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Caesars Tops List Of Operators That Haven’t Yet Applied In Ohio


With only three days remaining before the first window for submitting sports wagering licenses comes to a close in Ohio, Caesars Sportsbook is one of several big-name operators that has yet to apply, though a company spokesperson said an application is in the works.

Bally’s, Hard Rock, and Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) are also among the operators that have yet to submit an application for a license. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has made it clear that prospective licensees who submit applications during the appropriate installment periods will be in position to go live on the universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

The commission began accepting applications for sports betting licenses on June 15, and the window for the first group of applicants ends on Friday. A total of 18 applications — four Type A, three Type B, one Type C, six Mobile Management Service Providers (MMSP), and four Management Service Providers (MSP) — have been received by the commission. FanDuel, Fanatics, and the Cincinnati Bengals were the most recent to apply, according to the commission’s list of applicants posted on Friday.

Jan. 1 is universal launch date

The law requires the commission to establish deadlines for enabling consideration of applications prior to the Jan. 1, 2023, launch date. The commission, in compliance with HB 29, established the first application window for Type A, Type B, and Type C proprietors, first designated MMSP, MSP, and suppliers from June 15-July 15. The second application window, July 15-Aug. 15, is designated for Type C sports gaming hosts and second designated mobile management service providers.

On Friday, the Ohio Lottery Commission, which will serve as the manager for Type C sports gaming hosts, released a list of approximately 850 businesses that are pre-qualified to apply for a Type C sports gaming host license. These include bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, and others with certain liquor licenses.

Applications received by the commission outside of the designated windows, or incomplete applications, are not guaranteed to receive consideration to start operations on the universal launch date. When OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler announced the universal start date at the beginning of June, he stressed the importance of submitting applications on time.

Caesars partnered with Cavs

Despite having yet to apply for a license, Caesars established an agreement earlier in the year with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers that involves building a retail sportsbook inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. A Caesars official has said that the sportsbook expects to be active in Ohio when sports betting is up and running on New Year’s Day 2023.

“We’re going to be there Jan. 1,” a spokesman said. “There’s no reason to believe that we won’t be there Jan. 1.”

BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Penn National Gaming, PointsBet, and Fanatics have all applied for mobile management services provider licenses. Fanatics, a sports merchandising company that is getting involved in the sports betting field, is the only applicant among the group that does not appear to have direct access into Ohio.

JACK Entertainment’s Cleveland Casino and Thistledown Racino have applied for Type A and Type B sports gaming proprietor licenses. Hall of Fame Village (the Pro Football Hall of Fame) has also applied for Type A and B licenses. The Bengals, who have not announced any partnership deals with an operator, are the only other Type A applicant at this time.

Elys Gameboard Technologies, which is working with Dayton-based Wright Bet Ventures, is the only applicant so far for a Type C sports gaming proprietor license.

BetMGM was first applicant

BetMGM, FanDuel, and Fanatics have also submitted applications for MMSP licenses.

BetMGM, which has market access through MGM North Field Park Racino, was the first to apply for a sports betting license when it submitted as a mobile management services provider June 15. PointsBet, which has market access through an existing relationship with Penn National Gaming, became the second applicant in the state when it submitted an application for mobile management services provider on June 16.

Penn National has major market access as the proprietor of four Hollywood casinos/racinos in the Buckeye State. Penn National will likely use Barstool Sportsbook as its main wagering platform. It applied for a MMSP license on June 30.

The Bengals, one of 10 professional sports franchises in Ohio eligible to apply for a Type A sports gaming proprietor license, submitted an application on Friday. The commission still hasn’t received applications from the Cavaliers, NFL Cleveland Browns, MLB Cleveland Guardians or Cincinnati Reds, MLS Columbus Crew or FC Cincinnati,  NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, PGA, or NASCAR.

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