibrant downtown,” Reds Chief Financial Officer Doug Healy said in a press release. “This Nation Kitchen & Bar brings best-in-class food service from one of Cincinnati’s best eateries and BetMGM brings best in sports gaming experience.”
The Nation restaurant will be open to all ages, while the sportsbook area will be accessible only to those 21 and older. The BetMGM Ohio Sportsbook will feature several betting windows, as well as self-service betting kiosks and televisions broadcasting live sports.
BetMGM also operates a retail sportsbook at MGM Northfield Park, a racino in northern Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. MGM Northfield Park is also BetMGM’s online sportsbook partner, which allows the BetMGM app to operate statewide.
“We are thrilled to expand BetMGM’s offering in Ohio,” BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost said of the sportsbook’s move in Cincinnati. “The Reds and Nation Kitchen & Bar are great partners and together we’re building a premier entertainment venue that we can’t wait to see filled with fans.”
BetMGM at GABP has struggled in Ohio retail sportsbook market
Since opening in January, BetMGM’s Cincinnati location — one of four retail sportsbooks in Hamilton County — has consistently been one of the worst performing brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Ohio.
In the first four months of revenue reports from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, BetMGM at GABP only posted positive revenue numbers in two of the months (February and March).
In April, the first full month that the Reds have played home games at the stadium, the BetMGM Sportsbook at GABP had $98,810 in handle, but paid out $137,295 in winnings.
The nearly $99,000 in total gross receipts in April was the lowest handle posted by the sportsbook in its first four months.
The only other Ohio retail sportsbook to perform worse than BetMGM’s Cincinnati location has been SuperBook Sportsbook, also in Cincinnati. Partnered with MLS’s FC Cincinnati, the SuperBook retail sportsbook has been operating in the basement of the Taft’s Ale House bar and restaurant. The sportsbook is expected to eventually move to the team’s TQL Stadium.
Move should increase BetMGM Sportsbook’s foot traffic
The BetMGM Sportsbook has been an awkward fit at Great American Ball Park.
Located in the stadium’s Machine Room restaurant space, on game days fans with tickets are not able to enter the BetMGM Sportsbook from inside GABP due to MLB rules. Instead, patrons must enter the sportsbook from the arena plaza level entrance.
As the numbers show, the Reds playing home games at the stadium doesn’t appear to be helping the sportsbook’s revenue numbers.
In the offseason and while the Reds are on the road, the BetMGM Sportsbook is usually the only thing open at the stadium, which has never been an entertainment destination on non-game days. Though situated directly across the street from The Banks, the entrance to the BetMGM Sportsbook is on the opposite side of the stadium.
In its new location at The Banks, surrounded by other bars and restaurants, BetMGM’s new location should see increased foot traffic and potentially draw more business overall.