Kambi Jumps Into Ohio Sports Betting With Sportsbook Deal

Kambi Jumps Into Ohio Sports Betting With Sportsbook Deal

Ohio sports betting legislation isn’t that close to passing this year, but that hasn’t kept industry leaders Kambi and JACK Entertainment from striking a deal to be ready when it does.

Kambi Group Plc, one of the leading providers of sports betting services to licensed gaming operators, entered a long-term, multi-channel sportsbook partnership with JACK Entertainment, according to a news release Thursday.

“JACK Entertainment is clearly a major player in the Ohio market, and has been a primary target for us in the U.S. as we build on our strategy to create unique and engaging sports betting experiences with visionary operators,” Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén said in the news release. “The management team at JACK Entertainment was quick to recognize the comprehensive omni-channel excellence offered by the Kambi sportsbook, and how effectively this will complement their ongoing delivery of top-quality gaming and entertainment.”

Agreement Focused on JACK’s Two Ohio Casinos

JACK Entertainment is a gaming and entertainment company that owns and operates casinos and racing facilities in Ohio and Michigan. It has partial stakes in various properties in Kentucky and Maryland.

According to the news release, Kambi’s agreement with JACK Entertainment is centered around positioning Kambi to provide sportsbook services in Ohio, specifically at Jack’s Cleveland Casino in Cleveland and Thistledown Racino in North Randall.

“JACK Entertainment is thrilled to announce a long term strategic partnership with Kambi to support sports wagering in Ohio, should enabling legislation come to fruition,” Adam Suliman, vice president of sports and digital gaming at JACK Entertainment, said in the news release. “We feel strongly that Kambi’s best-in-class platform, combined with JACK Entertainment’s properties and brand, will allow us to deliver the very best sports betting products and experiences to our patrons in Ohio.”

The implied expectation is that making such a move in advance of legislation will allow Kambi and JACK Entertainment to hit the ground running to open retail sportsbooks in the Ohio casinos should legislation pass.

Moreover, the release says that online versions of the sportsbooks could also be rolled out quickly should that be permissible under state law.

Ohio Sports Betting Unlikely Until At Least 2020

It remains to be seen how and when Ohio lawmakers might be able to craft a sports betting bill to satisfy all interested parties. There is a myriad of competing interests in the state in regards to sports betting, and there isn’t really a clear path forward at the present to legalization.

Among the many things that left to be sorted out in the state includes whether the groups of Ohio universities who recently announced they wanted to be left out of sports betting entirely will get their way, how regulation might work within the state’s government and whether mobile betting will be part of the legislation.

Ultimately, it doesn’t appear Ohio will be able to legalize sports betting until at least 2020, though that hasn’t stopped Kambi and JACK Entertainment from preparing for the move.

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