The Ohio Slate is a weekly look at developments in Ohio’s gaming industry – including betting angles – as the state prepares to launch legal sportsbooks on Jan. 1, 2023.
The defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are making more news.
After becoming the first pro franchise in Ohio to apply for a wagering license on July 8, they followed that with the announcement of a partnership with UK-based operator Betfred on Wednesday. And on Thursday, the Bengals announced that they will wear an optional “White Bengal” helmet beginning next season.
When The Jungle yells Who Dey, the #WhiteBengal comes to prey.
Presented by Swift Meats pic.twitter.com/ZeaaHyVR6Y
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) July 14, 2022
No matter the helmet, FanDuel has odds of +2000 on the Bengals winning Super Bowl LVII, while DraftKings has odds of +2200 on the Joe Burrow-led Super Bowl LVI participants coming up winners this time around.
Cincinnati is scheduled to start training camp on July 27 and plans to hold 12 open practices.
Horse drowns at MGM Northfield Park
Unexpected tragedy occurred on Monday evening at MGM Northfield Park when a horse drowned after running into a pond following a race. The horse, which was named Alfred Hanover, was trained by Ron Burke, who is considered one of the sport’s top trainers.
“We are deeply saddened by racehorse Alfred Hanover’s passing and extend our condolences to his owner, trainer and all involved,” MGM Northfield Park general manager Matt Buckley said in a statement released by the racino.
Alfred Hanover finished in second place in his last race before breaking loose and running into a pond located on the track’s infield.
“We are saddened to see yet another racehorse death in the world of harness racing and call on the U.S. Trotting Association and its members to join in supporting the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act that took effect last week by opting into the anti-doping program and oversight under the new national standards,” said Animal Wellness Action Executive Director Marty Irby in a statement released Monday. “As the body count continues to climb, these rampant deaths continue to turn the betting public away from the horse racing industry. Where else would we tolerate any athlete drowning during a sporting event without a serious investigation? The authorities should investigate this incident.”
The drowning has also raised questions about racetracks with infield ponds. MGM Northfield Park announced in a statement on Tuesday that it is planning to construct a fence around the pond and is expected to have it built by next week. The track added that it is working with the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and Ohio Racing.
More horse racing tragedy in Ohio
Harness Racing Update posted a tweet Wednesday morning that shared tragic news of horse trainer Mark Evers being shot and killed by police after he allegedly shot an officer responding to a domestic dispute.
Evers, 65, reportedly shot the officer in the head before he was shot and killed by another police officer, according to a report by FOX 19. Harness Racing Update’s tweet stated that Evers had “conditioned 2021 Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Monte Miki.”
Tragic news this morning. Trainer Mark Evers, who conditioned 2021 Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Monte Miki has been shot and killed by police in Ohio after Evers, allegedly, shot an officer responding to a domestic dispute.https://t.co/UgGwEfUsK3 pic.twitter.com/wbszK7j2rf
— Harness Racing Update (@HarnessUpdate) July 13, 2022
Hollywood Casino Toledo adding sushi eatery
Toledo sushi chef Kengo Kato is planning to open Shobu by Kengo inside Hollywood Casino Toledo later this year. Kato’s latest restaurant offering will be his third in the Glass City. It’s scheduled to feature familiar offerings from Kato’s other two local eateries, Kengo Sushi and Yakitori, as well as new menu options.
“I’m honored to be opening my third restaurant in Toledo and couldn’t ask for a better partner than the team at Hollywood,” Kato told WTVG. “I’d like to thank the greater Toledo area for the support over the past seven years. This city has not only been the backbone of our success, but it has fulfilled my dream of expressing my art on multiple stages. Toledo is bursting with enthusiasm and heart, and I couldn’t be prouder to call it my home.”
Hollywood Casino Toledo had already announced plans to construct a Barstool Sportsbook in space previously utilized for a buffet restaurant. The casino hasn’t begun construction on the brick-and-mortar sportsbook, but there are plans to have it up and operational by the time of Ohio’s universal launch date, Jan. 1, 2023. It’s expected to be the largest of the four Barstool Sportsbooks that will be constructed in Penn National Gaming’s four Ohio facilities.
Brad Hirsch, Hollywood’s general manager, expressed excitement about having a Kato establishment at the casino. Shobu by Kengo is holding a job fair at the casino’s H Lounge on July 20 from 12-4p.m., seeking a chef de cuisine, servers, and hostesses.