Blue Jackets jump on sportsbooks bandwagon


Fanatics will open retail store at Nationwide Arena Image: Columbus Blue Jackets

Retail sportsbooks are becoming the must-have amenity for professional sports franchises in Ohio (US).

‘GAMING TODAY’ stated that the National Hockey League (NHL) team Columbus Blue Jackets hopped on the trend recently, as Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the online and retail sports betting company within the global digital sports platform, announced plans for one adjacent to the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio (US), home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference, and began play as an expansion team in 2000.

The 20,000-capacity Nationwide Arena is a multipurpose arena in the Arena District of Columbus, Ohio (US). Since completion in 2000, the arena has served as the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL).

New York (US)-based Fanatics are building a leading global digital sports platform. The company ignites the passions of global sports fans and maximizes the presence and reach for hundreds of sports partners globally by offering innovative products and services across Fanatics Commerce, Fanatics Collectibles and Fanatics Betting and Gaming, allowing sports fans to Buy, Collect and Bet.

Through the Fanatics platform, sports fans can buy licensed fan gear, jerseys, lifestyle and streetwear products, headwear, and hardgoods, collect physical and digital trading cards, sports memorabilia and other digital assets, and bet as the company builds its Sportsbook and iGaming platform. Fanatics has an established database of over 100 million global sports fans, a global partner network with over 900 sports properties, including major national and international professional sports leagues, teams, players associations, athletes, celebrities, colleges, and college Conferences, and over 2,000 retail locations.

‘GAMING TODAY’ further stated that unlike retail sportsbooks located within the 20,356-capacity Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. and the 18,422-capacity Footprint Center in Phoenix, the Fanatics shop in the Arena District will set up nearby the venue as a fan experience, as has become the industry norm.

It’s scheduled to open in late August, on a similar timetable as another Fanatics retail spot in the 34,830-capacity Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Cleveland Guardians.

According to a Fanatics release, the sportsbook in Columbus will be located at 401 North Front Street. The main entrance will be located “in the alleyway immediately North of the entrances to Buca di Beppo (American restaurant chain) and Starbucks”.

The Columbus Blue Jackets Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Cameron Scholvin said in a release, “The Columbus Blue Jackets are constantly seeking new and exciting ways to engage with our fans. We believe this collaboration with Fanatics Betting and Gaming on a world-class sportsbook location just outside the doors of Nationwide Arena in the heart of the Arena District does just that.”

Fanatics are also the online sports betting partner of the Blue Jackets. The company, which recently agreed to purchase the American assets of the PointsBet sports betting brand, is quasi-live for mobile betting in four States, officially beta testing in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee.

PointsBet is an Australian-based betting company that operates in 14 American States. It has the seventh-highest market share among online sportsbooks in the United States, behind industry leaders such as BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.

Details of the Blue Jackets’ Fanatics Sportsbook:

  • More than 5,000 square feet;
  • Four betting windows;
  • Fourteen (14) self-service betting kiosks;
  • An LED video wall;
  • Twenty (20) TV monitors; and
  • A full-service restaurant.

Said Ari Borod, Chief Business Officer, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Jackets to bring a world-class retail experience to the arena district in downtown Columbus. The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnership to grow with them and complement our online sports betting experience that is currently being beta-tested in Ohio.”

Most Ohio Pro Teams Planned Sportsbooks or Lounges

By Ohio sports betting law, pro teams and horse racing tracks, in addition to casinos, can apply for licenses to partner with gambling companies to open retail sportsbooks.

All those pro sports teams have been approved by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, but the State’s two National Football League (NFL) teams (Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns) have not acted upon the ability to build a sportsbook, although the NFL team Cleveland Browns plan to open a Bally’s sports lounge in their residence – the 67,431-capacity Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The NFL team Cincinnati Bengals have an official sports betting partnership with Betfred that, according to sources, will include “a variety of fan engagement activations, promotions and free-to-play gaming opportunities” but no lounge for their digs – the 65,515-capacity Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is a gaming control Board in Ohio that provides oversight of the State’s casinos.

While the MLB team Cincinnati Reds’ relocated BetMGM retail sportsbook will be less than a half mile away from the Paycor Stadium.

The BetMGM is a partnership between the MGM Resorts International and Entain Holdings that is revolutionizing sports betting and online gaming in the United States.

The Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew boast a Tipico lounge.

Sportsbooks at Ohio Pro Venues:

  • Cincinnati Reds (MLB): Their BetMGM retail spot will move out of their residence – the 42,271-capacity Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a nearby locale the team hopes will generate more business;
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association [NBA]): Caesars opened a two-story sportsbook in the atrium of the Cleveland Cavaliers home ground – the 19,432-capacity Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Cleveland Guardians (MLB): Plans to open a Fanatics sportsbook in August;
  • Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL): A Fanatics sportsbook is also planned for August; and
  • FC Cincinnati (MLS): The team opened a satellite SuperBook Sports retail shop at Taft’s Ale House near their home venue – the 26,000-capacity TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio; and
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Village: Announced plans for a BetRivers retail sportsbook.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the Hall of Fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio.

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