Ohio regulators continued working through their sports-betting licensing process on Wednesday (September 21), approving licenses for several Ohio casinos and professional sports teams.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved mobile and land-based sports-betting licenses for MGM Northfield Park, PENN Entertainment's Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, Caesar's Scioto Downs and Boyd Gaming's Belterra Park Cincinnati.
The commission also approved licenses for a host of the state’s professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, and Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati.
All but the Bengals applied for and received both mobile and land-based sports wagering licenses, but the Bengals elected only to pursue a “Type A” mobile license, which it intends to use to launch an online sportsbook through partner Betfred.
“As it currently stands, the NFL does not allow sports betting at any stadium,” a representative from the Bengals told the commission when asked why the team was not seeking a land-based license. “So Betfred and the team chose not to pursue a Type B license because of this.”
The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and BetMGM recently opened the first sportsbook using a license granted to an NFL team, but the sportsbook itself is located just outside the stadium in Phoenix.
The Ohio commission has already approved eight other licenses at a meeting earlier this month, including the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, which did obtain a “Type B” land-based license.
Although the casinos and sports teams themselves have received licensure in Ohio, their respective mobile betting partners will still have to obtain separate approvals to go live on January 1, the state’s universal go-live date.
On Wednesday, commission executive director Matt Schuler repeated his recent warning that service providers and suppliers will have to submit materials regarding persons in control of their operations before a deadline of October 5.
“If they do not, they will be disqualified from consideration in time for the universal start date,” said Schuler, who will be a panelist at VIXIO GamblingCompliance's "Meet The Regulators" webinar on new U.S. sports-betting markets on October 4.
Ohio’s law permits each casino and sports-team licensee to apply for up to two mobile sports-betting skins, although to date only three of the 22 mobile applicants have applied for a second provider.
Schuler also emphasized that all operators wishing to go live on January 1 must have compliance materials, including responsible gaming plans, required procedures, house rules, facility plans, geolocation procedures and equipment testing, approved by the commission by November 2.
“That means the compliance division needs to give you green checkmarks in the portal for every one of those items or you will also not be considered for the universal start date,” Schuler said.
Sports gaming employee licensing is also due by November 2.