Ohio’s Casino Control Commission approved over 300 licenses, including to the Cleveland Browns, Columbus Crew and Cincinnati Reds, and solidified its newest batch of rules for companies looking to set up a sports betting shop on Jan. 1.
The seven-member commission considered 10 licensure applications from companies who it said submitted “complete and timely applications.” Of the 10 companies seeking licenses to offer gambling either through a website or app (type A) or in person (type B), licenses were approved for these eight:
- JACK Cleveland Casino (A/B)
- JACK Thistledown Racino (A/B)
- Cleveland Browns Football Company (A/B)
- Crew SC Stadium Company (A/B)
- Muirfield Village Golf Club Subsidiary (A/B)
- Cincinnati Reds (A/B)
- Hollywood Casino Toledo (A/B)
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley (A/B)
Muirfield Village in Dublin is the location each year of the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour.
However, commissioners delayed approving sports gambling licenses to two professional sports teams – Cincinnati Bengals (A) and FC Cincinnati Holdings (A/B) – because neither had representatives at the meeting.
In addition to the pro teams, the commission awarded 300 type C licenses to bars, restaurants and other suppliers, allowing them to operate gambling kiosks.
In August, the commission approved type C license applications to 200 bars and restaurants in Ohio. In central Ohio, those locations included Grandad’s Pizza and Pub, Novak’s Tavern Patio and Yogi’s Bar and Grill. Northeast Ohio has several dozen approved locations.
Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler scolded the 33% of applicants who have yet to submit required materials about the employees and leadership personnel that will be tasked with operating the company’s sports betting.
If those applicants fail to do so by Oct. 5, Schuler said they will be disqualified from being guaranteed a license in time for the new year.
“We do not have the time or the resources to carry them across the finish line,” he said. “They have to be capable of doing the very minimum requirements set forward by the General Assembly.”
The commission also approved its fourth batch of rules surrounding the operations of Ohio’s legalized sports gambling, including requiring approved license-holders to submit a plan to address and prevent disordered and problem gambling. Its fifth and final set of rules, a commission representative said, will be considered Oct. 5.
Another deadline, Nov. 2, was set for applicants whose licenses have yet to be approved. The applicant’s compliance materials, like required procedures, facility plans and responsible gambling procedures, must receive commission approval by that date or else it might not be granted a license to begin on Jan. 1.
“Please submit them with some time in advance, a few weeks, so that our staff here can thoroughly review and vet them and make sure that gaming that’s offered in the state of Ohio, it’s safe, it’s conducted with integrity and is not going to take advantage of any Ohio citizens,” a commission representative said.