Two months before sports betting becomes legal in Ohio, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati showed off its sports betting facility Tuesday. The new amenity will feature six betting windows and 33 kiosks for gamblers to place bets on a wide variety of sports. The sportsbook will be located adjacent to the casino’s Hard Rock Cafe and will feature 137 TVs.
The Hard Rock Sportsbook is set to open on January 1 at 12:01 a.m., the minute sports betting can be offered legally in the Buckeye State. Additionally, Hard Rock will launch an app for sports betting. According to the company, fans can already sign up for the app on iOS and Android or by going to its website.
The Hard Rock Sportsbook will launch with a blowout New Year’s Eve extravaganza highlighted by Cincinnati Reds legend and all-time hits leader Pete Rose placing the first bet at 12:01 a.m. January 1. Hard Rock is still awaiting approval for its sports betting license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which is expected to come at the commission’s next meeting Wednesday, reports Cincinnati Business Courier.
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati President George Goldhoff announced the list of Cincinnati sports celebrities who will celebrate New Year’s Eve and the launch of sports betting. They include:
• Cincinnati Reds Legend Pete Rose
• Hall of Fame Broadcaster Marty Brennaman
• Cincinnati Reds Legend Tom “Mr. Perfect” Browning
• Cincinnati Reds Legend Bronson Arroyo
• Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Wineberg
• Cincinnati Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz
• Cincinnati Bengals Legend Ickey Woods
• Cincinnati Bengals Legend Jim Breech
• Cincinnati Bengals Legend David Fulcher
“This is probably the largest selection of Cincinnati sports royalty Cincinnati has ever seen,” Goldhoff said, as reported by Cincinnati.com.
Win it ALL this New Year’s Eve! Touchdown at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati for the party of the year!
– Party with @Joe_MainMixon
– Sportsbook Grand Opening with @PeteRose_14
– Buffet featuring Snow Crab Legs & Prime Rib
– Celebrity Appearances
– Giveaways all night! pic.twitter.com/ZUzRfVFGWL
— Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati (@Hardrock_Cincy) November 1, 2022 However, Hard Rock will have plenty of local competition in the new market. The Cincinnati Reds, FC Cincinnati, and Belterra Park have been approved for physical retail sports betting operations. Additionally, the Cincinnati Bengals have been approved for mobile betting, as have the others. Miami Valley Racing and Gaming in Warren County is also expected to be approved to operate a sports betting facility, among other gaming venues.
Goldhoff said that’s nothing new for Hard Rock, which runs its own sports betting operation, with physical locations and digital apps, and already operates in other states. “Indiana has the entire market right now, but not everyone in Ohio goes there to bet,” he said, as reported by Business Journals. “However, there are far more licenses in the Cincinnati market. As far as our percentage of the market, we’re not certain. But we prepared appropriately. We have more than 400 seats in the cafe.”
Ohio’s law enables up to 40 licenses for brick-and-mortar sports betting at casinos, racinos, and venues that are home to professional sports teams, 25 licenses for mobile betting operators, and thousands of licenses for kiosks at bars and restaurants that have liquor permits.
Once it matures, Ohio’s sports betting market could generate $12 billion a year in bets and nearly $1 billion a year in gross gaming revenue, according to Eric Ramsey, an analyst with the PlayUSA.com network. Sports betting could bring an estimated $70 million to $90 million a year in tax revenue to the state.
Ohio lawmakers passed a bill late last year legalizing sports betting. The move follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 that allowed all states to legalize sports betting. Thirty states now have legal sports betting in operation and three others, including Ohio, have approved it but are not yet in operation.