Fanatics Sportsbook will cap off a busy month of activity in Ohio with the opening of a new retail sportsbook in Columbus.
Fanatics unveiled its new Ohio sportsbook location in Columbus’ Arena District on Aug. 24 with a special preview event. Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus was officially set to open the following day, Friday, Aug. 25.
The opening comes one week after Fanatics celebrated the opening of its first Ohio retail sports betting location, located just outside of the Cleveland Guardians’ Progressive Field.
After an extensive period of beta testing of its sports betting app, Fanatics’ online sportsbook was officially made available to the general public in Ohio on Aug. 16.
The flurry of activity signals Fanatics’ big push in Ohio’s sports betting market. Earlier this summer, the company announced it was acquiring PointsBet Sportsbook, which would expand Fanatics’ online sports betting presence into a dozen new states and potentially enable Fanatics to take over PointsBet’s market share in Ohio.
Fanatics partnered with Columbus Blue Jackets for new retail location
First announced last month, the new Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus is in partnership with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, which is also Fanatics’ market-access partner for the Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus online sportsbook.
Located at 401 North Front St., with its main entrance in the alley just north of Buca di Beppo and Starbucks, the new sportsbook sits adjacent to Nationwide Arena, where the Columbus Blue Jackets will open their 2023-2024 season on Oct. 12. The arena also regularly hosts large concerts and other events throughout the year.
Former Ohio State football star Ryan Shazier and ex-Columbus Blue Jacket R.J. Umberger appeared at the Aug. 24 preview event alongside officials from the Blue Jackets and Fanatics.
Shazier, also a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, placed the sportsbook’s first bet, putting down $20 on the Ohio State Buckeyes at +700 odds to win the College Football Playoff National Championship. Umberger placed $20 on the Steelers to win the AFC North Division at +475 odds.
“It was a great day to be a Buckeye at the Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus,” Fanatics Betting and Gaming CBO Ari Borod said of the sportsbook’s opening. “Having Columbus sports legends like Ryan and RJ come out and place the first bets shows that we plan to be the premier sports viewing and betting destination in the Arena District when we open our doors to the public on Friday. The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will be a great complement to our online sportsbook experience for sports fans living and visiting Ohio.”
Columbus is Fanatics’ third retail sportsbook with sports franchise affiliation
Unlike the Cleveland retail location, which is a cozy 600 square feet and designed for a quick-and-easy, in-and-out betting experience, Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus is 5,000 square feet and has full restaurant and bar service operated by Delaware North. The new Columbus sportsbook features 14 self-serve betting kiosks and four betting windows, as well as a large LED video wall and 20 TV monitors.
Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will be open noon-10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends.
The new location in Columbus is Fanatics’ third retail sportsbook in the U.S. Along with the new Cleveland sportsbook opened in conjunction with the Guardians, the company opened a Fanatics Sportsbook in January at FedExField in Maryland, home to the Washington Commanders. The professional sports team partnerships are representative of the company’s close relationships with sports franchises, fostered over the years through its large merchandising business.
Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus is the third retail sportsbook to open in Franklin County. The other two are at the Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs racino and Hollywood Casino Columbus. The Muirfield Village Golf Club and Columbus Crew also have licenses to operate retail sportsbooks in Franklin County but have yet to announce formal plans.
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SuperBook closes Cincinnati retail sportsbook location
Fanatics’ new Columbus location becomes one of 15 retail sportsbooks operating in Ohio.
It would have been the 16th Ohio retail sportsbook, but SuperBook Sports announced this week that it would be permanently closing its Cincinnati retail location on Aug. 24 at 10 p.m.
SuperBook’s Cincinnati sportsbook opened Jan. 1 in the basement of Taft’s Ale House, a bar/restaurant in a former church located in the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, just a few blocks from TQL Stadium, the home of FC Cincinnati.
SuperBook Sports partnered with FC Cincinnati on the retail sportsbook at Taft’s, and there have been rumors that SuperBook would eventually open a retail location in or near TQL Stadium, though the company and team have yet to comment on that prospect. FC Cincinnati is also SuperBook’s market-access partner for its online sportsbook in Ohio.
SuperBook stopped taking bets at the Taft’s location earlier this week. On its website, SuperBook said that any payouts not settled prior to the 10 p.m. closing on Aug. 24 would need to be redeemed via mail. The sportsbook’s mail pay process is outlined on the back of bet slips.
SuperBook performed poorly in first six months of operation
SuperBook was one of four retail sportsbooks in Southwestern Ohio’s Hamilton County, alongside sportsbooks at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, the Belterra Park racino and a BetMGM Sportsbook at the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park, which will be moving to a new location near the stadium after this fall.
Besides SuperBook’s long-standing 35,0000-square-foot flagship sportsbook in Las Vegas, which it calls “the largest sportsbook in the world,” the company also operates the SuperBook at The Lodge Casino retail sportsbook in Colorado, which opened in 2021. Earlier this year in Baltimore, SuperBook opened the SuperBook Bar & Restaurant at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but it is merely sports betting themed and not an actual sportsbook.
SuperBook’s Cincinnati sportsbook was regularly the lowest-performing retail sportsbook in Ohio in terms of handle, which was likely at least in part due to its unusual location. All of Ohio’s other retail sportsbooks are situated at or near a pro sports franchise’s arena or inside of a casino or racino.
In the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s June sports betting revenue reports (the most recent reports available), SuperBook at Taft’s had just $2,349 in handle, with $798 in revenue.
In three of the five months before that, SuperBook’s retail sportsbook posted negative revenue numbers. In its first six months of operation, the Cincinnati sportsbook’s total revenue was $4,109.