The Cincinnati Reds and BetMGM on Tuesday announced details about the retail sportsbook on its way to Great American Ball Park.
The BetMGM Sportsbook will open inside the space currently housing the Machine Room restaurant on the northeast side of the stadium. The sportsbook will not be accessible from ticketed areas of the stadium but will offer views of games in action. The space will be open year-round.
With less than three months to go before Ohio sports betting kicks off on Jan. 1, 2023, we are beginning to learn more about what Ohio’s retail sportsbooks will look like in 2023.
The former Machine Room restaurant space will be a unique sportsbook
The large Machine Room restaurant space is a unique option for visitors to Great American Ball Park. The previous iteration offered a full menu and a spacious, air-conditioned seating area with windows where patrons could still follow the action on the field.
Major League Baseball rules prohibit ticketed fans from accessing on-site sportsbooks on game days, so the new BetMGM Sportsbook will only be accessible from the arena plaza level entrance. The space already offered plenty of TVs and a huge bar area. Expect plenty of BetMGM signage, betting kiosks and other updates.
“With sports gaming coming to Ohio, the Reds sought to bring the highest quality operator to our ballpark for those fans who choose to participate in sports gaming,” said Doug Healy, Cincinnati Reds CFO. “BetMGM is renowned for their expertise in entertainment and sports gaming, and we believe their brand best fits our high customer standards and will also help draw visitors to our city.”
This will be BetMGM’s second sportsbook inside an MLB stadium. The BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. opened in January of 2022.
More BetMGM options on the way to Ohio
Today’s announcement includes plans to prominently feature BetMGM signage inside the stadium, including a permanent outfield wall sign, messaging behind home plate and a branded foul line during certain games.
BetMGM will also curate VIP experiences for fans, including on-field access during batting practice.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of our plans to create the most entertaining and dynamic sports betting experiences in Ohio,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt.
The BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio app is also on its way through the company’s partnership with MGM Northfield Park Racino. Each online sportsbook must partner with a retail sportsbook in order to do business in Ohio. The Reds have partnered with Underdog Sports for their app, but fans will be able to use any sportsbook app they choose inside the stadium.
The BetMGM Sportsbook app will offer customizable pregame, live in-play, futures and parlay wagers, among other options.
Ohio retail sportsbooks are beginning to come into focus
Ohio’s eight professional sports franchises will all be involved in sports betting, but each team has to conform to rules and regulations set forth by their leagues.
The Cincinnati Bengals are the only Ohio pro team that does not currently have plans to open a retail sportsbook, citing the NFL’s rules against in-person betting inside stadiums. The team will partner with Betfred to launch a mobile app, however.
For the Reds, the option of opening a retail sportsbook that will be open year-round with stadium views makes a lot of sense. The team partnered with Underdog Sports for its sportsbook app, but BetMGM will clearly have a huge brand presence at GABP.
FC Cincinnati, the city’s Major League Soccer team, plans to open a retail sportsbook in the vicinity of TQL Stadium, although the league does allow in-stadium betting. FC Cincinnati is developing property near TQL Stadium and will eventually construct its own retail sportsbook nearby. The team partnered with Superbook Sports on both its retail sportsbook and mobile app.
The following partnerships have been announced for retail sportsbooks at Ohio’s professional sports stadiums and arenas.
- Cleveland Browns (Bally Bet Sportsbook)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (Caesars Sportsbook)
- Cleveland Guardians (Fanatics Sportsbook)
- Columbus Blue Jackets (Fanatics Sportsbook)
- Columbus Crew (Tipico Sportsbook)
- FC Cincinnati (Superbook)
- Cincinnati Reds (BetMGM Sportsbook)
- Cincinnati Bengals (No retail sportsbook)