JACK Entertainment Launches Sports Betting App betJACK in Advance of Ohio Market Launch

  • The free-to-play betting app was created alongside Shape Games and Kambi Group
  • When sports betting launches next year, betJACK will turn into a real money app
  • The goal of the app is to introduce Ohioans to sports betting
  • Legal sportsbooks are set to launch in Ohio in January 2022
Three guys getting way too excited about winning a sports bet on their phone
JACK Entertainment has launched a free-to-play sports betting app in Ohio. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A free-to-play offering

JACK Entertainment has gone live in Ohio with a free-to-play sports betting app. It developed the betJACK app in partnership with sports betting platform provider Kambi Group and Shape Games.

placing wagers through betJACK without staking any money

The launch comes as Ohio anticipates the launch of legal sports betting in January. People in the state can now dip their toes in the sports betting space by placing wagers through betJACK without staking any money. It operates more or less like a real money sportsbook.

Users will get 100 tokens every day when they log in, with winning bets generating more tokens. A wide range of sports and markets are available to users of the app. There is a social element to the offering, with friends able to connect and compete against one another. Once sports betting becomes permitted in Ohio, the betJACK app will transition into JACK Entertainment’s real money sportsbook offering.

An introduction to sports betting

JACK Entertainment president Brian Eby welcomed the launch of the free-to-play app, stating that the “fun and engaging platform” will help people in Ohio become familiar with sports betting. He went on to explain that the app was designed with Ohio sports enthusiasts in mind.

JACK Entertainment entered a multi-year deal in 2019 with Kambi Group that will see the betting technology platform provider work with the casino company on its sports betting offerings.

Shape Games is a specialist in consumer technology and is helping on the consumer loyalty and engagement side of the new app. Shape Games chief commercial officer Morten Tonnesen welcomed the launch in Ohio, saying that he believes betJACK is a “risk-free and consumer friendly entry into real money gaming in the future.”

The legal market in Ohio

JACK Entertainment currently operates a couple of gambling-related properties in Ohio: JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino. In addition to having an online sportsbook, JACK Entertainment plans to open retail sportsbooks at these properties.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed sports betting legalization legislation into law in December. It was the 33rd US state to legalize the activity. The Ohio Casino Control Commission now has to create the regulatory framework for the sector, which could take as long as six months.

Ohio is the seventh-biggest US state in terms of population and is home to many passionate college and professional sports fans. There is an expectation that Ohio will be a major sports betting market.

The current timeline is for sportsbooks to be able to launch on January 1, 2023. A 10% tax rate on sportsbook revenue will be in place, with most of the resulting funds going to public education programs. It is likely to be a competitive market for operators, as Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming, and MGM Resorts International also have land-based casinos in Ohio. None of them have launched free-to-play apps like betJACK as of yet.

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