The licensing of Ohio’s retail sportsbooks hasn’t always been the smoothest process, but it appears to be nearing an end.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Nov. 2 awarded retail licenses to three more sportsbooks, bringing the total number of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks approved for a Jan. 1, 2023 launch to 20.
Still, with less than two months remaining before the Ohio sports betting start date, six businesses remain on the outside looking in on the Ohio retail sportsbook market.
Six Ohio retail applicants still in limbo
The following six businesses are still waiting for retail licenses despite applying during the appropriate summer window:
- SPIRE Institute
- Cedar Downs
- Harry Buffalo
- Ravencrest Partners
- Phantom Fireworks
- Lori’s Roadhouse
SPIRE Institute is a specialized high school that focuses on athletic education — basically, an academy for athletic prodigies. SPIRE lists Out the Gate as both its online and retail sportsbook partner.
The Cedar Downs off-track betting parlor has an application in via S&S Realty. It has BetMGM listed as a partner.
Harry Buffalo is a restaurant and bar hoping to add a sportsbook to its existing location near Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. It does not have a sportsbook partner listed.
Ravencrest Partners is a bit of a mystery. The only name on its application is the CEO of a private-equity firm. Its application included plans to build a new 10,000-square-foot sports gaming facility at Flats East Bank in Cleveland. It does not have a sportsbook partner listed.
Phantom Fireworks owns the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team and would like to attach a sportsbook to Covelli Centre, where the Phantoms play. The company is not planning to launch on Jan. 1 but still hopes to land a license for sometime next year. Phantom Vice President Bill Weimer told 21 News that the organization “is still working with a consultant before submitting its license request to the commission.”
Lori’s Roadhouse is a country music restaurant and honky tonk venue in Butler County just outside of Cincinnati. It does not have a sportsbook partner listed.
20 Ohio retail sportsbooks on the way
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has extended deadlines for sportsbook applicants more than once during the licensing process.
In early September, the commission noted that it was not satisfied with the details it received from some applicants regarding ownership details and key employees. It set an Oct. 5 deadline for businesses to file the appropriate details.
When Oct. 5 came around, OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler lamented the fact that some sports betting operators had bombarded licensing staff with questions about their applications while failing to provide necessary information.
As of Nov. 2, it appears that the major players have fulfilled their obligations after the commission licensed the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati and Miami Valley Gaming, bringing the total of approved Ohio retail sportsbooks to 20.