Ohio market launches
Bettors in Ohio were able to see in the New Year with a little more cheer than usual this time around. The state’s sports betting market launched in tandem with the beginning of 2023, making it one of more than 30 states with legal wagering in the US.
sports bettors flocked to the newly legalized offerings
When the clock hit 12 on New Year’s Day, Ohio sports bettors flocked to the newly legalized offerings. Barstool Sports took to Twitter with a video of baseball legend Pete Rose – who was banned from the sport in 1989 for betting on games – laying the first bet at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati:
News 5 Cleveland, meanwhile, reported that a Stow man, Matt Lewis, placed the first ever Ohio sports bet at MGM Northfield Park, seconds after the market went live. He backed the Cleveland Browns to beat the Washington Commanders, saying it felt right given the historic moment in Ohio.
The launch of the market is the welcomed culmination of a long and often torturously nitpicky legalization and licensing process which began when Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law in December 2021.
Marking the occasion
Over at JACK Casino in downtown Cleveland, it was Special Olympics Ohio (SOO) executive Christine Hoyer who made the venue’s first sports bet. The gambling venue shared the moment on Twitter:
According to News 5, betJACK planned to make a donation to SOO “matching the amount wagered in the first two hours of legal sports betting, up to $20,000.”
For many bettors, however, January 1 meant a chance to snap up the free bonuses and make hay of new sports betting options. Wrightway Sports Network CEO Malik Wright certainly didn’t wait to get involved in the action, as his impressive Betfred Sports betting slip revealed on Twitter:
Hard Rock, MGM Northwood Park, and JACK Casino are among the 12 licensed retail sportsbooks now available in Ohio. Betfred Sports is among the 16 online sportsbooks officially open for business on January 1. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has also given permission to other operators that will launch at latter stages over the year.
Judging from the many Ohioans flush from their free bet bonanza, bettors are over the moon about their state offering legal sports betting facilities. News 5 cites JACK Casino-goer Tony Banks as stating the gamblers among his friends and family:
have been waiting for this day.”
“We were looking for a place that’s close by. And now we finally have it,” Banks said.
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