The Ohio Casino Control Commission unanimously approved BetMGM, DraftKings, Hard Rock Digital, Rush Street Interactive, and Tipico on Wednesday morning for provisional mobile management service provider licenses, meaning they can offer digital sports betting when operators go live on Jan. 1.
The commission also approved three proprietors, the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, Miami Valley Gaming and Racing, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The HOF is the first, and likely only, hall of fame in the U.S. that will be able to offer legal wagering. Such entities were not included in legislation in New York (Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown) or Massachusetts (Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield).
Hard Rock announced this week that Pete Rose will place the first bet at its brick-and-mortar location in Cincinnati at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1.
The approvals mean that at least a dozen digital sports betting operators will be able to launch on the first available day. The OCCC previously issued conditional licenses to seven operators and their proprietor partners: Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood-Columbus), bet365 Ohio (Cleveland Guardians), Betfred (Cincinnati Bengals), Caesars Sportsbook (Scioto Downs), FanDuel (Belterra Park), PointsBet (Hollywood-Mahoning Valley), and SuperBook (FC Cincinnati).
In other news: suppliers approved, promos
Commissioners quizzed representatives from the five newly approved digital operators about what responsible gambling controls and programs would be in place. All said they not only offer consumers the opportunity to set time and spending limits, but also monitor accounts for signs of trouble and step in when needed.
The OCCC also approved the International Betting Integrity Association as its integrity monitor, approved batches of Type C gaming hosts and gaming delegations, and approved four suppliers — Internet Sports International, SB Tech, Stadium Technology, and XPoint Services, a geolocation services provider.
GeoComply, which has already been licensed in Ohio and has long had a monopoly on gaming geolocation services, sued XPoint this year claiming patent infringement. XPoint provides geolocation services for Sporttrade, the betting exchange that went live in New Jersey this year, though it’s not clear who the company will be working with in Ohio.
Though launch is still two months away, operators in Ohio are free to begin signing up new customers and offering sportsbook promotions. BetMGM became the latest to do that Tuesday, when it began offering a $200 sign-up bonus for new players. DraftKings is offering the splashiest promotion — the chance to win one of five $100,000 bets — while Caesars is offering a $100 credit with a $20 deposit and FanDuel is offering a $100 risk-free bet.