JACK Entertainment opens pre-launch sportsbook in Ohio

Posted on: Nov 22, 2022 10:33 am.

Last updated on: November 22, 2022 10:33 am.

Sportsbook in Ohio won’t be ready for another 40 days. As of Wednesday, however, sports fans in the Cleveland area can visit two of the retail sportsbooks scheduled to open on Jan. 1.

Bet JACK
A betJACK sportsbook for retail. JACK Entertainment announced it will open lounges at its JACK Cleveland and Thistledown facilities Wednesday ahead of the official start of sports betting in Ohio on New Year’s Day. (Image: JACK Entertainment)

JACK Entertainment announced Tuesday that its betJACK Sportsbooks will open Wednesday at JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino. The similarly styled brick-and-mortar venues offer a range of seating options, from bartop seats to theater-style lounge chairs. Over the next few weeks, guests will be able to watch major sporting events from the facilities. That includes the college football game between Ohio State and Michigan this weekend.

At the Cleveland Casino, the sportsbook also features a 12-seat video poker bar and a 9-table gaming pit.

When sports betting goes online, both venues will have ticket writers at the train stations as well as self-service kiosks.

Brian Eby, president of JACK Entertainment, said he believes the company’s sportsbook will “set the standard” for sports betting in Ohio.

We are excited to introduce our state-of-the-art sportsbook, bringing unparalleled experiences to Northeast Ohio and will quickly become popular destinations for fans to catch all the action.” said Ebi. “We owe it to our Ohio sports fans to deliver something great, and we’re confident they won’t be disappointed.”

The opening of the sportsbook marks the culmination of a $100 million investment the Cleveland-based gaming and entertainment company has made in its casino and Thistledown.

Online app with free play now

In addition to the trading books, betJACK will also operate an online platform.

The App and Website are currently available in what JACK Entertainment refers to as “Training Camp” or Free Play Mode. In preparation for January 1st, the betJACK site is offering promotions such as raffles for a $500 gift card, tickets to the Cleveland Cavaliers – Los Angeles Lakers game on December 6th and tickets to the Crosstown Shootout on December 10th ‘, the annual college basketball game between Xavier and Cincinnati.

Shape Games, which was acquired by Kambi Group in September, developed the online platform.

Busy weeks ahead

JACK’s sportsbook and app won’t be the only ones planning to launch in Ohio on New Year’s Day.

It’s uncertain how many retail sportsbooks and online sites will launch (and don’t forget kiosks, either), but the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has been busy reviewing and approving licenses for both the owners and them on-line.

As of last Wednesday’s OCCC meeting, JACK Cleveland and Thistledown are among the 22 Type A properties conditionally licensed to host online sportsbooks. The JACK properties are also two of the 21 owners who are conditionally licensed to host retail sportsbooks.

The OCCC has also approved 16 online sports betting providers with conditions. Officials have also tentatively approved 10 retail businesses that plan to operate 17 sportsbooks statewide.

BetJACK is one of the approved operators. JACK Cleveland also has a partnership with PlayUp pending approval. MaximBet was also supposed to be a partner of JACK Cleveland, but the Carousel Group brand announced last week that it was ceasing operations.

Regulators will inspect sites, equipment and internal controls over the next month to give final approval for operators ready to start taking bets on January 1st.

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