The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for a new online sportsbook to partner with after FuboTV abruptly shut down its sports betting app this week.
The Cavaliers have publicized their plans for a Caesars-branded retail sportsbook inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Those plans are still intact.
But with less than three months to go before Ohio’s sports betting launch, the loss of Fubo Sportsbook leaves the team unlikely to launch an online sportsbook on Jan. 1, 2023.
Fubo abruptly changes course, closes gaming subsidiary
In a surprise development, FuboTV announced this week that it is closing its Fubo Gaming subsidiary and all of its Fubo Sportsbooks effective immediately.
Fubo Sportsbook was in line to launch in January through the Cavaliers’ partnership. The company had applied for a mobile management services license in Ohio on July 15.
But this week Fubo announced it was closing the entire Fubo Gaming business after a strategic review. The company said it was unable to “lower its funding requirements and generate sufficient returns to shareholders.”
Fubo apps in Arizona, Iowa and New Jersey all stopped taking bets on Oct. 17.
Cavaliers left to secure new Ohio online sportsbook
The Cleveland Cavaliers have not applied to host another sportsbook app at this time.
The team has partnered with Caesars on its retail sportsbook. The Caesars Sportsbook Ohio app is already on its way to Ohio through a partnership with Scioto Downs.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Casino Control Commission told Legal Sports Report that it is “highly unlikely” the Cavs could launch mobile on day one:
“The CAVS will be able to select a new MMSP, but it is highly unlikely they would be able to start on January 1 due to the lengthy licensing and compliance requirements and the Commission’s current cadence of processing applications.”
Twenty-five online sportsbooks applied to operate in Ohio. Each of the other 24 have announced partnerships.
Cavaliers retail sportsbook still on the way
The Cavaliers’ retail sportsbook, on the other hand, is planning for a Jan. 1 launch. The Caesars-branded space will offer ticketed fans access even if they entered the arena to watch in-person.
That is somewhat unique among in-stadium sportsbooks in Ohio, which are subject to league rules.
The NBA restricts teams from opening retail sportsbooks in common areas, but there will be access to the sportsbook area from within Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
The Cavaliers’ sportsbook will be open year-round.