This week’s landmark sports betting news in Ohio has already led to a deal with a landmark sports destination in the state.
Rush Street Interactive announced Thursday it has an agreement with the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company to offer sports wagering at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio, when sportsbooks come online in the state. Sports betting, including a mobile market, should be active in the state by Jan. 1, 2023, if not sooner.
Ohio sports betting was signed into law this week by Gov. Mike DeWine, after the state legislature pushed through a measure this month. With the law now official, the Buckeye State will join neighbors Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia and Indiana in offering a legal mobile sports betting market.
“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,” Rush Street CEO Richard Schwartz said in a news release. “…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.”
Ohio has 11 commercial gaming facilities — four casinos and seven racinos (racetracks with slot machines). The state took in a combined $178.8 million in revenue for November and has made more than $2.1 billion in gaming revenue through 11 months in 2021.
But adding both mobile and retail sports betting will offer a whole new dimension to gaming in sports-crazed Ohio, and the state’s revenue and handle figures should be among the nation’s best when the market launches.
“With the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, we see a variety of opportunities and benefits across our company’s multiple business lines,” Michael Crawford, President and CEO of Hall of Fame Village, said in the statement. “We considered many different retail sportsbook operators, but selected RSI because of its outstanding reputation, impressive sportsbook results in other markets, and the quality and experience of its team.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, which enshrined its first class in 1963 and currently has 326 members, is the centerpiece of HOF Village.
It remains to be seen if Ohio will someday offer real money online casino options the way Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania do.
This year, Michigan gaming options expanded to include online casino and online sports betting.
RSI, through its brands BetRivers and SugarHouse, has active sportsbooks in 12 states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
SugarHouse Casino was the first online casino product to launch in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.