CLEVELAND (WJW) – Big changes are in the works at the JACK Casino in Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

JACK is progressing through construction of its new sportsbook area at both the Downtown Cleveland and Thistledown Racino ahead of the legalization sports betting in Ohio.

Adam Suliman, Vice President of Sports and Digital for JACK Entertainment, is looking forward to what he considers a boost for the casino and gaming industry.

“Certainly, all of our friends and neighbors have been asking us for a long time when they can place bets on their favorite team like the Browns or the Guardians here,” Suliman said. “Our customers are excited about it. We’re excited about it. We’re just a few short months away from taking out first bets.”

The new sportsbook area of the downtown location will feature four betting windows and 20 self-serve kiosks with theatre style recliners, a 30-foot main video wall and fourteen massive TVs to view contests as they occur.

JACK’s Vice President of Design and Construction Gino Del Pup said it’s a race against the clock to complete the project ahead of their deadline.

“We been working on this for quite a while,” Del Pup said. “The design was almost a year in the making. We started the construction in June and we’re going to wrap up right before the Ohio State-Michigan game.” 

Correspondingly, the court is announcing a first-of-its-kind program to address problem gambling addiction that will help people whose criminal charges stem from gambling.

“The goal is to break the cycle of addiction and minimize the chance that they will return to the criminal justice system,” Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan said.

The court will use a special assessment tool to identify people with gambling addiction problems at the front end of the criminal justice system.

“If a person successfully completes this program, you’re in this program and successfully complete this program, their felony charges may be dismissed to avoid felony convictions on their record,” Sheehan said.

The court is collaborating with recovery resources and Ohio For Responsible Gambling to develop the program.

“To have this comprehensive program here is the largest in the country, the first of its kind and is laying a blueprint out for other jurisdictions and courts to follow,” former Director of Responsible Gambling Karen Russo said.

Back at the JACK Casino, leadership said it always encourages its guest to practice responsible gaming and gambling habits. JACK has even developed a new risk-free app to help people get used to the new amenity.

“The ‘Bet Jack Training App’ is available on Google Play and the iOS app store,” Suliman said. “So you can download it today and get some free tokens and place a bet on the Browns game this weekend.”

JACK Casino is hiring at both locations to fill positions in the new sportsbook areas. Apply here.