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Cavaliers, Guardians latest to receive approval for sports betting starting January 1

Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 18:49:51-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Casino Control Commission Tuesday gave the green light for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Guardians along with MGM Northfield Park to move forward with their plans for online and in-person sports betting.

They were among the latest crop of approvals issued Tuesday for Type A and B sports betting licenses.

Type A is the online licenses of which there are 25 and Type B are the brick-and-mortar sports books of which there are 40 available licenses. Those slots though determined by population with only Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton granted the maximum of 5.

The legislation gives priority to the state's four casinos and seven racinos as well as the state's 11 sports teams or events. The Cavs and Guardians join the two JACK properties and the Cleveland Browns, which had received approval earlier this month. That brings to five the number of approvals given, blocking out any other potential hopefuls like Harry Buffalo, which also applied.

Also receiving conditional approval Wednesday were FC Cincinnati, Scioto Downs, Hollywood Columbus and Dayton, along with the Cincinnati Bengals, but unlike the other professional sports teams, the Bengals only applied for the online Type A license. The Ohio Casino Control Commission asked the team's representative at the meeting about that.

"As it currently stands, the NFL does not allow in-person sports betting at any stadium," said Bengals Counsel Emma Compton. "So BetFred (the team's online betting partner) and the team chose not to pursue a Type B license because of this."

A commissioner with the state commission asked, "but you can bet on a mobile phone sitting there?"

Compton replied, "Correct, there can be no live in-person sports betting at a stadium."

The Browns though have applied for and received approval for both Type A and B licenses. News 5 reached out to the team to see if that means their sportsbook will be built outside of the stadium or in it but not open on game days. A team spokesperson said they "will have more to share at a later date."

An additional 300 Type C licenses were also approved, these are the kiosks that will be located in bars, restaurants, supermarkets and other places where you find Ohio Lottery kiosks.

The commission will be meeting every two weeks over the next two months to work their way through the license approval process ahead of the January 1 launch date.