Ohio Sports Betting: Cleveland Browns and Bally’s Announce Partnership Ahead of State Launch

The multi-year deal makes Bally’s an official sports betting partner of the team and provides its mobile sportsbook with access to the Ohio market when legal wagering launches there.

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2022 7:15 PM ET Read Time: 2 min
Myles Garrett Cleveland Browns NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Bally Bet is heading to the Dawg Pound. 

On Tuesday, it was announced the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns and the interactive division of Rhode Island-based Bally's Corp. have struck a long-term agreement that makes Bally’s an official sports betting partner of the team.

Pending certain regulatory approvals, the agreement includes a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium and allows for the launch of Bally’s mobile sportsbook app throughout Ohio when the state launches legal sports betting

Ohio is now the 18th state in which Bally’s has obtained online sports betting market access.

"We are excited to partner with such a historic pro football franchise to secure sports betting market access in Ohio and bring to its fan base more ways to engage through our online gaming platforms,” said Adi Dhandhania, chief operating officer of North America for Bally's Interactive, in a press release. “The Browns' stadium and gameday atmosphere provide a great opportunity for us to showcase our Bally Bet Sportsbook app and Bally Play products in Ohio."

Buckeye buds

Bally’s and the Browns will now spend the next couple of months ironing out the details of the lounge location and specific fan accommodations for the site. 

Fans that meet the 21-year-old age threshold will be able to immerse themselves in a social sports betting experience at the Bally-themed lounge on game days, where they’ll be able to place bets and watch the action from around the league. 

Bally’s partnership also resembles that of Caesars Entertainment Inc., which recently sealed a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers that makes the company's Caesars Sportsbook an official betting partner of the team.

The Caesars partnership features plans to unveil a state-of-the-art retail sportsbook on the street level inside the northwest atrium of the team’s home court, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The future 10,000+ square-foot space will be open year-round and will allow both ticket holders and the general public access to the sportsbook.

Countdown to launch

The partnerships come as Ohio regulators are working on getting sports betting off the ground. The process kicked off when Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law last December, which will allow online and retail sportsbooks in the state with a 10% tax on sports-betting revenue. 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), which is in charge of shaping Ohio's sports gaming rules, recently passed the fourth of five batches of rules that govern everything from supplier and employee licensing to gaming facility security to surveillance requirements.

Ohio’s statutory deadline to launch legal sports betting is January 1, 2023, and the OCCC must fulfill all necessary steps before launch, including five batches of rules.

While the state appears to be on target to meet the deadline, it risks missing out on millions of tax dollars by not heading to market by the start of this year’s NFL and NCAA football season. 

The football-loving Buckeye State is the seventh-most populous in the U.S. and will likely quickly become a top sports betting market in the nation. 

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