After dominating the discussion during the past two Ohio Casino Control Commission meetings, retail sportsbook applications were not addressed during the commission’s Oct. 19 meeting.
The commission had set an Oct. 5 deadline for operators that filed incomplete applications over the summer to provide missing information or risk missing the Ohio sports betting universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.
Apparently these requirements have still not been met. The commission this week licensed only sports betting kiosk hosts and various suppliers, services providers and proprietors, leaving some big-name retail sportsbooks on the outside looking in as sports betting approaches.
Jessica Franks, OCCC director of communications, told PlayOhio that the commission remains on schedule with respect to licensing.
“The commission is issuing sports gaming licenses on a rolling basis — we continue to work through the background investigations of applicants, and bring licensing requests to the commission once those are complete,” Franks said.
With only three OCCC meetings scheduled before Ohio sports betting kicks off, the clock is ticking for the remaining retail and online sportsbooks to procure licenses. PlayOhio will continue to monitor this story leading up to launch.
FanDuel, Barstool retail sportsbooks are on the way
The commission on Oct. 19 gave the green light to FanDuel Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook to manage retail sportsbooks at gaming establishments that have already been licensed to host them.
FanDuel’s retail sportsbook will be located at Belterra Park.
The Barstool Sportsbooks will be opening at Hollywood Casino Columbus, Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, Hollywood Casino Toledo, and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley.
Which Ohio sportsbooks are still waiting?
Seventeen Type B retail sportsbook licenses have been awarded.
The following nine businesses are still waiting for retail licenses despite applying during the appropriate summer window:
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
- Miami Valley Gaming
- Hall of Fame Village
- SPIRE Institute
- Cedar Downs
- Harry Buffalo
- Ravencrest Partners
- Phantom Fireworks
- Lori’s Roadhouse
On Sept. 7, the commission noted that it was not satisfied with the details it received from some applicants regarding ownership details and key employees. It set the Oct. 5 deadline for these businesses to get caught up.
But on Oct. 5, OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler lamented the fact that some operators had bombarded staff with questions about their applications while failing to provide necessary information, and the commission did not license any new retail sportsbooks that day.
During that meeting, Schuler said, “We do not have the time or the resources to carry anyone across the finish line. They have to be capable of doing the very minimal requirements set forth by the General Assembly.”
Ohio online sportsbooks still waiting, too
Only two sportsbook apps were licensed on Oct. 19: FanDuel Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook.
That brings the total number of licensed Ohio online sportsbooks to seven. The five sportsbook apps previously approved are:
- PointsBet Ohio
- Betfred Ohio
That still leaves 18 mobile apps awaiting decisions on their applications.
Commission recognizes new gambling addiction court program
Before diving into the licensing process, commissioners spent some time on Oct. 19 recognizing a new problem gambling court program through the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
The program will offer specifically trained court probation officers known as gambling recovery officers to assist defendants facing charges related to a gambling addiction.
Only the second of its kind in the U.S., individuals facing charges can be referred to the program and potentially have felony charges dropped upon successful completion.
“The primary goal of this court was to help individuals with different issues that brought them into the justice system in the first place,” Schuler said.