CLEVELAND (WJW) – Ohio is on the clock!
The date has been set for sports betting to begin in the Buckeye State and now a list of applications has been made public.
In June, the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that sports gaming would start January 1, 2023. Now, they have released the first list of applicants which includes multiple locations in Northeast Ohio.
“Yeah, we’re really excited! You know, we take pride in having all of the games on and lots of TVs and the atmosphere will be almost like a Vegas sports bar,” said Mike Potraffke, Director of Operations at Harry Buffalo, one of about two dozen applicants hoping to score a license.
There are three different types of licenses: Type A Online Sports Gaming, Type B Brick-and-Mortar Sportsbooks and Type C Sports Gaming Lottery Products.
Harry Buffalo is hoping and preparing for a Type B License at all of their locations and even possibly a rooftop bar downtown.
“That’d be awesome to see them do that upstairs. I think it would bring a lot of energy to not only this area, but the entire city,” said Cleveland sports fan Alex Salamon.
But the competition for a license is tough. Cuyahoga currently is only permitted to have five locations pursuant to the commission’s rules and House Bill 29, which legalized sports gaming..
Other applicants include JACK Cleveland Casino, JACK Thistledown Racino, the Cleveland Browns, the Cavaliers, the Cleveland Guardians and Ravencrest Partners, LLC.
Also on the list are Geneva Sports LLC (SPIRE Institute) in Ashtabula County, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Stark, Northfield Park in Summit, Cedar Downs in Erie and Phantom Fireworks, Inc. in Mahoning County.
A company spokesperson says the goal is to offer fun, safe sports gaming entertainment at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown to attract people downtown and increase the city’s vibrancy.
Applications are still being accepted and must be thoroughly vetted.
The commission has not said when they’ll announce which applicants are approved for a license, but when the calendar flips to 2023, Ohioans will be able to begin placing their bets.
That includes online gaming, sportsbooks and kiosks at bars and taverns.
“They say tomorrow we’ll be ready tomorrow,” said Potraffke, “It’s very high energy and anything we can do to get that here, we’re ready for it.”
Excited fans say they’re ready too and it’ll be just in time for postseason football.
“I have full faith and confidence I will definitely be betting on the Cleveland Browns this season,” said Salamon.
Find a full list of applicants so far here.