Rush Street to Open Retail Sportsbook at Pro Football Hall of Fame

Inside a Casino Sportsbook, Pile of Money

With the recent development in legal Ohio sports betting, Rush Street Interactive announced on Thursday its plan to open a retail sportsbook in the entertainment district surrounding the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton.

In a statement, Rush Street Interactive Chief Executive Officer Richard Schwartz said:

“We are excited to partner with the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company, a unique sports and entertainment company with exceptional reach in professional football and beyond. HOFV shares RSI’s drive to create fun, memorable experiences for customers as well as our passion for building a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight the millions of guests that will visit the Hall of Fame Village campus each year. We look forward to offering a best-in-class sportsbook commensurate with the prestige of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village that fans across the country and world can enjoy.”

DeWine Signs Ohio Sports Betting Law

The announcement came one day after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s sports betting bill into a law, ending a three-year process process that started with the United States Supreme Court revoked the 1992 PASPA in 2018. Since that decision, several bills were filed in the House and Senate but it wasn’t until House Bill 29 was signed by DeWine that the light at the end of the tunnel was seen.

With the Buckeye stating becoming the 33d state to legalize sports betting in its jurisdiction, Ohio sports bettors can expect to place legal sports bets no later than January 1, 2023, which is the latest launch date of Ohio legal sports betting as per the recently promulgated law. Under the law, casinos, stadiums, bars, and restaurants in the state are allowed to apply for a sports betting license with approved operators charged a 10% tax on revenues.

Disneyland of Football

The location of the Rush Street Interactive retail sportsbook will be at the Hall of Fame Village, specifically at the current retail and entertainment project called the Fan Engagement Zone. It will be the first sportsbook to be located in the Hall of Fame of the four major professional sports. There are no plans to build one in Cooperstown where baseball’s Hall of Fame is at or at Toronto where the NHL Hall of Fame is located. On the other hand, sports betting isn’t legal yet in Massachusetts, where basketball’s greats are enshrined.

Dubbed as the “Disneyland of Football”, the Village is powered by Johnson Controls and will also house restaurants, retail outlet, a performance center, and indoor water park, a Hilton Hotel, and a mixed use office and retail space. A world-class 20,000 seat sports and entertainment stadium called the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is currently under construction in the village.

Ohio Legalizes Sports Betting As Gov. DeWine Signs HB 29

Sports betting is finally legal in Ohio. This, after Governor Mike DeWine signed the Ohio sports wagering bill into a law on Wednesday.

Sponsored by representatives Scott Wiggam and Adam Miller, House Bill 29 allows Ohioans to engage in legal sports betting under the authority of the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery.

End of a Three Year Process

The legalization of Ohio sports betting marks the end of a three-year process that began when the United State Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. In the years that followed, the Ohio House and Senate came up with and filed several bills that ultimately did not come to fruition, until HB 29 last month.

Ohio thus becomes the 33rd state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling. Indiana, Michigan, and Pensylvannia are also among the recent states to allow legal sports wagering in their jurisdiction.

Legal Ohio Sports Betting

Under the newly-signed law, casinos, stadiums, bars, and restaurants in the state will have the opportunity to apply for a sports betting license. The industry will be regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. According to the commission, legal Ohio Sports Betting is expected to launch in one year.

A 10% tax will be levied on all sports betting revenues with 98% of the proceeds going to the funding or public and private K-12 education with the remaining 2% to be allotted for gambling problem assistance programs. According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Ohio sports betting is expected to fetch $3.35 billion in revenues per year by the end of the decade.

Still to Face Legal Challenges

Despite DeWine’s signature, the Ohio sports betting law is still expected to face legal challenges. According to Senator Niraj Antani, who was one of the lead sponsors of the bill, there are fears of litigation over the fact that the Ohio Casino Control Commission will take charge of sports betting rather than the Ohio Lottery.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Cranley also raised an issue claiming that gambling proceeds will have to go to public education unless they are for the benefit of the state’s four casinos.

Ohio Sports Betting Bill Heads to Governor’s Office

Odds Board and Money

A bill that will legalize sports betting in Ohio is heading to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk.

Ohio House Bill no. 29 was approved by the House and Senate last Wednesday after years of wrangling. Now, it’s in the hands of Governor DeWine. DeWine is a long proponent of legal sports betting, and is expected to sign the bill into a law. If he indeed does so, the new law would have to wait 90 days to before it would take effect.

The senate said earlier this week that it will suggest that the start date for the filing of application for legal sports betting licenses to be on February 15, 2022 with April 30, 2022 as the target for the last date of approval for the said licenses. Sports betting operations are expected to start no later than January 1, 2023.

House Bill 29

House Bill 29 provides for three types of legal sports betting licenses. Type A licenses include state entities that have the capacity to bank a bet, like the 11 casinos and the racinos in the state. These licenses will include a license to operate online sports betting. Type B licenses meanwhile will be issues to future brick and mortar sportsbooks while Type C licenses will allow for the establishment of sports betting kiosks in retail establishments with a D-class liquor license.

In all, House Bill 29 will allow a total of 65 sports betting licenses in the state. 40 of these will be for retail sports betting while another 25 will be for online sports wagering. Sports betting operations will be taxed at 10% with the proceeds of legal Ohio sports betting going to Ohio K-12 schools. Betting on Ohio po sports teams is expected to be allowed, although the final determinations will be made by the state Casino Control Commission.

Tweaks to HB 29

Before HB 29 was passed in both chambers, it still underwent numerous tweaks. The most notable change was on the item on online spots betting. The original HB 29 had sports leagues and teams getting only one skin each while casinos and racinos could get two each. Now, everybody gets only one with all of them having equal chance of getting their second skin by proving an incremental benefit to the state.

The validity of the sports betting licenses was also changed from three years to five years Also, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will no longer dictate the requirements on the size and cost of a retail sportsbook. Instead, applicants will include the information in their applications. Official league data has been removed as a requirement for live betting while sports betting operators will no longer be allowed to carry negative revenue for tax purposes. Bettors will also be capped at $700 per week in betting kiosks.

Ohio Senate Passes Sports Betting Bill

Ohio Stadium in Columbus

Lawmakers in the Ohio Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize sports betting in the state.

Senate Bill 176 was approved 30-2 with Sen. Matt Dolan abstaining from the vote because of his family’s ownership of the MLB team Cleveland Indians.

The legislation would legalize Ohio sports betting, allowing residents to place bets on professional, college, Olympics, and other sports. The bill got a last-minute overhaul with lawmakers increasing the number of licenses offered, giving preference to professional sports teams in Ohio, and adding a new license option for bars while limiting their kiosks to two per location.

Up to 58 Sports Betting Licenses

Per Senate Bill 176, casinos, racinos, and other businesses are allowed to apply for one of up to 58 licenses to offer sports betting. 33 of the 58 licenses would be for brick and mortar gambling shops while 25 will be for mobile and online sports betting. Applicants would be required to pay a fee of $1 million fee and the Ohio Casino Control Commission would be the agency to approve licenses and oversee how they are used.

Due to a late revision in the bill, the brick and mortar licenses would be distributed throughout the state based on the counties’ population. Franklin County, which has more than 1 million resident, could have up to three brick and mortar licenses. Meanwhile, Hamilton County, which is in the next population tier, would be given two.

Addition of a Type C License

Another addition to SB 176 was the inclusion of a Type C license for bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and other similar establishments with a liquor license. A unlimited number of these group can apply for a Type C license at $6,000 each. However, they would be limited to two kiosks per store.

These establishments will be permitted to offer spread bets and over/under bets. It would be up to the Ohio Casino Control Commission to limit how many establishments can provide self-service kiosks. Under the bill, each vendor would be required to pay a $100,000 application fee.

What Else is in the Bill?

Net revenue from sports betting would be taxed at 10%. This would bring an estimated $17-$23 million in tax revenues beginning 2022. The taxes would be used mostly for both public and private K12 education. 2% of the taxes collected will also go to gambling addiction programs. If all goes as planned, Ohio residents could start placing sports bets in early 2022.

Ohio’s professional sports teams, the Memorial Tournament, and a NASCAR event in Ohio will receive preference when applying for a sports betting license. However, they would still need to meet the criteria for application. The bill also allows Ohio fraternal and veterans organizations to have up to 10 electronic bingo machines. These would be regulated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the proceeds would benefit the organization.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Betway Forge Multi-Year Sports Betting Agreement

The Cleveland Cavaliers have entered into a sports betting partnership with Betway in anticipation of the legalization of Ohio sports betting.

Because Ohio sports betting isn’t legal yet, Betway will launch a free-to-play game called “Betway Big Pick” where fans can compete to win cash prizes during every week of the season.

Per Betway chief executive Anthony Wekman:

“We are honoured to enter into a partnership deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have proved to be one of the most consistent and exciting teams in the NBA in recent years and we’re looking forward to seeing the Betway brand associated with them.”

Multi-Year Integrated Marketing Campaign

The agreement, which will start during the 2021-22 NBA season, includes a multi-year integrated marketing campaign where the Betway brand will be displayed in broadcast-visible signage and commercial reads during Cavaliers’ games at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse plus in an out-of-bounds space on the court surface.

Betway will also be advertised via the team’s official digital and social channels while also serving as the official presenting partner of the CavsHQ magazine style TV program on Fox Sports Ohio. In addition, Betway will also be a supporting partner of the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers.

Sports Betting Inevitable in Ohio

Earlier this month, governor Mike DeWine boasted that it is only a matter of time before Ohio sports betting is legalized. A bill to legalize Ohio sports betting is was passed in the Ohio house in May 2020, its timeline has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 National elections. The Ohio Senate also introduced its own sports betting bill way back in March 2019 but it has not seen any movement in over one years.

Last January, Senator Matt Huffman announced the formation of an Ohio gambling committee to oversee the state’s gambling industry and to prepare the Buckeye state for the coming change. Committee chairman Sen. Kirk Schuring has made it clear that the state’s sports betting legislation before everyone’s voice is heard.