Pete Rose, Houshmandzadeh, Pacman Among Ohio Dignitaries Making First Bets

Written By Matt Schoch on January 1, 2023
Pete Rose Hard Rock Sportsbook

It was legal this time.

Notorious baseball gambler Pete Rose finally made a legal sports bet in Ohio early Sunday morning, placing the first legal wager at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

The appearance was one of many across the state in person and on digital platforms to bring publicity to the new regulated Ohio sports betting market, which launched at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.

Rose’s bet, which was on the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series, came shortly after Ohio State missed a field goal against Georgia with a spot in the College Football Playoff finals on the line.

The lowly Reds have been listed at about 200-1 or 250-1, depending on the book, at Ohio operators since the launch.

Pacman Jones among first bettors at Betfred

Former Cincinnati Bengals star Adam “Pacman” Jones was among the first bettors for Betfred Sportsbook in Ohio.

Jones took the Bengals at -105 on the moneyline for Monday’s hyped home matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, according to a tweet from Betfred, bettor BlackJack Fletch took the Bills at -115.

Houshmandzadeh will christen Belterra Park on Thursday

Former Bengals wide receiver and fantasy football legend T.J. Houshmandzadeh will make a ceremonial first bet at 11 a.m. Thursday at Belterra Park in Cincinnati.

The book, which opened at 9 a.m. on Sunday, is operated by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Kosar takes Browns moneyline at Tipico

According to Bigplay, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar wagered $19,000 on his former team on the moneyline at Tipico Sportsbook.

A picture on Bigplay’s Twitter account indicated the bet was for Cleveland’s Week 18 game against Pittsburgh, not for Sunday’s first game of the Ohio legal betting era against Washington.

Special Olympics, betJACK Ohio team up for Cavs bet

BetJACK Ohio and JACK Cleveland Casino went a little different for their ceremonial first bet, highlighting a very worthy cause.

Christine Hoyer, chief development officer for Special Olympics Ohio, bet $68 on the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA championship at the casino. The wager celebrates the year 1968, in which the organization was founded.

In celebration of the launch of sportsbook betting in the Buckeye State, JACK Entertainment will make a donation that matches total wagers placed with betJACK during the first two hours of legal sports wagering, up to $20,000.

Bears and the points first bet at Caesars

It wasn’t a celebrity (that we know of), but Caesars Sportsbook publicized its first Ohio bet on the platform shortly after midnight on Sunday.

The operator said the first bet was on the visiting Chicago Bears to cover a 6-point spread against the Detroit Lions in Week 17 action.

The bettor had -110 odds on the bet.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Photo by Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt Schoch has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. Schoch has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He’s also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates, “Ypsi’s Emoni.”

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