Ohio sports betting is still five months away, but the Cincinnati Bengals have already found their first betting partner.
The NFL team recently announced a multi-year deal to make Betfred its official sports betting partner.
The partnership covers fan engagement activations, promotions and free-to-play gaming, a release said.
Battle for Ohio sports betting
Legal sports betting in Ohio will officially begin on January 1, 2023.
As one of two NFL teams in the state, the Bengals are a key marketing asset. The team also applied for a sports betting license of its own this week.
That mobile proprietor sports betting license would allow them to partner with up to two mobile sportsbooks.
“We look forward to working with Betfred to create fun, fan-focused activations that add to the excitement on gameday,” said Bengals CMO Brian Sells.
US expansion for Betfred
For Betfred, Ohio will mark its seventh US state. The company previously did a similar marketing deal with the Denver Broncos in Colorado that included a betting lounge outside Mile High stadium.
“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with the Bengals as we continue to expand Betfred across the US and into Ohio with the launch of sports betting in the near future,” said Mark Stebbings, Betfred group chief operating officer.
“The Bengals are a premier franchise with a passionate fanbase and a history of innovation that aligns with our brand. We look forward to engaging with fans across the state as we introduce them to unique betting promotions and content throughout the year.”
Ohio sports betting competition heating up
Other Ohio license applicants so far include:
Local casino operator JACK Entertainment has also applied for a retail license for its betJACK brand. BetJACK also launched a free-to-play app to build up a database of potential bettors.