The racino in Warren County is renovating space where it will offer sports betting when it becomes legal next year.
Miami Valley Gaming President and General Manager Craig Robinson said work has started inside the premises to provide guests with the best gaming experience possible. The existing horse race betting area will also host sports gambling, Robinson said.
“There will be dedicated betting windows in that area for both sports wagering and of course race betting. We’ll also have self-service kiosks for sports betting. We already have self-service kiosks for horse race betting in that area,” Robinson said. “So those will all reside in that room.”
The racino is upgrading its equipment so it can put more televisions in the area and will show sporting events on televisions at other places in the racino so patrons can bet and watch the games.
Miami Valley Gaming was given the go-ahead by the Ohio Casino Control Commission last week to offer legal sports gambling, which will begin in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. Robinson said the racino is still working with the commission to get approval on its equipment and other necessities to launch the “sportsbook,” as sports betting facilities are called. A specific date for when it will offer sports gambling has not been announced.
Robinson said he does expect it to launch sometime in January, and the racino plans to announce the date sometime in December.
The state estimates that regulated sports betting will be a $1 billion industry in Ohio in its first year or so of operation, growing to $3.35 billion within a few years. Since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling four years ago cleared the way for all 50 states to legalize sports gambling, Americans have bet more than $125 billion on sports, according to the Associated Press.
Miami Valley Gaming is investing in its sports gambling product with both construction and technology upgrades, Robinson said, and expects its sportsbook will be worth those investments when it launches.
“I think for our customer base, it is definitely going to be something that they are going to enjoy having access to,” Robinson said.
“We think it is definitely going to be an add to our business, but what we don’t know specifically is how big of an add that’s going to be,” he said.
Along with the sports gambling being offered in the racino, Miami Valley Gaming is also going to launch the MVGbet online and mobile app.
“It will be a user-friendly and unintimidating online and mobile sports betting platform as an ideal first experience for people who want to try sports betting,” Robinson said, adding that it will also be a convenient extension to the onsite betting experience.
Meanwhile, in Montgomery County, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway was approved by the commission for sports gambling in September and recently announced it expects to offer sports gambling on Jan. 1.
It announced that it will open a Barstool Sportsbook that will offer wagering counters with ticket writer stations as well as kiosks.
“Once finished, the Barstool Sportsbook will offer seating to 130 guests and create a fantastic game viewing experience,” the racino said in its announcement. “The new venue will include a restaurant with a full-service bar and several large-screen televisions, including a 34-foot-wide viewing screen above the bar. The new Barstool Sportsbook will be conveniently located directly on the gaming floor for guests looking to wager on games.”
The racinos aren’t the only places people will be able to bet once sports gambling becomes legal in Ohio. Many local bars and restaurants have received approval to offer kiosks at their establishments, and Ohioans will also be able to gamble using their phones on sports betting apps.