Ohio Online Gambling

Latest on sports betting, online gambling and lottery in Ohio

Compared to other states, Ohio may have been a little late to the gambling game. But in the past decade, the Buckeye State is doing a spectacular job of catching up.

Four full-service casinos in Ohio’s largest cities, seven racinos at racetracks, and a robust Ohio Lottery offer plenty of choices for legal gambling in Ohio. More is on the way.

Sports betting will soon be added to the litany of options for gambling in Ohio. The state will offer new gambling apps, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and kiosks where Ohioans can bet on the biggest games. On June 1, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is set to announce a universal start date for all operators to launch.

PlayOhio is your premier source for information and news updates regarding the movement of Ohio online gambling, and there is plenty of news happening these days. Check back often for the latest.

Is online gambling legal in Ohio?

Certain types of online gambling is already available in Ohio, like betting on horse racing and daily fantasy sports (DFS). The state is quickly moving toward offering a much more robust collection of online gaming options, including sports betting.

At this time, online casinos, poker, and sports betting are not available to Ohio residents.

When will Ohio legalize online gambling?

Ohio is set to launch legalized gambling by Jan. 1, 2023. Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law three days before Christmas in late December. The law stipulates that all operators must launch at the same time, but the start date could potentially be sooner if the state passes the requisite rules and regulations.

The legalization of sports betting will be a sort of litmus test for the regulations of and management of online gambling in Ohio. There is currently no movement on online casino bills or online poker, but PlayOhio will report any news as these topics come up in future discussions in Columbus.

Ohio gambling law

Ohio only recently joined the landscape of legalized gambling. Prior to 2009, most types of straightforward gambling were illegal in the Buckeye State. That year, state voters passed a ballot initiative called the Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution, Amendment 3, which placed one casino in each of Ohio’s four largest cities.

The first casino opened in 2012. Coincidentally, the Ohio legislature chose to allow the placement of slot machine-like video lottery terminals at seven racetracks in the state. Thus, in addition to some of the other types of gambling available to Ohioans, there are currently 11 true gambling locations in the state. Here’s a rundown of everything you can find or will find soon in Ohio.

Ohio Gambling Options

Online Sports Betting

Ohio online sports betting is on its way! State regulators have until Jan. 1, 2023 to launch legalized betting in the Buckeye State, but there is still a chance Ohio could legalize sports betting and online gaming earlier. The commission recently passed a fourth batch of rules governing supplier and employee licensinghouse rules and gaming facility security and surveillance requirements.

Once launched, Ohioans will have access to live betting, college betting, Super Bowl and March Madness bets as well as at least 25 different apps. Potentially, there could be as many as 50 apps, along with 60 retail facilities throughout the state.

Online Casinos

There are no legal real money online casinos in Ohio. All legislative attention is focused on sports betting, but casino games could soon follow. Four of the five states that border Ohio offer legal online gambling options. When Ohio does green-light online gaming, casinos and racinos in the state will be a part of it.

In the meantime, legal alternatives include sweepstakes and social casinos like Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and Funzpoints.

Online Poker

Most states consider online casinos before online poker, and Ohio is no different. There are no online poker proposals under consideration in the Ohio Legislature, and until an online casino bill shows up, there probably won’t be one. However, Global Poker is an excellent alternative for online poker play while the wait for sites like PokerStars and WSOP to get the green light in Ohio.

Ohio Lottery

The Ohio Lottery is a well-developed state lottery system. It offers scratchers, both in-state and multi-state draw games, and instant win games available for purchase. There are also keno options that can be purchased as standard keno offerings or as instant-win variants on Ohio online lottery terminals around the state. Lawmakers have been attempting to add an online lottery option for years, and the issue has been close to passing at least twice. For now, Ohioans must find licensed retailers in the state in order to take part in the lottery.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Ohio is among the states that allow daily fantasy sports contests, or DFS. Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the law back in 2017, so  the big players like DraftKings and FanDuel have been active in Ohio for some time. The DraftKings Fantasy Millionaire contests and special events like March Madness and the World Cup are available in Ohio.

Casinos & Gambling

There are 11 casino locations in Ohio. Ohio’s four largest cities — Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo — each have a single full-service casino within their city limits. Each property offers slots, table games, and live poker for Ohio residents and tourists to enjoy. The Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati and JACK Casino Cleveland are two of the commercial casinos in the state. In addition to these four venues, Ohio is also home to seven racinos — racetracks that offer live racing, simulcast wagering, and video lottery terminals.

Ohio FAQ

The Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Lottery Commission, and the Ohio Racing Commission. The OCCC, obviously, regulates the operations at the four casinos in the state. The racing commission watches over the live and simulcast racing at the seven racetracks. However, the VLTs onsite at the racetracks are managed by the Ohio Lottery, since they are (technically) lottery games. So, although there is plenty of overlap, it’s not hard to figure out who is in charge of each type of gambling in Ohio.

18 for the racinos, 21 for the casinos. Unless something changes, sports betting will require players to be 21 years old. The bills under consideration by the Ohio Legislature both mandate that vendors verify bettors to be 21.

Yes. Gambling winnings, like other types of income, are subject to taxation from both Ohio and the US. In fact, Ohio casinos will automatically withhold 4% of your winnings for the state portion of taxes, although you may end up owing more or less in the end, due to the state’s graduated system. Unsurprisingly, the federal government wants its piece, and even has a form specifically for gambling winnings that you must fill out.

Not yet. Ohio is currently considering a move to make both retail and online sports betting legal, but nothing is firm yet. Our best estimate is that legal sportsbooks will begin to appear in the Buckeye State in 2022, but that’s only a guess, and anything is possible right now.

None. Online casinos are not legal in Ohio at this time, and it’s not clear when they will be permitted under state law. All legal sites are licensed by the state gaming commission, but there are no such sites available in Ohio. Your best legal options are alternative sites like sweepstakes and social casinos.

No. There are no legal online poker sites active in Ohio. As is the case with online casinos, your best place to play cards over the internet is through a sweepstakes site. The only real choice for this kind of site is Global Poker, which allows Ohioans to play against poker players across the country.

Resources

Ohio has no legal online gambling sites to its name. Legal and regulated sites like DraftKings Sportsbook or Golden Nugget Casino are simply not available under Ohio state law. Social and sweepstakes casinos are available and legal to play in the state. You can probably find numerous real money online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks available to players in Ohio. However, what you’re seeing are sites that come with risks.

These sites are based outside the US and do not have to conform to Ohio or US law. At best, you’re taking a leap of faith that these sites are legitimate businesses and not simply scams. At worst, you’re placing your personal and financial information at the mercy of an unknown company in a faraway place without any of the legal recourse you’d usually have. As frustrated as you might be with the lack of online gambling options in Ohio, it is simply not worth the risk that you’ll take if you patronize one of these sites.

If you want to gamble online legally and safely, your best bet is to visit one of the states bordering Ohio that are farther along in the process. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all have online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting. Indiana doesn’t have online casinos yet, but does have online sportsbooks. Otherwise, you can try sweepstakes and social casinos which are legal alternative options available to Ohioans.

Here are some quick links for you to get more information about online gambling in Ohio. There are also links to some of Ohio’s largest newspapers.

Gambling is intended to be a source of fun and entertainment. But Ohio takes compulsive and problem gambling seriously.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery offer free quizzes to help players educate themselves on gambling addiction. You can access the quizzes here and here. If you confirm that there is cause for concern through one of those resources, then you can pursue several different options in Ohio. First and foremost, you can head over to Ohio for Responsible Gambling. This initiative is a state-funded collaboration between four state agencies — the OCCC, the lottery, the racing commission, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. You can call 1-800-589-9966 or connect through your computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are simply looking for information about problem gambling , you can also try the following sites:

You can also request a ban from casinos and racinos in Ohio using the state’s voluntary exclusion program. This program renders you a trespasser at any of those locations and subject to fines, forfeiture, and potential arrest if you keep coming back. The periods of time that you can place yourself in this program are either one year, five years, or permanently. Placement on the list is completely voluntary.