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Sports betting location opens in Columbus' Arena District

The Columbus Blue Jackets Fanatics Sportsbook location in Arena District.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Fanatics Sportsbook opened a retail sportsbook location on Friday in Columbus' Arena District. The sportsbook is just outside Nationwide Arena, which is home to the Blue Jackets.

The newest retail sports betting location has opened in Columbus' Arena District near Nationwide Arena in partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fans over age 21 can spend time at Fanatics Sportsbook on North Front Street not only betting but also eating, drinking and watching games. The sportsbook is located just outside Nationwide Arena, the home of the Blue Jackets.

"They may have a bar or the ability to have food,” said Jessica Franks, spokeswoman for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “They do tend to try to encourage patrons to go in there, you know, not just place a bet, but also maybe stay and watch the games."

Franks said Fanatics Sportsbook is the third retail sports betting facility open in Central Ohio. There are also similar facilities at Hollywood Casino Columbus and Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs. Two other locations with the Columbus Crew and Muirfield Village also have such licenses but have not yet opened.

"It's another option for consumers, but what I can tell you is the vast, vast majority of waivers on sports are placed online,” Franks said.

Sports betting became legal in January. Franks said that has increased some of the workload at the Ohio Casino Commission. Already, the agency has added more than 5% more staff.

“If we need additional staff to help support us as sports gaming continues, we will hire additional staff as needed,” says Franks. “We're just kind of trying to see what the workload looks like,” says Franks. On a day-to-day basis.”

Franks says sports betting through June, has brought in $50 million in tax revenues.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.