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Canton's Hall of Fame Village preparing for sports betting

"We are positioned well for it. We meet all the criteria for it. We are an economic growth engine for Canton and Stark County. "

CANTON, Ohio — Ohio is one of the latest states to legalize sports betting. Already, we’re learning about companies that want a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie. 

That includes the Hall of Fame Village at Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame. Already more than $300 million has been poured into the multi-use sports and entertainment project. This year, we'll see additions to the sports complex completed, along with a new center for performance and fan engagement zone coming later this summer. Now included in that is a sportsbook that will allow fans to bet on the teams they love so much. 

Ohio lawmakers legalized sports betting in December and the program must go live by January 1, 2023. It allows for physical sportsbooks as well as online betting. Hall of Fame Village recently announced a new partnership with global igaming company Genesis to bring its online betting platform to Ohio. 

"We knew that mobile is also something that our guests and fans really want. The convenience of it. And so we will be applying for our mobile license as well. And Genesis runs a very successful mobile business outside the country," says Michael Crawford, President and CEO of Hall of Fame Village.

Sports betting and online betting is a growing industry that accounted for 21% of gambling revenue nationwide in the month of November. By 2024, it's expected to be a $3 billion industry in Ohio alone. 

That's why Hall of Fame Village leaders want to make sure they're in on the party. It's another stream of funding to make the attraction in Canton even greater. 

"We are positioned well for it. We meet all the criteria for it. We are an economic growth engine for Canton and Stark County. We’re creating jobs, we’re creating a lifestyle destination here that will make people happy," Crawford adds.

Hall of Fame Village and other companies are all part of a licensing process that's required to host online betting. The exact rules and who gets a license will be announced at a later date. Assuming Hall of Fame Village gets a license, this will be a game changer for them. 

Meanwhile, JACK Entertainment tells 3News that it, too, is working on sportsbooks at its two Cleveland-area casinos. In a statement, JACK Entertainment President Brian Eby says: “JACK is thrilled for the introduction of sports betting to Ohio and we are eagerly preparing to offer this amenity to guests both through our physical locations as well as through our web and mobile app, betJACK. We are finalizing our plans on our sportsbooks at JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino and are finishing the development of our real money sports betting mobile application that will launch once sports wagering goes live. Ohioans can already head to betJACK.com for news about the teams we all love and sports betting tips. JACK is passionate about our sports in Ohio and we are excited to join our fellow sports fans as we prepare for this new entertainment offering.” 

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