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Ohio: JACK Entertainment and Canton's Hall of Fame Village disclose sports betting plans

Canton's Hall of Fame construction site and JACK Cleveland Casino.
2022-01-31
United States
Reading time 2:38 min

As legal sports betting gets closer to becoming a reality in Ohio, companies are looking to get a piece of the billion-dollar pie. This includes JACK Entertainment, and the Hall of Fame Village at Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

JACK Entertainment’s plans are to offer betting at two new sportsbooks located in Cleveland at its JACK Thistletown Racino and JACK Cleveland Casino; as well as online and mobile formats through a new app that could be used anywhere in Ohio. 

As reported by Cleveland.com, Adam Suliman, Vice President of Sports and Digital Gaming for JACK Entertainment, explained that the new locations will have Las Vegas-style sportsbooks with video walls, comfortable lounge chairs and all the amenities that go along with that. 

The company is also planning a website and an app under the betJACK banner, which will have a big focus on Cleveland sports. It intends to apply for a mobile license as soon as the applications are open.

Though there will be plenty of mobile betting, Suliman believes sports gambling will also become an experience JACK can offer, especially around a time like March Madness or playoffs in popular sports. 

“There is something special about a fourth-quarter drive at a sportsbook, because half the people want it to end in a touchdown and the other half want it to end in an interception”, Suliman said. 

According to WKYC.com, the Hall of Fame Village at Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame has already invested more than $300 million into the multi-use sports and entertainment project, which will now include a sportsbook. The sports complex is expected to be completed this year along with a new center for performance and fan engagement zone, which will open later this summer.

Michael Crawford, President and CEO of Hall of Fame Village, stated: “We knew that mobile is also something that our guests and fans really want. The convenience of it. And so we will apply for our mobile license as well”.

Hall of Fame Village recently announced a new partnership with global igaming company Genesis to bring its online betting platform to Ohio. 

“We are positioned well for it. We meet all the criteria for it. We are an economic growth engine for Canton and Stark County. We’re creating jobs, we’re creating a lifestyle destination here that will make people happy”, Crawford added. 

As the Ohio legislature passed legal sports betting in December after three years of debate, then signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, now the deadline for state regulators to open up live sports wagering is January 1, 2023. But plans are underway, and a free-to-play app could come sooner.

Under the new legislation, Ohio bettors will be able to wager at retail sportsbooks, online or on apps and at kiosks at bars with specific liquor licenses, but not until all the rules and licensing are in place. 

Jessica Franks, spokeswoman for the Ohio Casino Control Commission, said it could take up to six months to craft the rules, which must be done before it can start taking applications. 

The sports gambling bill creates Class A, B and C licenses. Ohio will allow 25 Class A licenses and 40 Class B licenses. There are 11 casinos and racinos in Ohio, with casinos offering table games and slot machines and racinos offering only slots, along with horse racing. All 11 casinos and racinos, as well as Ohio’s eight sports teams, would get preference for those licenses. 

Hollywood Casino Toledo recently said the launch of sports betting couldn’t come at a better time, as the Penn National Gaming-operated facility is in the middle of an expansion. The redevelopment efforts will include a Barstool Sportsbook for retail sports wagering.

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