Legal sports betting may not be available in Ohio until Jan. 1, 2023, but JACK Entertainment on Tuesday got a head start on familiarizing potential customers with how its done by launching a free-to-play sports digital sports betting platform.
The company announced players who use BetJACK will get 100 tokens every day they log in and can use the tokens to “wager” on professional and college sports as well as esports. In February it launched the “training camp” portion of its site, which included free-to-play contests. The updated version of the platform now allows would-be bettors to practice “wagering” on live events.
JACK Entertainment, which has long had a retail presence in Ohio, has plans to open brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at its Cleveland casino and North Randall racetrack. It said the new retail locations will be in the image of Las Vegas sportsbooks with state-of-the-art video walls, teller windows, kiosks, and comfortable seating. The company also plans to launch a digital platform.
In addition to educating players about how to bet on sports, the new online games will also help JACK Entertainment build a customer database.
The platform, available at betjack.com and through the company’s app, lists everything from Major League Baseball and snooker to Formula 1 as wagering options. Would-be bettors can use the site and win virtual trophies while practicing wagering on spreads, moneylines, over/unders, and parlays as well as in-game betting, according to the company’s press release. Players can click on the “training camp” logo for insight on how to bet specific sports, how to calculate odds, and for updates on the status of legal wagering in Ohio. The platform also offers streaming for some events.
“JACK is thrilled to provide a fun and engaging platform to help Ohio sports fans become familiar with the world of sports betting,” said Brian Eby, president of JACK Entertainment. “Designed with the Ohio sports fan in mind, we are confident that betJACK will not only be a source of great entertainment but serve as an important tool to help Ohioans learn and become comfortable with sports betting.”
OCCC moving forward with rules
Ohio lawmakers legalized sports wagering in December with plans to have it available no later than Jan. 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which is the regulator, is in the midst of a rule-making process expected to last about six months. It has been releasing proposed rules for public comment and announced at Wednesday’s meeting that Batch 3 of rules are ready to be filed with the Common Sense Initiative Office.
So far, the OCCC has released five batches of rules, covering everything from general licensing and exclusion programs to employee and proprietor licensing. Once they are completed, the commission will begin designing the application process. According to its website, the commission likely won’t begin accepting applications until late summer or early fall. It next meets April 20, marking a shift to two meetings per month to further its progress.
JACK Entertainment expects to be one of many operators that will offer sports betting in the state. The new law allows for physical sportsbooks and “sports gaming” platforms tied to existing casinos and professional sports venues, as well as opportunities for smaller businesses to have retail betting locations.