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A Sportsbook in Cleveland?

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Sep/19/2019

A new agreement will see JACK introducing the on-property sportsbook of Kambi at their Cleveland Casino venue as well as the Thistledown Racino assuming legislation ever passes to make sports betting legal in the state of Ohio.  With the deal, Kambi already has its foot in the door.


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Chief Executive Officer, Kristian Nylén, said: “JACK Entertainment is clearly a major player in the Ohio market, and has been a primary target for us in the US as we build on our strategy to create unique and engaging sports betting experiences with visionary operators.

“The management team at JACK Entertainment were 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.”

Ohio lawmakers had been exploring options to bring sports wagering to the state.  These efforts seem to have stalled in recent months however.

It appears key legislators are at odds as to how to proceed.

Sen. John Eklund said of a measure to legalize sports betting this summer:

“I think part of the reason it has been slow to move on the Senate side has been because of some lingering and, in my opinion, unjustified concerns over the extent of which the Ohio Constitution would permit the Casino Commission to regulate this activity.

“I have argued that point publicly, privately and six ways to Sunday. I’m not just talking through my hat. I’ve researched it, read cases, and I certainly know enough about the constitution of Ohio.”

Interviewed by Legal Sports Report at the NCLGS summer meeting in Minneapolis this month, Sen. William Coley indicated that he didn’t think the Casino Control Commission (CCC) had the money to regulate sports betting in Ohio, nor could it raise the money because of constitutional limitations.

The House bill, H 194, already underwent three hearings in the Finance Committee.  The House came back in session last week but so far hasn't taken up the measure.

A Cleveland area sportsbook would likely prove especialy lucrative as the city is home to big name franchises with loyal fan bases such as the Browns in the NFL and Indians in Major League Baseball.  The NBA Cavaliers have enjoyed success with Lebron James on their roster as well.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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