Global sports betting supplier Kambi Group, plc, with U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, continues to charge into new – and potentially new – markets across the country, inking a multi-channel sportsbook deal on Thursday with Ohio casino and racetrack operator Jack Entertainment.
The agreement – which includes retail sportsbooks at Jack Cleveland Casino in downtown Cleveland, home of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and Jack Thistledown Racino in North Randell, as well as an online sportsbook launch – is contingent on the passage of legal sports betting legislation, as well as all subsequent licensure and regulatory approval.
The Buckeye State, the seventh-most populous state in the U.S., just entered a two-year legislative session in which it should have plenty of time to hammer out its legal sports betting policies. Currently, two sports betting bills under consideration cover a number of sticky issues, including whether or not legal sports wagering is unconstitutional.
Adam Suliman, vice president of sports and digital gaming at Jack Entertainment, said: “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. 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 Kambi/Jack Entertainment contract also allows for the possibility of extending the partnership into other jurisdictions should agreeable opportunities arise.
Kristian Nylén, Kambi’s chief executive officer, said: “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. 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.”
Kambi Quick to Capitalize
Kambi’s retail and online sportsbooks are often the first to launch in states with newly legalized sports betting industries, which is a big plus for operators looking to capitalize quickly on new legislation.
Kambi and DraftKings Sportsbook formed their New Jersey partnership in June 2018, just one month after the repeal of PASPA. Under a Resorts Casino operator’s license, the duo launched the first-ever online sportsbook outside of Nevada on August 6, 2018.
Kambi and its partners, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, launched the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first online sports betting apps in June 2019. Powered by Kambi, Parx Online Sportsbook was soon to follow.
On August 21, in addition to extending the New Jersey contract, Kambi and DraftKings expanded their agreement to encompass eight additional U.S. states. Pending legislation, licensure and approval from state gaming commissions, Kambi and DraftKings plan to open sportsbooks in Indiana, Iowa, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Colorado and West Virginia.
In a similar deal signed July 31, Penn National agreed to integrate Kambi’s online and retail sportsbooks into the operator’s facilities in 19 states ahead of a rollout in jurisdictions with active sports betting legislation.