I have embarked on a grand tour of sportsbooks in Ohio. The Buckeye State finally launched legal sports betting in Ohio at the turn of the year — something this lifelong Clevelander was anticipating heavily. The next in our ongoing series of Ohio retail sportsbook reviews is Barstool Sportsbook in Toledo.
Right away, the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Toledo demands attention. Laden with a brick exterior reminiscent of Fenway Park, this book differs from other Ohio retail sportsbooks. The lounge trades traditional theater seating for a sports bar atmosphere.
Note: This review is about the physical location rather than the Barstool Sportsbook mobile app.
Barstool Sportsbook Toledo Takes Edge Off Traditional Betting Lounges
To new Ohio bettors, a typical retail sportsbook may present some barriers. Like the casinos so many are located in, a litany of unwritten rules and etiquette creates a bit of a learning curve to new punters. At Barstool Sportsbook Toledo, that learning curve and set of expectations are fully removed.
This location takes full advantage of vaulted ceilings offered by Hollywood Casino. Once you enter through the Fenway-esque “gates,” you’re met with a massive jumbo-tron hanging above a traditional bar. Rather than using a full wall for TVs, Barstool placed them strategically around the space, with plenty of screens in the center of the oval-shaped bar. Everything in the lounge is based around this bar with both high-top tables and traditional seating surrounding it.
Now a media giant, Barstool sank some serious money into their betting lounges – particularly this one. There’s a shocking amount of attention to detail here. Pennants from Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, and other local teams litter the walls. All of the decoration meshes with the Boston-inspired architecture. The bar itself looks like it was pulled right from a New England pub.
Barstool does an exceptional job separating their space from the casino space. Other casinos intentionally integrate their sports betting space with the casino floor (i.e. betJACK Cleveland). For a fresh take on the usual sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook Toledo delivers.
Drawbacks of the sports bar template
Barstool trades the social barrier of entry for a physical one. I ventured into the Hollywood Casino on Elite Eight Saturday just in time for the first tip-off. This book has a host stand – much like a restaurant – meaning you can’t just grab a seat inside, unless one is available at the bartop.
For myself and a group of three friends, we were staring down a two-hour wait to get seated that night.
Luckily there’s a casino around to keep waiting guests occupied, but during playoff games and other high-stakes contests, expect Barstool Sportsbook to fill up quickly.
The other gripe is more of a personal one, but this space lacks a lounge area. While the sports bar take is fresh and welcome, a more relaxed, non-restaurant space doesn’t exist here.
But overall, Barstool Sportsbook did a terrific job with their Toledo location. It’s a must-stop should you find yourself in Northwest Ohio.
Be on the lookout for more PlayOhio sportsbook reviews from Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and more.
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