The first five online sportsbook licenses approved for Ohio sports betting likely will not be the most-remembered part of Wednesday‘s meeting.
That distinction again fell to Matt Schuler, the executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. For the second time in a month, Schuler did not mince words in expressing disappointment over some OH sports betting applicants.
Schuler hopes applicants can stop acting like “petulant children” and allow the commission to get its work done. The first online sportsbooks in Ohio will launch after midnight on Jan. 1.
Schuler: stop calling about applications
There were two issues Schuler brought up specifically. The first was commission staff being “absolutely swamped” by companies that still had information to submit by Wednesday’s deadline.
The bigger issue, he said, was how frequently applicants are calling to find out when they will be on the commission’s agenda for approval.
“Applicants are also constantly barraging the staff as to when they are going to be on the agenda,” Schuler said. “They seem to believe that their application and their circumstances are more important than every other applicant that we have.”
Squeaky wheel? Replace it
Schuler said the callers reminded him of his children on a road trip constantly asking if they’re there yet. He then brought his most direct tongue-lashing yet:
“There is an American proverb that says the squeaky wheel gets the oil. In the commission, we replace squeaky wheels, alright? I’d like, instead of looking at that proverb, for our applicants to look at Newton’s third law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“And so my advice to the licensing division is every time an applicant calls with the when are we going to be on the agenda question, to move them to the bottom of the pile.
“Or better yet … instead of answering their question, I want them to forward it to my cell phone so I can have a nice, good conversation about professional courtesy, about respect for people, respect for the process and the genuine benefits of not acting like petulant children.”
Schuler’s comments come after he relayed some of the most unusual questions his staff received on a webinar held Tuesday.
Ohio sports betting applications approved
All of the items on Wednesday’s agenda were approved, including five sportsbook operators:
- bet365: mobile with the Cleveland Guardians
- Betfred: mobile with Cincinnati Bengals
- Caesars: retail and mobile with Scioto Downs and retail with the Cleveland Cavaliers
- PointsBet: mobile with PENN Enteratinment‘s Hollywood Mahoning Valley
- SuperBook: retail and mobile with FC Cincinnati
Six suppliers, 37 Ohio Lottery locations and integrity monitor US Integrity were also licensed at the meeting. The commission gave final approval to proposed rules for the market as well.