JACK Entertainment Debuts Free-to-Play Ohio Sports Betting App

Posted on: April 6, 2022, 07:46h. 

Last updated on: April 6, 2022, 11:10h.

Sports betting is legal in Ohio, but it’s not yet live. JACK Entertainment is filling the void, rolling out its free-to-play betJACK mobile app yesterday ahead of the launch of live wagering.

Ohio sports betting
The JACK Cleveland Casino. The operator launched a free-to-play sports betting app. (Image: Bloomberg)

JACK Entertainment — the JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino operator in North Randall casinos — launched desktop and mobile versions of its sports wagering platform to give prospective bettors a chance to take test drives without putting real money on the line.

Rather than using cash, clients use tokens, and they receive an allotment of 100 per day. The app is appropriately dubbed betJACK Training Camp and is available on the Apple and Android app stores.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed the state’s sports wagering legislation into law last December, making it the 33rd state to join the legal sports betting lineup. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) must develop rules and regulations before sportsbooks accept real money wagers. That process could take up to six months.

For now, what is clear is that the state has a deadline of Jan. 1, 2023, to launch regulated sports betting. Wagering on college, pro, and esports will be permitted, and the tax rate will be 10%, with the bulk of those proceeds allocated to K-12 public education.

Ohio Sports Betting Offers Big Potential

JACK could prove prescient in rolling out a free sports betting platform ahead of the real thing because some experts are forecasting big things for Ohio’s sports wagering market.

Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming points out Ohio will have low taxes on sports betting, will allow multiple skins, and is home to a devoted sports fan base — traits that could allow the state to become one of the meccas of Midwest sports wagering.

Home to 11.54 million residents, Ohio is the seventh-largest state, and it has rabid fanbases for college and pro teams, including Ohio State and the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, among others.

JACK is also getting out in front of its competition, of which there’s plenty. There are 11 casinos and racinos in the state, and each could have up to three sports wagering skins, with as many as 14 already spoken for, according to Eilers & Krejcik. Well-known operators of land-based casinos in the state include Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Penn National Gaming.

Other JACK Plans

The gaming company plans to open retail sportsbooks at the aforementioned land-based casinos.

Both locations will have Las Vegas-style sportsbooks with video walls, comfortable lounge chairs, and all the amenities that go along with that,” reports Cleveland.com.

Gaming real estate investment trust (REIT) VICI Properties acquired the property assets of JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino for $843.3 million in October 2019. The Cleveland gaming venue is connected to the Renaissance and Ritz Carlton hotels in the downtown area.