AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — For the first time ever, Ohioans are able to bet on The Big Game here in the state of Ohio because it’s now legal. The barstool sportsbook opened just in time for the big game.
First News went to Hollywood Gaming in Austintown to talk to those partaking in Super Bowl festivities and sports betting.
Wayne Holloway, of Youngstown, is excited about a play early in the big game. He told First News he placed a few bets.
“It brings more to the game, you know?” Holloway said. “I like to talk a lot of smack, like I met some friends here that talk smack. It just amps it up a little bit more than just cheering for the team.”
Tables were filled and bets were made — something Kevin Brogan from Hollywood Gaming is excited about.
“Super Bowl usually slows down a bit for us. Everybody wants to party at home, make the tailgate food. Lots of fun there. It’s the first time with legal sports betting here and the energy is just electric for sure.”
Brogan thinks this new sportsbook could draw a younger crowd to the casino. Harrison Vankirk and his friends are part of that young adult age group.
“It feels great because you can just come here whenever,” Vankirk said. “It’s a five-minute drive from where I live, personally, so it feels good to just have it right here. Really convenient again.”
While many say the convenience of betting from your phone is a perk, Holloway disagrees.
“I’m tired of all of the app stuff. I’m a personal person, people person. So why not. I come talk, run my mouth, so they can tell me to shut up, whatever,” Holloway said.
They say it’s all about the environment.
“If you got a 14-by-8-foot TV screen at your house, I’m coming over to see you for sure. We’ve got three of them here. The sound. The acoustics, the crowd, the food,” Brogan said.