Caesars Planning Big Return To Ohio With Online Sportsbook Launch

Written By Jake Garza on October 3, 2022
Caesars Is Using Its Online Sportsbook Launch To Mark Its Return To Ohio's Gambling Market

Caesars Entertainment will be making its return to Ohio’s gambling market next year. It’s been a while since the company had a major presence in the state.

Caesars sold off most of its Ohio properties back in 2015. Since then, Scioto Downs has been the company’s only betting spot in Ohio.

While that won’t be changing anytime soon, Ohio sports betting will give the company a new chance to elbow its way back into the Buckeye State’s industry.

Caesars bankruptcy prompts selloff

Caesars Entertainment was in rough shape back in 2015. The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in January of that year, which led to major changes for its Ohio casinos.

A month after its filing, Caesars sold off a 20% stake in Horseshoe Cincinnati, Horseshoe Cleveland and Thistledown Racino. Rock Gaming, which eventually rebranded to JACK Entertainment, bought up those shares.

Just a few months later, Caesars announced it would fully transition out of operating those properties.

That essentially removed Caesars from most of Ohio’s gambling industry. The company still owned Scioto Downs but was hardly the dominant player in the state that it once was.

Sports betting will breathe fresh life into the Caesars brand in Ohio. Becoming an important player in the state’s new industry could mark the return of Caesars to the state in a major way.

Caesars Sportsbook coming to Ohio

Ohio sports betting officially opens for business on Jan. 1, 2023. Caesars hopes to be taking wagers from day one.

Ohio’s new industry gives Caesars the chance to capture the minds of the state’s bettors once again.

After all, sports betting is something at which Caesars excels. The company’s online betting app is routinely one of the most popular options around the entire country.

However, that’s not to say that Caesars Ohio Sportsbook won’t have plenty of competition in the state.

Over two dozen online sportsbooks are hoping to launch in Ohio in January. Some of the competition is from smaller companies, but other heavy-hitting brands like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM will also be in the mix.

Online sportsbooks have to partner up with a retail property before they can start taking bets in Ohio.

Since Caesars sold off all of its properties in the state except for Scioto Downs, the company will be using the racino as the partner for its online sportsbook.

Ohio is prime sports betting real estate

As far as sports betting markets go, Ohio will be one of the most desirable places to do business in the U.S.

Bettors in the Buckeye State could be wagering up to $12 billion on sports every year once the market reaches full maturity.

In other words, owning a big piece of the pie is more valuable in Ohio than it is in many other states.

Caesars will have to get creative to make its return to Ohio successful.

At the very least, the company has plenty of brand recognition going for it. That often plays an important role for online sportsbooks looking to gain market share.

With 25 sportsbooks to pick from, how will bettors ever decide which one to use? It often comes down to the companies that they’ve heard of before, and Caesars is one of the most well-known gambling brands out there.

Caesars Sportsbook marketing in Ohio

The marketing side of things will play a role in how well Caesars Sportsbook fares in Ohio.

There will be a flood of sports betting advertisements once the industry launches on Jan. 1. There’s a good chance Caesars will be a part of that.

The sportsbook is also likely to release some unique deals when it makes its debut. Eye-catching promotions are a big part of how sportsbooks approach the marketing game.

Caesars has done solid job of this in other states.

Its jersey promotions have certainly stood out from the crowd in recent years. Those deals gave bettors a free NBA or NFL jersey if they bet a certain amount of money on the sportsbook app.

There’s no way to know if Caesars will bring equally great deals to Ohio, but at least the company has shown that it’s been willing to get creative in the past. That could end up being a difference maker for Caesars as it tries to highlight itself in a competitive market.

It’s been a long time since Caesars was a major player in Ohio gambling. If the company’s sportsbook can make its mark in the state, then Caesars could have its biggest presence in Ohio since before 2015.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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