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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Fall is approaching and for sports fans, that means the start of football, hockey, basketball and much more. It will be the first fall where Ohioans can legally bet on sports and they will be able to in-person in downtown Columbus.
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced they have partnered with Fanatics Betting and Gaming division to open an in-person retail sportsbook at 401 N Front St. next to Nationwide Arena. The sportsbook is scheduled to open at the end of August, in time for Blue Jackets hockey, the NFL season, and Ohio State football.
“The Columbus Blue Jackets are constantly seeking new and exciting ways to engage with our fans,” said Blue Jackets Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cameron Scholvin. “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.”
According to the release, the 5,000-square-foot sportsbook will have four betting windows along with multiple self-service kiosks, an LED video wall, more than a dozen TVs and a restaurant. It will be the first in-person sportsbook in downtown Columbus and the third in the city, joining the Barstool Sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino on the southwest side and the Caesars Sportsbook at Scioto Downs.
Fanatics, Inc. was founded in 2011 and has become one of the leading retailers of licensed sportswear. It has partnerships with the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, Formula 1, WNBA, USGA, LPGA and multiple soccer teams around the globe.
Earlier this year, Fanatics launched its online sports betting application for beta testing in four states, including Ohio. Its Columbus in-person sportsbook will be Fanatics’ second in-person sportsbook near or inside a major American sports venue. In January, Fanatics opened a sportsbook inside FedEx Field, home of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
The Buckeyes State broke $1 billion placed in legal sports bets during the first month of 2023 at the height of the NFL playoffs and regular season play in the NBA, NHL, and college basketball. A high majority of the $208 million in revenue made in January from sports bets was from online wagers.
The Columbus Blue Jackets season begins on October 12 at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. The game will be the Columbus head coaching debut for Mike Babcock against the Jackets’ former coach and current Flyers coach, John Tortorella.