Banned from Major League Baseball for life for betting on the game, Pete Rose will come full circle on Jan. 1, 2023, when he legally places the first bet at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati’s new sportsbook. Digital and in-person wagering are set to go live in Ohio as early as 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and Hard Rock is planning an event around the stroke of midnight to ring in the new era of legal wagering.
Rose, who had a Hall of Fame-level career with the Cincinnati Reds before going on to manage the team, was permanently suspended from Major League Baseball in 1989 by then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti. The Hall of Fame in 1991 voted to ban those on the “permanently ineligible” list from induction. Rose admitted in 2004 that he had bet on baseball and the Reds while he was an active player and manager.
Since then, Rose has lobbied to be reinstated and built a professional life around signing autographs, making public appearances, and working in television. Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018, he’s also been publicly supportive of legal sports betting, but has also admitted that gambling cost him.
New book features lounge space
Rose will be among a host of former local professional and Olympic athletes participating in the Hard Rock sportsbook launch. Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Marty Brennaman and NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz headline the group. Bengals running back Joe Mixon will host a ticket-required New Year’s Eve party at the Hard Rock Casino Events Center.
Hard Rock Casino is ready for sports wagering in Ohio on January 1st. At 12:01am that day Pete Rose who has been banished from baseball for gambling will make the first wager. pic.twitter.com/fayGRmJdbh
— 700WLW (@700wlw) November 1, 2022
According to a press release issued Tuesday, the new 10,000-square-foot sportsbook will be located adjacent to the Hard Rock Cafe and will include 33 kiosks and six teller windows. The space will include a diamond-shaped video wall above the bar (each side will be 10′ x 6′) and a 35′ x 5′ video wall above the teller windows. The book will have four VIP lounges outfitted with new TVs up to 70 inches wide and sofa and lounge seating. There will be 134 new televisions spread around the sportsbook and lounges.
Hard Rock’s digital app is available for download for iOS and Android or via the company website. New customers will get a chance to win up to $5,000 in Ohio sportsbook bonus bets by spinning the “Mystery Wheel” when the platform goes live Jan. 1.
Hard Rock is one of five mobile management service providers and three sports gaming proprietors on the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s agenda for licensing on Wednesday. To date, the OCCC has issued conditional licenses to seven operators and their proprietor partners: Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood-Columbus), Bet365 (Cleveland Guardians), Betfred Ohio (Cincinnati Bengals), Caesars Sportsbook (Scioto Downs), FanDuel (Belterra Park), PointsBet (Hollywood-Mahoning Valley), and SuperBook (FC Cincinnati).