The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers open their regular season schedule tonight but might open the new year without a mobile sports betting partner.

The Cavs are running out of time to join with a mobile operator to replace its previous partner, now-defunct Fubo Sportsbook, before legal Ohio online sportsbooks go live on Jan. 1, 2023. Ohioans will be able to place legal sports bets when the clock strikes midnight to usher in the new year.

‘Unlikely’ Cavs’ Betting Partner Ready by Launch

Jessica Franks, the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s director of communications, told Gambling.com on Wednesday it is not impossible, but “very unlikely,” that the Cavs’ new mobile sports betting partner will be able to launch on the first day, given regulatory and compliance requirements.

By Wednesday, the NBA team had not announced a replacement partner for Fubo Sportsbook. Once the team arranges for a new partnership, it has 10 days to notify the commission of its plans.

Online bookmakers are required to partner with a licensed Ohio operator, including professional sports teams. 

The Cavaliers’ arrangement with a new mobile bookmaker will not have an impact on its relationship with on-site partner Caesars Sportsbook, Franks said. 

Pending final approval, Caesars will be able to open the sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland and begin accepting bets on Jan. 1.

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Cavs Travel To Canada For Season Opener

The Cavaliers open their season on the road today at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Toronto Raptors. The Cavs are 2.5-point underdogs at FanDuel Sportsbook. The team travels to Chicago for a game Saturday against the Bulls before returning to Cleveland for its first home game of the season, a 7 p.m. ET contest against the Washington Wizards.

Most online bookmakers put the Cavs about in the middle of the 30-team league in its chances of winning the NBA title this season. At BetMGM Sportsbook, the Cavs are +3000 to win the 2022-23 league championship. The Boston Celtics, at +500, are considered the most likely team to win the title.

Fubo Sportsbook Shuttered This Week

New York City-based FuboTV Inc., citing a “challenging macroeconomic environment,” announced Monday it would immediately shut down its online gaming operations. On its website, Fubo Sportsbook this week posted instructions for users seeking refunds for money deposited but not yet wagered.

The closure of Fubo Sportsbook does not have an impact on FuboTV subscribers. With a U.S. subscriber base of 1.22 million, FuboTV will remain in operation.

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