The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Dec. 15 licensed several more retail and online sportsbooks, including granting online and retail licenses to relative industry newcomer Out the Gate.
The online gaming company has partnered on both licenses with SPIRE Institute, a sports-focused high school and sports research facility in Geneva, Ohio. That means Out the Gate can launch an online sportsbook in Ohio and manage the retail sportsbook heading to the SPIRE campus.
With Ohio sports betting set to begin on Jan. 1, SPIRE and Out the Gate are allowed to kick things off with the rest of the industry.
Out the Gate and SPIRE are an interesting addition to Ohio sports betting
Out the Gate is an up-and-comer in the sports betting industry. Its website touts a variety of online games, including real-money sports betting, casino, racing and daily fantasy sports.
Little information is known about the sportsbook it will bring to market, and its retail partner, SPIRE, was one of the more unique applicants looking to open a retail sportsbook in Ohio.
With a high school on campus, many wondered whether the OCCC would license SPIRE Institute. The high school side of the business is a sports-focused preparatory school that once counted future NBA star LaMelo Ball among its students. The school only has 100 or so students, who train for their sports futures while also taking academic classes.
SPIRE’s sprawling, northeast Ohio campus also includes an athletic complex that hosts sports camps, leagues and tournaments.
SPIRE has not released any information about the retail sportsbook, including when it will open. But now that Out the Gate has landed its license to manage the sportsbook, those plans can move forward.
Out the Gate touts a variety of online games
Out the Gate touts itself as a “multichannel gaming operator” led by industry veterans.
In addition to sports betting, DFS and racing platforms, the company develops poker and casino games, which are not yet legal in Ohio.
Out the Gate’s experience in virtual games is interesting considering that SPIRE Institute counts newer, tech-based competitions like esports and drone racing among its training programs.
Ohio sports betting law will allow esports betting
Ohio’s recently released list of approved sports for betting includes esports. This market is a relatively new phenomenon following the massive growth of video game technologies and competitions in recent years.
Still, Ohio believes they fall within its initial legal sports betting parameters. To be approved for betting in Ohio, a sport or event must check the following boxes:
- It is based on statistical results which can be proven by a box score, aggregation of box scores, or other statistical analysis.
- It is based on the performance of a single or group of rostered or otherwise registered athletes.
- It is based on the result of an outcome on the field of play (including the virtual field of play for eSports).
It’s still unclear what type of sports betting the Out the Gate online platform and retail sportsbook will offer.
Licenses also go out to honky-tonk bar and other online sportsbooks
The OCCC also licensed its latest retail sportsbook: Lori’s Roadhouse, a honky-tonk music venue and bar located in Butler County, just north of Cincinnati.
The following sportsbooks also received sports betting licenses on Dec. 14:
- Bally’s (online and retail — partnered with Cleveland Browns)
- Underdog (online — partnered with Cincinnati Reds)
- Betway (online — partnered with Belterra park)
Ohio has now approved a total of 20 online sportsbooks and 22 retail sportsbooks ahead of the Jan. 1 universal start date.