CLEVELAND — Super Bowl LVI is a big day for many Ohioans, as the Cincinnati Bengals will make their third appearance in the big game. However, as excited as some in the buckeye state are, they’re still not legally able to bet on the game in Ohio. Not this year, anyway.
“We’re pretty excited to get those opened up,” says Adam Suliman, Vice President of Sports & Digital Gaming for JACK Entertainment.
Across the country in 30 states where sports betting is legal, casinos and sports books have been taking Super Bowl wagers on every aspect of the game. The American Gaming Association estimates a record 31.5 million people will wager more than $7.6 billion dollars on the Super Bowl this year. That’s all money and action that JACK Entertainment is looking forward to getting in on.
“That’s what our venues are all about is trying to entertain people,” says Suliman. “Sports books are exciting and they’re very entertaining.”
Ever since Ohio lawmakers approved sports betting last year, Suliman and his team have been hard at work preparing for a big boom in bets.
Suliman says, “Both of our properties here in the Cleveland area, Thistledown and JACK Cleveland, will have big retail sports book footprints so we’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time on design for those. We’ll start swinging hammers pretty soon.”
They're also working on an app and website to take digital bets with the plan to launch those soon for people to play for free and get used to the experience. Since Jack is an Ohio based company operating exclusively in the state, they’re planning to give their sports books and digital platforms a buckeye flavor.
“That’s what our customers are going to care about,” says Suliman. “They probably want promotions, content and expert opinions on the Cleveland Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers not the New York Giants playing the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s less interesting to someone who is a Cleveland fan. I think that’s where we can set ourselves apart.”