GAN is launching simulated sports betting in Ohio through PlayJACK.com, giving potential bettors in The Buckeye State a taste of wagering on sports in anticipation of the real thing becoming legal.
At a time when Ohio casinos are recovering from months of coronavirus-related shutdowns – and setting records as they did in September after they reopened – the time could well be right for bettors to try their hand at the sports betting experience without risking money.
The GAN simulated sports betting product offers a chance for players to sign up online and wager for entertainment purposes – i.e. no real money is exchanged – on major sporting events. The product will include in-game props, via a partnership with Kambi, according to a news release.
Ohio has two sports betting bills, one in the state House and one in the state Senate, under review.
Introducing Ohioans to a sports betting product, even one in which they cannot make or lose money, is a way for companies such as GAN to get their product out in front of the public. This is even more sensible at a time when neighboring states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia all have not just retail but mobile sports betting.
And if sports betting succeeds (extremely likely in sports-mad Ohio), it almost certainly would help plant a seed for Ohio to introduce online gaming – a product that Pennsylvania and West Virginia already offer and one that Michigan is on the verge of activating.
“The addition of simulated Internet sports betting is a natural extension of our existing product offering with key partners, as it offers sports bettors, in any state, the ability to participate in active sporting events with the added benefit of full integration with (a) rewards program,” GAN vice president of gaming operations Tom Ustunel said in the release. We will continue to work closely with relevant partners on all aspects of our current and subsequent rollouts, including plans for the launch of real money Internet sports betting and casino gaming, pending regulation.”