Ohio’s first sports betting app has officially launched. Unfortunately, it will be a while before players can win real money from the app. The Buckeye state is not expected to have legal real money sports betting until 2023.
In the meantime, players can use the new app, betJACK, to place sports bets for free. The app will look and operate like a real sportsbook. However, instead of using cash, bettors can place wagers using tokens. When sports betting does become legal, the app will remove the tokens and they will be replaced with real money.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has already signed a bill legalizing sports betting. However, before sportsbooks can launch, state officials must create sports betting regulations. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has been placed in charge of making the sportsbook regulations.
What is betJACK?
The first mobile sports betting in Ohio is now available. It is called betJACK, and players can wager tokens on real sporting events. The app will be free to use until real money sports betting is available. Ohio legislators expect to have regulations in place by next year at the latest.
Despite not allowing real money sports betting, betJACK can still benefit players. For one, players who are new to mobile sports betting can get more comfortable with the process. Players who use the app before real money sports betting is live can get a head start on other bettors. Also, it will help the creators of betJACK begin to build a customer base.
Players are not just limited to using the betJACK on their phones. The sportsbook also has a website that players can use as well. In theory, the experience should be the same as real sports betting, just without the ability to win money. When sports betting is allowed, players will already have accounts set up and be familiar with the process.
Who Created the betJACK App?
JACK Entertainment owns and operates two gaming operations in Ohio. They are also the company behind betJACK. When real money sports betting is launched, the app will use JACK Entertainment’s sportsbook. The gaming company is currently based out of Cleveland.
The company operates JACK Cleveland Casino. They also run the JACK Thistledown Racino in nearby North Randall, OH. To make the app, JACK Entertainment teamed up with Shape Games and Kambi Group.
The last part of the trio is Kambi Group, another app developer that also started in 2010. Kambi Group has partnered with over 30 different companies to design apps on six different continents. JACK Entertainment and Kambi Group originally agreed to a partnership in 2019.
Legal Ohio Sports Betting Coming in 2023
Before betJACK can transition from free-to-play to real money sports betting, Ohio lawmakers must agree on regulations for sportsbooks. Ohio Gov. DeWine signed a bill in December that legalized sports betting. As part of the bill, legislators were given until the end of 2022 to make sports betting regulations.
The organization in charge of making the regulations is the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Before real money sports betting can be allowed, the OCCC has to create a licensing process. According to the new law, Bars, stadiums, restaurants, and casinos will be able to apply for a sports betting license. The OCCC also needs to create the other framework for regulating the industry.
In theory, real money sports betting can be available in Ohio before the end of the year. If the OCCC finishes the regulations early, then sportsbooks can apply for licenses earlier. However, OCCC officials have stated that they expect the process to take until the end of 2022.
It will not be much longer before real money sports betting is allowed in Ohio. For residents in the Buckeye State looking for an early start, they can use betJACK. The new mobile sportsbook app will be free-to-play until real money wagering is allowed. JACK Entertainment is the company behind the app.
Players can use the betJACK app to learn the ins and outs of mobile sports betting. In the meantime, Ohio regulators will be making the rules to govern Ohio real money sports betting. The OCCC is in charge of making the regulations. They will have until the end of 2022 to put the licensing process and other infrastructure in place.