Ohioans Can Try Their Hands At Online Sports Betting With New Social Offering

Written By Derek Helling on October 12, 2020 - Last Updated on July 26, 2022

As sports fans wait to see whether the Ohio legislature will expand legal gambling later this year and what that would entail, one casino operator in OH is apparently preparing for the legalization of sports betting. Jack Entertainment, which runs Jack Cleveland and Jack Thistledown, has launched an online “social sportsbook” site for Ohioans to peruse.

It’s legal and features many of the same markets that popular sportsbooks offer in states like Indiana and Pennsylvania. There’s a huge upside for Jack Entertainment in the offering.

Details on Jack Entertainment’s social sportsbook product

First off, yep, it’s completely legal in Ohio. That’s because you neither wager any real money nor receive any prizes other than rewards credit for the platform itself.

It’s very similar to online social casino products that have become popular in many places where iGaming remains illegal. In this case, instead of playing a free version of virtual baccarat, users attempt to predict the outcomes of sporting events.

All the popular sports are on the platform, including games featuring the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Ohio State football.

Jack Entertainment gets its odds from UK-based Kambi, which also provides lines for prominent US sportsbooks such as BetRivers and DraftKings. In that way, it’s very similar to what bettors would experience wagering real money online in IN, PA or West Virginia.

The menu is quite varied as well. Markets for international handball, netball and table tennis adorn the site. Perhaps most notable for the current time, PlayJack also boasts markets on the upcoming US elections.

As previously stated, it costs nothing to play these markets. All that’s necessary is an account, which affords a daily allotment of chips used to play the games. Users can buy more chips if they use up their daily allotment.

Therein lies the hook and the payoff for Jack Entertainment.

Jack Entertainment wants your addresses

Think of this platform as an ornate online registration or subscription drive.

If the state government expands legal gambling to include online casinos and/or sports betting, Jack will be prepared. The company, which operates two brick-and-mortar casinos in Ohio, has an interest in that happening.

When users register for an account for Jack’s current online offerings, they agree to become a recipient of future marketing materials. If and when Jack does launch its iGaming and online sportsbook products, expect to be on the receiving end of a barrage of email and mailings for those items.

Legalization could take place in the next legislative session. If that’s the case, and the expansion includes online sports betting, expect those books to go live sometime in late 2021.

It’s uncertain whether Jack would build out its own platform or contract with an operator like FanDuel or PointsBet Sportsbook. Part of that depends on the future legal framework for online betting in the state.

Regardless, Jack Entertainment will have a ready-made customer base to whom it can market its new offerings when the time comes — because of this social sportsbook. If you’re in OH and willing to accept those terms, you can avail yourself of that product now.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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