The Ohio Slate: Hall of Fame Game, Enshrinement, And A Rules Conundrum

All eyes will be on Canton Thursday night with the start of the NFL preseason
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The National Football League-related talk from Ohio this week isn’t entirely about Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and an appointed retired judge’s ruling that he should be suspended due to dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct.

Taking center stage Thursday night in Canton, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders will kick off the NFL preseason in the annual Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The game will air on NBC.

DraftKings has the Raiders as 2-point favorites over the Jaguars, while FanDuel and BetMGM have the Raiders as 2.5-point favorites. FanDuel has the over/under at 29.5 points, a point lower than the 30.5 line set by DraftKings and BetMGM.

Heading to the HOF

On Sunday, Tony Boselli will become the first Jacksonville Jaguar to be inducted into the HOF. Boselli, an offensive lineman, was selected as an All-Pro three times and to the Pro Bowl five times, and was also a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team. Boselli played his entire pro career in Jacksonville — he was picked by the Houston Texans in the 2002 expansion draft, but never played a down for them.

Class of 2022 Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies take place at noon Saturday at the Hall of Fame Stadium. In addition to Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch (Raiders), safety LeRoy Butler (Packers), linebacker Sam Mills (Saints), and defensive linemen Richard Seymour (Patriots) and Bryant Young (49ers) will also be enshrined. They’ll be joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil and former on-field official and supervisor of officials Art McNally.

— Jill R. Dorson

Midnight madness

The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday announced that operators will be able to launch sports betting in the first minute of 2023, should they desire. So far, every major operator has applied for a digital license, though last week marked the first week since the application process opened that the OCCC received no applications. Those interested in Type A or B (mobile or retail) licenses who applied in the June 15-July 15 window are positioned to launch on Jan. 1, 2023. The current July 15-Aug. 15 window is for Type C, or host, applicants wishing to launch on Jan. 1.

— Jill R. Dorson

That could be a lot of money

As more and more restaurants, bars, and other potential Type C hosts apply for licenses, a cause for concern has cropped up. According to a report from Ohio’s NBC 4, the rules require that winning wagering tickets be cashed at the location they were purchased. The provision itself isn’t unusual, but the state is expecting more than 1,000 Type C host applications, and those licensees would be serviced by lottery kiosks offering wagering. The payout rule could reportedly cut out some grocery stores or other small businesses or require that they contract with game-payout machine vendors.

“The lottery recognizes that technological problem and they have indicated to me, ‘We intend to keep working on this because we know what you intended, state legislature, or we just have to work through the technological aspects of how we make this happen,’” Rep. Bill Seitz, one of the architects of the wagering law, told NBC 4.

— Jill R. Dorson

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Image: Blundell Designs

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