The state of Ohio recently became the latest state to legalize sports betting, but it could be a long time before residents are able to place a bet. It didn’t take long for news of sportsbooks to emerge, and one is set to be offered at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Rush Street Interactive has announced that it will offer retail betting at the Pro Football Hall of Fame after agreeing to a ten-year deal. This deal will allow Rush Street to use official Pro Football Hall of Fame signage and other data.
There is a Hall of Fame Village set up in Canton, and that is where the new retail sportsbook is set to be built. There will be other details that will emerge in the coming months, but this could be a retail sportsbook unlike anything ever seen.
With the opportunity for Ohio to become such a large sports betting market, other big-name operators should seek out opportunities to enter the state.
A Long Road to Legalization
The path to legalizing sports betting in Ohio was a long and difficult process that saw dozens of bills be introduced. Initial battles stemmed over which group would oversee the industry, and then debates were waged over how many licenses would be available.
Governor Mike DeWine was always in favor of sports betting, and he quickly signed the bill that landed on his desk. Once Ohio is able to offer sports betting, it could emerge as a massive market that is able to crack the top ten.
Three Types of Licenses Available
There are going to be three different sports betting licenses available in Ohio, and a seemingly limitless amount of licenses will be available. Both retail and online sports betting can be offered depending on the license and the type of business or organization that has the license.
A Class A license will allow professional teams and retail casinos to offer online sports betting by partnering with an operator. Class B licenses will be available for those teams and locations as well, but it will allow for retail or in-person betting.
Finally, bars and other businesses can apply for a Class C license to set up two sports betting kiosks to accept wagers on sporting events.
A Long Road to Launch
The initial target launch date has been set as January 1, 2023, and that would give the state plenty of time to get things ready for launch. This would also be much longer than most lawmakers and operators want to wait, and this could be an expedited process.
Other states have been able to get sports betting up and running in six months or less, but that doesn’t seem possible in Ohio. A more realistic launch date would be September 2022, and that could have sports betting up and running before the start of the NFL season.
With both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns in the state, the NFL is expected to drive the new industry when it is launched.