The Cincinnati Reds and BetMGM have announced plans to relocate their retail sportsbook from the Machine Room at Great American Ball Park to a new location at the Banks.
Cincinnati Reds Secure Former Night Club Space for New Sportsbook
The new sportsbook will be situated at the former Galla Park nightclub space, located at the corner of Second Street and Joe Knuxhall Way. Real estate sources have revealed that the Reds acquired a leasehold interest from the operators of Galla Park after the nightclub abruptly closed its doors in February, as reported by Ohio TV channel WCPO 9.
The decision to move the sportsbook to the Banks is expected to generate increased foot traffic, providing a much-needed boost to its performance. The current sportsbook at Great American Ball Park had the lowest revenue among all retail sportsbooks in Ohio, based on state revenue data.
While the Reds declined to comment on the relocation, they had previously expressed their interest in having a sportsbook at the Banks. CFO Doug Healy had stated in a May 2021 Ohio Senate panel that a retail presence on the riverfront would help drive economic activity and support businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
BetMGM had initially announced its partnership with the Reds in October last year, planning to open a sportsbook accessible from the stadium plaza. However, due to Major League Baseball rules prohibiting betting locations within ticketed areas of stadiums, the current sportsbook was established on the northeast corner of Great American Ball Park.
BetMGM Sportsbook’s Struggles Lead to Relocation Plan
The relocation decision was further reinforced by the underwhelming performance of the current sportsbook. According to reports from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the BetMGM location at Great American Ball Park failed to generate revenue and incurred a net loss of $8,025 from January to April. In contrast, the best-performing retail sportsbook in Ohio, located at Hard Rock Cincinnati Casino, recorded $1.6 million in taxable gaming receipts during the same period.
The BetMGM sportsbook gained recognition in April when it alerted gaming authorities about a college baseball betting scandal that led to the dismissal of three coaches. Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, commended BetMGM for its actions and stated that the case was a success for regulators. The investigation into the betting irregularities is ongoing, and potential NCAA violations are being examined.
Additionally, the Ohio Casino Control Commission imposed a temporary ban on betting on college baseball games involving the Alabama Crimson Tide due to suspicious wagering activity.