With the ink barely dry on Gov. Mike DeWine’s pen after he signed sports betting into law in Ohio, Rush Street Interactive announced Thursday that it would soon be operating a sportsbook in the entertainment district surrounding the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
According to a press release, RSI’s sportsbook is expected to be housed in Hall of Fame Village’s Fan Engagement Zone, which is part of an expansion that will include restaurants, retail outlets, a performance center, an indoor water park, a Hilton hotel, and mixed-use office and retail space. The sportsbook will be the first to be located at one of the four major sports’ halls of fame. Sports betting is not yet legal in Massachusetts, where basketball’s greats are enshrined, and there are no known plans for sportsbooks at baseball’s hall in Cooperstown, New York, or north of the border at hockey’s hall in Toronto.
“With the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, we see a variety of opportunities and benefits across our company’s multiple business lines,” Michael Crawford, HOFV’s president and CEO, said in the press release. “We are thrilled to work with RSI to bring a retail sportsbook to the Hall of Fame Village’s Fan Engagement Zone and provide guests and fans a new and enhanced way to interact with their favorite sports, all conveniently from our campus.”
We are excited to announce Rush Street Interactive will bring Sports Betting to the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls, which results in premier sports betting retail location at #HOFV's Fan Engagement Zone!https://t.co/4NCTvpsICf pic.twitter.com/b8YCvy5OEc
— Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls (@HOFVillage) December 23, 2021
“We look forward to offering a best-in-class sportsbook commensurate with the prestige of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village that fans across the country and world can enjoy,” added RSI CEO Richard Schwartz.
Per the release, the partnership will allow RSI to “leverage HOFV’s signage, branding, and certain media assets.” Additionally, “HOFV has access to Pro Football Hall of Famers and the legends of the game through its brand partnerships.”
Allow your imagination to run wild with that last bit of information. Historical Racing Terminals — slot-like machines where players wager actual money on horse races that have already been run — are a real thing, and simulated-game technology is only getting sharper. Want to take the over on Fred Biletnikoff’s total receiving yardage at BetRivers in a mythical matchup with Champ Bailey? Perhaps, one day, you’ll be able to.
Photo: Ed Balint/USA TODAY