The app is real. The money is not. The time is coming.
In an attempt to give Ohio sports bettors a taste of the real thing, the Ohio-based BetJACK Entertainment company launched a fully-operational sportsbook app and online platform this week. But at first glance, it’s not quite what you think. See, Ohio is in that stage in the sports betting business, where everything is passed but it hasn’t actually begun. Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill back in December. They just have to write all the rules and make sure qualified people apply and bestow the licenses.
The target date is Jan. 1, 2023, for everything to go live.
But why wait for any of that? Why not start prepping now with practice?
They call it the BetJACK Training Camp (cool name), and I’m no stranger to a sportsbook app, so I took a spin at the free BetJACK app on Friday.
Now you know BetJACK
Right away, you get the understanding that BetJACK comes from an Ohio company. How do I know? The color scheme is scarlet and gray. Yes, the same colors as the Ohio State University. I’m surprised they don’t have helmet decals. That has to be on purpose.
The home page is a little busy, with many games listed, but the rail down the left side is impressive for all the different events there.
They have chess. BetMGM doesn’t have chess. They have water polo. FanDuel doesn’t have water polo.
Furthermore, they have the biggest array of eSports betting options I’ve ever seen. DraftKings has some eSports daily fantasy options, but that’s about it.
Since it was the featured option of the day, I put $20 on a head-to-head for a low score in Round 2 of The Masters. Go, Dustin Johnson!
Ohio’s intro sportsbook app has the real feeling, but not real money
Next to my log-in details was 100 with a little t next to it. That stands for tokens. Although I think it could also stand for trial. BetJACK promises everyday users to get 100 new tokens which they can then use to wager.
Everything else works exactly as you see on the bigger sportsbook sites. Click the box for your preferred bet (make sure you check twice what you’re betting on), as it gets put on your Betslip. Then wait to be paid in tokens.
Deeper in the app, there is a listing for the day’s news. Again, you can tell it’s all about Ohio. The listed popular topics are the Browns, the Cavs, newly-christened Guardians, and Blue Jackets. Sadly, only after NCAA Football is the Cincinnati Reds.
I guess that’s Cleveland throwing some shade at Cincinnati. But remember Cleveland, at least the Bengals were in Super Bowl LVI. How many Super Bowls have you got?
Can BetJACK beat the crowd?
Jack Entertainment has a Cleveland Casino that opened in 2016 and Racino in North Randall.
Of course, when Ohio sports betting goes live, that little t in the BetJACK sports app is going to vanish. It’ll be real money, with a real deposit and payout.
Although no licenses have been granted yet, the Ohio market is expected to be a big one in America, and the usual suspects will line up for a piece.
For sure, Caesars, DraftKings, and BetMGM will make inroads and offer promotions for new Ohio users.
BetJACK may not be able to beat them in advertising, but what they can offer is a unique Ohio experience. That should be enough to give them a share of the market.