MaximBet Sportsbook launched in Colorado last week, but will come to more states soon, including an online casino in Pennsylvania

MaximBet’s Reveals Caesars As PA Market Access Partner, Still Silent On Ohio

The owners of MaximBet have a lot of cards in play. Their new MaximBet Casino product is still in the works. In the meantime, MaximBet announced yesterday that it has a winning hand ready in Pennsylvania through an online casino market access partnership with Caesars Entertainment. It has also said that it has a retail casino partner in Ohio for sports betting, but can’t reveal who quite yet.

MaximBet Sportsbook is already live, even though its casino is yet to come. The newest online casino brand in the US is formed from a partnership between Carousel Group and the eponymous men’s magazine, Maxim. Carousel has rebranded its existing app, Sportsbetting.com, to get MaximBet off the ground in Colorado.

Other than Colorado, MaximBet is juggling Canadian and US online casino and sports betting plans in several jurisdictions. In the United States alone, the operator that formed in April now has online gambling and sports betting deals in the works in six states:

  • Arizona
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

MaximBet is mainly an online sports betting operator

Indiana, Iowa and New Jersey all have Sportsbetting.com apps in the works. These will rebrand to MaximBet just like the one in Colorado. In the meantime, MaximBet is working on launching a new online sportsbook in Arizona, where Sportsbetting.com doesn’t have a presence.

In its Aug. 12 announcement about MaximBet, ZK International Group Co. of China said this portfolio company will be applying to launch an online sportsbook in Arizona:

“In Arizona, the White Mountain Apache Tribe and MaximBet have jointly applied to the Arizona Department of Gaming to secure licensure. If the tribe’s license application is successful, MaximBet will launch quickly in Arizona. MaximBet is also launching in Colorado in September, followed by Iowa, Indiana and New Jersey, subject to regulatory approvals.”

In PA, MaximBet is joining a crowded field

Pennsylvania online poker, casino and sportsbooks have reached maturity as a market. There, Caesars Casino and Sportsbook is already taking names and cashing checks with direct market access secured through its own property there, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack.

However, MaximBet has a Pennsylvania iGaming market access deal with Caesars and plans to introduce MaximBet Casino there.

From BetMGM Casino to Wind Creek, 16 brands already operate online casinos in the state.

The MaximBet spokeswoman told OPR yesterday that the brand would also like to introduce an online sportbook in the state, eventually. Pennsylvania has a dozen of those already, too.

However, MaximBet doesn’t plan to just play the hand it’s dealt.

MaximBet CEO Daniel Graetzer said yesterday:

“Every new market we enter, our sole focus is on bringing the best experience to the customer – by providing them not only with a world-class sportsbook and casino, but also with access to money-can’t-buy experiences that only a lifestyle brand can provide.”

MaximBet wants to be a Buckeye

As for its online sports betting plans for Ohio, a MaximBet spokeswoman told Online Poker Report yesterday that the operator can’t name its retail casino partner there. She said MaximBet Casino would ideally also secure a market access partner in the Buckeye State in the future.

Sports betting – often the prerequisite to legal online casino gambling – isn’t yet legal in Ohio. However, OPR‘s sister site – Legal Sports Report – notes that Ohio lawmakers made several efforts to pass legislation before recessing for the summer.

SB No. 176 to “legalize and regulate sports gaming” is the most promising bill in the Ohio General Assembly currently. The legislature will reconvene next week. As for online casino gambling legalization, the timing is anyone’s bet.

Once online sports betting is legal in Ohio, MaximBet will be entering a market with nearly 12 million residents.

Many possible partners in Ohio

So who could the mystery retail casino partner be? While Caesars is MaximBet’s partner in Pennsylvania, it would be odd for Caesars Sportsbook to cede a market full of Ohio State football fans to a competitor. Furthermore, if the MaximBet/Caesars deal spanned multiple states, it’s likely they all would have been announced at once.

A closer look at Caesars’ history in the Buckeye State shows that it invested heavily in Ohio’s first retail casino, Horseshoe Cleveland, only to bow out three years later. In 2015, Rock Gaming bought Caesars’ shares in the Cleveland casino and the Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino and ThistleDown Racino.

That leaves Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Columbus as Caesars’ sole presence in the state.

The properties have since been renamed:

  • Jack Cleveland Casino
  • Jack ThistleDown Racino
  • Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati

So, MaximBet’s unnamed partner could be any of those three. Aside from them, there are still three other possibilities to consider:

  • MGM Northfield Park;
  • Belterra Park Cincinnati, operated by Boyd Gaming; or
  • Miami Valley Gaming, a joint venture of Delaware North and Churchill Downs Inc.
- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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