The Cleveland Browns made a splash this week by naming Bally’s Interactive their official sports betting partner. Legal Ohio sports betting has yet to launch in Ohio, but the sports betting bill signed into law by Gov. Mike Dewine mandates that it does so by Jan. 1, 2023.
Bally’s secures access to the Ohio market and earns the right to launch its branded sportsbook in the state via an approved license that would be granted to the Browns under terms of the Ohio sports betting laws. According to terms of the relationship, there will eventually be a Bally’s-branded lounge at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, as well as marketing opportunities with the Browns on their media channels and fan-focused betting-related events in the venue.
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Other Partnerships Of Its Kind
Several National Football League teams have secured official partnerships with betting companies. In June 2020, the Denver Broncos became the first team to sign a deal, entering into a contract with FanDuel. The NFL became the first of the four major professional leagues in the United States to sign a deal with an official sports betting partner, back in April of 2021. The league now has seven betting partners: Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet.
Elsewhere in Ohio, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced a sports betting partnership with Caesars. Other Ohio sports betting partnerships include Columbus Crew SC with Tipico Sportsbook and betPARX with The Memorial Tournament.
The Cincinnati Bengals have yet to partner with a sportsbook, though last year they entered a deal with UK-based Low6 Limited to offer free-to-play gaming apps.
Under the plans of their partnership with Bally’s, the Browns would provide a space in their stadium for fans to wager on sports while enjoying NFL action, food, and entertainment. These types of retail sportsbooks in and around professional sports venues are lucrative for sportsbooks to attract customers and brand themselves. In Ohio, you must be 21 years of age to bet on sports.
Bally’s Interactive Has Presence Nationwide
A Bally’s mobile sportsbook would be part of a much anticipated Ohio market. According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the state’s sports betting market could generate as much as $3.35 billion within two years of operation. Several neighboring states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, have healthy sports betting and iGaming markets.
Ohio would mark the 18th state where Bally’s is active in sports betting and/or online casino gaming. In addition, the Bally’s brand is attached to more than two dozen regional sports markets, including Bally’s Sports Ohio (owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group), which broadcasts games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds, and Columbus Blue Jackets.
AP Photo/David Richard