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Bengals announce sports betting partner as the team prepares to take wagers in 2023

Baishampayan Ghose
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Google Creative Commons

The Cincinnati Bengals are kicking off another way for fans to engage. The team announced Wednesday its sports betting partner is Betfred. Sports betting becomes legal in Ohio January 1, 2023.

At the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s “Eggs ‘N Issues” event Tuesday, Bengals Director of Corporate Sales Ryan Holmes said this kind of wagering is a “unique tipping point in the sports industry right now.”

Holmes admitted, “It can be a touchy subject but there is a lot of illegal sports betting happening and what you are seeing are states across the country” developing plans to legalize it.

The Bengals are just one of eight applicants for 85 available sports betting licenses WCPO reports. A flurry of applications are expected before the July 16 deadline. Getting it in by then assures you can start accepting bets Jan. 1.

Fans in Ohio have three separate options to bet:

  1. Mobile phone
  2. Kiosk
  3. Lottery


Holmes says 85% will bet on their phone. “I think it’s a unique opportunity for our fans and the region. Hopefully it works well. I think Ohio set it up well. I think we are learning from other states.”

Professional teams across Ohio are lining up sports betting partners. They include the Cleveland Browns and the Columbus Crew.

Holmes says the first opportunity to bet on the Bengals is January 2, 2023 when Cincinnati takes on the Buffalo Bills.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.