Ohio’s largest counties could add two additional retail sportsbooks each if the current 2024-25 budget is approved by the Senate and signed by the governor.
The Ohio House of Representatives included an expansion of retail sportsbook licenses in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties in its 2024-25 budget, which passed on April 26. The budget includes a provision expanding from five to seven the number of retail sportsbooks allowed in counties with populations of at least 800,000.
Ohio sports betting is only four months old, but the state is already looking at ways to expand the market in the state’s most populated areas.
Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati could add retail sportsbooks
Ohio’s sports betting law currently allows for up to five retail sportsbook licenses in the state’s biggest counties. The new budget would keep the total number of retail licenses available at 40, but it would allow two new licenses each for Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties.
According to HB 33, the new budget:
“Increases, from five to seven, the maximum number of sports gaming facilities that may be located in a county with a population of 800,000 or more, as determined by the 2010 federal census. Retains the overall limit of 40 sports gaming facilities in the state at any given time.”
Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton are the only counties that hit the 800,000 population threshold for the maximum number of licenses. They are home to Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, respectively.
Ohio retail sportsbook licenses by county population
- Population of 100,000 to 399,999: one license (or two licenses if there are video lottery terminals in the county)
- Population of 400,000 to 799,999: three licenses allowed
- Population over 800,000: currently five (would increase to seven)
Ohio has currently licensed 23 retail sportsbook locations.
Cuyahoga, Franklin counties maxed out, one left in Hamilton County
Ohio’s casinos, racinos and professional sports teams were given preference for the retail licenses. Most that qualified moved quickly to gain approval from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Cuyahoga’s five retail licenses are currently held by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Guardians, JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino.
Franklin County’s five licenses are held by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, Hollywod Casino Columbus, Scioto Downs Racino, and Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Hamilton County still has one license open because the Cincinnati Bengals chose not to apply due to the NFL’s rules against in-stadium betting. The NFL has since changed that rule, so the Bengals could hit the retail market soon.
The other Hamilton County retail sportsbook licenses are held by the Cincinnati Reds, FC Cincinnati, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati and Belterra Park Racino.
Here is the current list of approved retail sportsbook locations in Ohio:
|JACK Cleveland Casino
|JACK Thistledown Racino
|Columbus Blue Jackets
|Hollywood Casino Columbus
|Scioto Downs Racino
|Muirfield Village Golf Club
|Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
|Belterra Park Racino
|Out the Gate
|Hollywood Casino Toledo
|Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
|Hollywood Dayton Gaming Raceway
|Hall of Fame Village
|MGM Northfield Park Racino
|Miami Valley Gaming