Ohio lawmakers passed the necessary legislation for legal sports betting last December. Soon after, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed that bill into law. One of the provisions of that bill stated that legal sports betting in Ohio has to launch before Jan. 1, 2023.
With the whole matter in the hands of Ohio gaming regulators, the process to go live with both retail and online sports betting has been underway. Rules and regulations need to be approved and a system for licensing put into place. While everything appears to be on schedule, inevitable delays are always part of the process.
There is still hope that legal sports betting in Ohio can launch in the fall for football season. To wet the appetite of diehard sports fans in the Buckeye State, one Ohio gaming company is giving would-be sports bettors a head start.
JACK Entertainment Free-to-Play Sports Betting App
Based in Cleveland, JACK Entertainment owns and operates JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino. With legal betting coming to Ohio, the company already announced plans for a pair of Las Vegas-style retail sportsbooks in each of those gaming venues.
The company’s latest move was to rollout its own free-to-play betJACK mobile sportsbook app. Available through the betJACK website and as a downloadable mobile app, Ohio sports fans can bet on the games with no monetary risk involved.
Rather than making a cash deposit into an online betting account, customers receive a daily allotment of 100 betting tokens. These tokens can be used to bet on sports for fun.
The actual app is called betJACK Training Camp as a way to fine-tune your handicapping skills before risking real money on the sports wagers that are placed.
- Register with a Caesars promo code to have a welcome offer
Ohio’s Sports Betting’s Regulatory Agency
Prior to in-state sportsbooks accepting cash for real money wagers, the actual betting rules must be put into place. The governing body responsible for developing the rules and regulations is the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC).
The OCCC estimated that this process will take at least six months to complete. Facing the Jan. 1 deadline next year, there is a healthy buffer built in. However, past experience from any number of states that have already completed this task proves that this process will take longer than expected.
The big target on everyone’s calendar to go live is early September ahead of the new football season. The NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals will be a major draw at in-state sportsbooks.
Legal betting on college sports will also command quite a bit of attention with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bearcats two main draws.
Ohio Sports Betting Market Potential
Given a strong base of in-state professional and college teams, Ohio could quickly grow to become another big legal Midwest sports betting market such as Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
With a network of 11 land-based casinos and racinos in place, JACK will be up against Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming as heavy hitters with an established presence in the marketplace.
Attracting customers to betJACK now for free could pay some valuable dividends down the road.