Less than a week after it became the first Ohio professional sports team to apply for a sports betting license, the Cincinnati Bengals have named their partner.
In a statement Wednesday, the NFL team announced a multi-year deal with Betfred to be its official sports betting partner.
“The Bengals continue to look for exciting new ways to enhance the fan experience and this partnership will provide additional opportunities to engage with our fans,” said Bengals Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Sells said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Betfred to create fun, fan-focused activations that add to the excitement on gameday.”
Ohio Would Make Seven for Betfred
Betfred is a British-based operator that runs more than 1,400 shops in Great Britain. Its US division currently is licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
According to the Bengals statement, Betfred will apply for a mobile sports betting license in Ohio. If approved by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), the Bengals-Betfred partnership would lead to the development of special activations for Bengals fans, unique promotions, and a free-to-play game.
Betfred Group COO Mark Stebbings said the opportunity to enter Ohio, which will be the fourth largest legal market in the US when it goes live, is an exciting one for the company.
We look forward to engaging with fans across the state as we introduce them to unique betting promotions and content throughout the year,” he said.
SCCG Management brokered the Bengals deal for Betfred.
Friday Deadline Looming for Ohio Sports Betting
Sports betting in Ohio is set to start on Jan. 1, and the OCCC has released the applications for those interested in the three types of wagering that will be allowed: online (Type A), in-person sportsbook (Type B), and kiosks at select bars (Type C).
Under the setup, the state’s casinos, racinos and major league sports franchises can apply to serve as Type A and Type B proprietors. The Muirfield Village Golf Course, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Memorial tournament, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course may also apply for licenses.
Those entities and others will need to partner with management services provider (MSP) or a mobile management services provider (MMSP). Under the agreement announced Wednesday, Betfred would be the Bengals MMSP.
This week is an important week for Ohio sports betting. The OCCC has stated that proprietors and providers seeking to go live on the Jan. 1 universal start date must submit their applications by this Friday in order to ensure they would be approved in time for a New Year’s Day launch.
As of last Friday, JACK Cleveland Casino, JACK Thistledown racino, and HOF Village Newco – a sports and entertainment development district around the Pro Football Hall of Fame – have applied to serve as hosts for both an online platform and a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. The Bengals so far have just applied to host an MMSP.
Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fanatics, and PointsBet have applied for MMSP licenses, and BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics, and JACK Cleveland have submitted paperwork for MSP retail licenses.
Ohio’s sports betting law sets the number of online apps at 25 and retail sportsbooks at 40. In addition, the sportsbooks are limited to the larger counties in the state.
Besides the sportsbooks and the online apps, the Type C kiosks will be available to bars with certain licenses across the state. Through last week, the Ohio Lottery has prequalified more than 850 establishments, but those entities must still submit an application when they become available on Friday.
Bars that want kiosks on Jan. 1 will need to submit their applications by Aug. 15.
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