Ohio Sports Betting

Ohio sports betting new development
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Matt Schoch
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Fact checked by Matt Schoch

Ohio sports betting is less than two months away from making its long-awaited debut. Bettors can place their first legal bets at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Multiple sportsbooks have pre-launch offers leading into the Jan. 1 launch date. DraftKings and BetMGM are offering $200 free, while rivals Bet365, FanDuel and Caesars have countered with $100 free. Sign up now, and the free bets will be available on launch day.

PlayOhio is your source for the latest Ohio sports betting news and launch updates.

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Latest Ohio sports betting updates

Updated: Nov. 23, 2022

BetJACK’s retail sportsbooks are open for business at JACK Casino Cleveland and JACK Thistledown Racino. Gamblers can’t place bets until January, but can use this time to get familiar with the sportsbook areas.

The World Cup is finally here, and soccer fans in Ohio will have their hands full keeping up with the action this week.

Ohio released the full list of sports, leagues and other events available for betting once the state launches sports betting in January.

Several new Ohio sportsbooks were recently approved: SPIRE Academy, a sports-focused high school in Geneva, won a pair of Ohio sports betting licenses. Miami Valley Gaming received approval for its MVGbet sportsbook app, along with the Fanatics, Betr and BetPARX online sportsbooks.

And one defector: MaximBet is no longer joining the Ohio sports betting market after its parent company shut down the sportsbook.

When will Ohio sports betting launch?

Sports betting in Ohio will launch Jan. 1, 2023 right when the clock strikes midnight. There was hope that the Ohio Casino Control Commission might work through the licensing process quickly enough to launch early, but the state will indeed use the full amount of time, with a universal start date for all operators on New Year’s Day.

Ohio is currently working through licensing, background checks, equipment distribution and other steps toward launching online sports betting, retail sportsbooks and betting kiosks throughout the state. Dozens of businesses have applied to operate retail and online sportsbooks, and over 1,382 businesses are already pre-approved to host kiosks.

Follow PlayOhio‘s live updates page for the latest launch news in Ohio.

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Ohio though no apps or sportsbooks will launch until Jan. 1, 2023. The enabling legislation was signed into law in December 2021 by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Quick facts about Ohio sports betting

Here are some quick facts about how Ohio is setting up for sports betting:

  • Sports betting legal status: Bill signed by the governor on Dec. 22, 2021
  • Launch date: Jan. 1, 2023
  • Available formats: Online, retail and lottery kiosks
  • Number of sportsbook apps: Up to 46, but requires OCCC approval beyond 25; 20 online sportsbooks applied for licenses during the first application window
  • Number of retail sportsbooks: Up to 40; 24 businesses applied for licenses during the first application window
  • Age requirement: 21 or older
  • Quirks: Esports wagering permitted; limited sports betting through lottery kiosks

What sportsbook apps will launch in Ohio on Jan. 1?

The following sportsbooks have received licenses from the Ohio Casino Control Commission:

DraftKings

  • Connection to Ohio: Famed daily fantasy sports provider is a sports betting industry leader

DraftKings also has left its status as a mere DFS company in the rearview mirror in the past few years. It has been one of the most successful corporate stories since sports betting began to spread through the U.S. in 2018, and has been one of the first apps to launch in almost every new sports betting state. The DraftKings sportsbook app stands out from the crowd through its cash-out options and its betting carousel, the latter of which personalizes each player’s app experience like few other sportsbooks.

Caesars

  • Connection to Ohio: Owner of Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs; Caesars partnered with Scioto Downs on its app

Caesars Sportsbook is a bit of a misnomer — while it is the sportsbook representing the chain of the same name, it is also the home of the former Eldorado Resorts and William Hill brands. Because of Caesars’ 2020 merger with Eldorado, it gained a key foothold in Ohio through one of the state’s racinos. The Caesars Sportsbook app is one of the most meat-and-potatoes app offerings of the major gambling companies. But its odds choices are top-notch, and its managers have the experience and ability to handle almost any bet imaginable.

BetMGM

  • Connection to Ohio: Owner of MGM Northfield Park and will operate the venue’s sportsbook app

BetMGM Sportsbook is the sports betting wing of gaming giant MGM Resorts International. Its recognizable brand name and easy ability to complement the offerings at MGM’s many land-based properties make it a popular choice in many areas. BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio itself yields more control to players’ open wagers than other sportsbooks with its “edit my bet” feature.

FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Connection to Ohio: Daily fantasy sports provider; applied to operate online sportsbooks through Belterra Park

FanDuel Sportsbook has risen from its humble beginnings as a DFS provider to become one of the top sportsbooks in the U.S. It is the market leader or near the top of the market in several states and has distinguished itself with its easy-to-use software and its same-game parlay options.

Bet365 Sportsbook

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Cleveland Guardians

Bet365 Sportsbook is a dominant brand across the pond that is the go-to platform for many hardcore soccer fans in England. Ohio is a big opportunity for bet365 to be on the start line in a big betting state.

Barstool Sportsbook

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnered with Penn National Gaming, which owns multiple Hollywood properties

Barstool Sportsbook continues to be one of the most polarizing betting sites in the world thanks to its edgy social media profile and reputation for brashness. These two elements keep the Barstool Ohio app as a subject of conversation, even if its actual presentation is still a bit lower quality than we’d like. Partial parent company Penn National Gaming has elevated its profile considerably since entering into a deal with the former sports blog.

PointsBet

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley

PointsBet Sportsbook, which originates out of Australia, has aggressively made moves in every North American market it has entered. PointsBet will be looking to partner with anyone and everyone to get their names out there. PointsBet is also aggressively pursuing upgrades in the live betting arena.

Hard Rock

  • Connection to Ohio: Owner of Hard Rock Cincinnati, which will utilize the Hard Rock Sportsbook app

The Hard Rock in Cincinnati holds the distinction of being the only tribal casino in Ohio, even though it is not on tribal lands and Ohio has no federally recognized tribes. The sale of the former JACK Cincinnati to Hard Rock International in 2019 meant that Florida’s Seminole Tribe now had a Buckeye State property in its portfolio. Once sports betting launches in Ohio, the market will have access to an all-new version of the Hard Rock Sportsbook app, which was recently launched in Arizona and Virginia.

BetRivers

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Hollywood Dayton

Owned by Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers Sportsbook is quickly moving into new internet gaming and sports betting markets. A strong operator with a Midwest origin, BetRivers should be firmly in the middle of the pack as it is in most legal markets. Just a solid sportsbook that could make more gains in Ohio if the state ever adds internet gaming.

Betr Sportsbook

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Cleveland native Jake Paul is among the founders of Betr, which is banking on micro-betting for its courtship of young bettors. How they navigate the market and the success Betr Sportsbook Ohio will have depends greatly on the YouTube star and boxing personality’s home state.

Fanatics Sportsbook

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets

Fanatics Sportsbook is new, but the apparel company comes with deep pockets. How Fanatics does in Ohio could help forge what kind of player BetFanatics will be in the sector.

Betfred

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Cincinnati Bengals

Betfred Sportsbook is a U.S.-owned subsidiary of UK-owned Betfred Group, a bookmaker that owns and operates over 1,400 betting shops in the UK. Betfred operates in six U.S. states and is also the betting sponsor of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and MLB’s Colorado Rockies.

MVGBet

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Miami Valley Gaming and Racing

MVGBet Sportsbook is a joint partnership between Delaware North and Belgian gaming and sports betting operator GAMING1. The company will utilize GAMING1’s online gambling platform, along with a Miami Valley Gaming brand, MVGBet, which will replace Betly Sportsbook.

SuperBook

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with FC Cincinnati

SuperBook Sportsbook Ohio is one of the biggest sportsbooks in Las Vegas and has expanded into the mobile app market in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey and Tennessee.

Tipico

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Columbus Crew

Tipico Sportsbook is a global sportsbook brand that is actively increasing its presence in the United States, and its deal with the MLS’ Columbus Crew is further evidence of that effort. Tipico is unique in that it generates its own odds and does offer markets that aren’t typically found in the U.S. Because it has this control over its own markets, you can also ask Tipico for custom bet offers if you don’t see something you like. However, the odds are not always the most competitive, and Tipico still needs to work on its promotional game.

Out the Gate

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the SPIRE Institute

Out the Gate Sportsbook plans to offer sports betting and other forms of gaming after it launches. The brand is an unknown in the industry.

BetPARX

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Memorial Tournament/PGA Tour

BetPARX Sportsbook is the sports betting wing of the Pennsylvania gaming company of the same name. BetPARX is a relatively recently debuted sportsbook app and has notably lagged behind the bigger players in the field. Still, with a deal in place with a PGA tournament, there’s no denying that there are major plans from the largest land-based casino in the Keystone State. The app itself is still in an early version.

The following sportsbooks are still awaiting licensing from the Ohio Casino Control Commission:

BetJACK

  • Connection to Ohio: Owner of multiple JACK casinos; JACK Cleveland will utilize the betJACK sports betting app

JACK Entertainment already launched a play-money version of its betJACK sports betting platform and will transition the app into a real-money format once sports betting is legal. The platform will operate in partnership with Kambi.

Bally Bet

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Cleveland Browns

Bally Bet is the sports betting representative for the gambling company of the same name. Its partnership announcement with the Browns includes provisions for mobile betting and a retail lounge at the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. As is the case with many of these deals, there will also be a heavy bit of cross-promotion between the two brands. Bally Bet is still a newer app and is still figuring things out a bit, but the connection with one of Ohio’s NFL teams is sure to solidify the company’s standing.

Underdog Sports

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Cincinnati Reds

Underdog Ohio Sportsbook is a growing fantasy sports platform offering best ball, daily drafts and pick’em contests. It is among the market leaders in best ball tournaments, offering prizes as high as $10 million. It plans to launch a new sportsbook in several new markets.

PlayUp

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with JACK Cleveland.

PlayUp Sportsbook is an all-in-one sports betting and horse racing platform.

Wynn Bet

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Jack Thistledown Racino

A giant in Las Vegas, Wynn Bet Sportsbook hasn’t exactly translated to the online betting market. After turning in its application late, Wynn Bet could miss launch date.

Betway

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with Belterra Park

Digital Gaming Corporation is a gaming company expanding into sports betting, bringing the Betway brand to Ohio. Betway is already semi-known in the state thanks to  branding partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Prophet Exchange

  • Connection to Ohio: Partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets

Prophet Exchange is a peer-to-peer sports betting exchange that allows users to set prices for others to bet on. Users can also bet on the prices offered by other users.

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New books may continue to apply for licenses in Ohio, but the deadline to guarantee consideration ahead of the state’s universal start date of Jan. 1, 2023, has now passed.

Retail sportsbook locations and partnerships

As mentioned, Ohio’s sports betting law allows for both online and retail sports betting. The following operators applied for licenses during the first application window, which guarantees consideration in time for the state’s Jan. 1, 2023 launch. More operators may still apply, but they might not be licensed by the universal start date.

Type A licenses are for online sportsbooks, and Type B licenses are for retail locations.

PropertyEntityOnline Sportsbook 1st SkinOnline Sportsbook 2nd Skin
Hard Rock Cincinnati Seminole Tribe of FloridaHard Rock
Hollywood ColumbusPenn National GamingBarstoolBetRivers
Hollywood ToledoPenn National GamingDraftKings
Jack ClevelandJack EntertainmentbetJACKWithdrawn: MaximBet was shuttered by its parent company before landing a license.
Belterra ParkBoyd Gaming Corp.FanDuelBetway (Digital Gaming Corporation)
Eldorado Scioto DownsEldorado ResortsCaesars
Hollywood DaytonPenn National Gaming TBD
Hollywood Mahoning ValleyPenn National GamingPointsBet
Jack ThistledownJack EntertainmentWynnBet
MGM Northfield ParkNorthfield Park AssociatesBetMGM
Miami Valley GamingDelaware North Companies MVGbet
Great American BallparkCincinnati RedsUnderdog
Progressive FieldCleveland Guardians bet365
Lower.com FieldColumbus CrewTipico
TQL StadiumFC CincinnatiSuperBook
Rocket Mortgage FieldhouseCleveland Cavaliers TBD — Fubo Sportsbook initially applied but has since closed.
Paul Brown StadiumCincinnati BengalsBetfred
FirstEnergy StadiumCleveland Browns Bally Bet
Nationwide Arena Columbus Blue JacketsFanatics Prophet Exchange
Muirfield Village Golf ClubMVGC Subsidiary betPARX
Hall of Fame VillageHall of Fame Resort & EntertainmentBetr
SPIRE InstituteGeneva SportsOut the Gate

How will Ohio sports betting work?

The law, HB 29, lays out an interesting structure for the kinds of sportsbooks that will be legal in Ohio and where they might appear. First things first, both online and retail sports betting will be part of the new industry when it launches. Ohioans can place a wager through their mobile devices and computers anywhere they can find internet service inside the state borders.

HB 29 establishes three types of sports betting licenses that companies may attempt to secure. Each type comes with its requirements and restrictions. From the descriptions, here’s what we can tell you about the structure of Ohio sports betting:

Type A licenses

Type A licenses are for online sports betting companies. By law, the OCCC can issue a maximum of 25 of these licenses. Licensees must maintain an operational business inside the state of Ohio to be eligible. Each license permits only a single skin. However, there is a provision that allows Ohio’s 11 casinos/racinos and 10 sports entities to apply for a second skin if they can demonstrate that a second skin will incrementally improve revenue without cannibalizing the existing market. The OCCC may also issue more than 25 licenses under the same condition — that doing so would be of incremental economic benefit to Ohio.

Type B licenses

Type B licenses are for physical sportsbook locations inside the Buckeye State. The law allows for up to 40 of these venues. However, there are quite specific rules about spreading these outlets evenly throughout the state. The number of sportsbooks that the law allows in each county is as follows:

  • Counties with 800,000 or more residents may have no more than five books.
  • Counties with 400,000 to 799,999 residents may have no more than three.
  • Counties with 100,000 to 399,999 residents may have no more than two if there are lottery terminals.
  • Counties with 100,000 to 399,999 residents may have no more than one.
  • Counties with 50,000 to 99,999 residents are ineligible unless they receive more than five million tourists per year.
  • Counties with fewer than 50,000 residents are ineligible.

Type A license holders automatically receive Type B licenses and are expected to offer retail sports betting at their physical locations throughout the state. So Ohio’s 11 casino venues and the 10 home stadiums of its eligible sports teams or leagues are likely to be sportsbook locations. In other words, every MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA venue in the state will be able to add a sportsbook, and Muirfield Village Country Club (home of the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament) will, as well. NASCAR might have a book at its race venues in Ohio, too.

Type C licenses

Type C licenses will be for Class D liquor license holders in the state. Mostly, this group includes bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. The license allows for up to two lottery kiosks already on site at these locations to also accept lottery sports betting. Lottery sports betting is a limited form of sports betting that allows bettors to wager the spread, moneyline, over/under, and small parlays through the kiosk. Players can bet no more than $700 in any given week. However, there is no cap on the number of Type C licenses the state can issue, so the actual number of sports betting facilities in Ohio could range into hundreds or thousands. Any lottery retailer is eligible to apply.

What all Ohio sportsbook apps have in common

Although there are key differences between competing sportsbook apps, there is a great deal of overlap in the ways that each one conducts its business and presents its options to patrons. Though it might seem like a good idea to stand out from the pack, the truth is that most sportsbooks want to make the transition for new customers as simple as possible, whether they are rank beginners or are transferring over from a competitor.

Here are some elements that, regardless of the brand, you can expect to see on Ohio sportsbook apps:

  • Welcome bonus — Because potential customers have competing sportsbooks at their fingertips, apps know that they have to draw attention to their offerings with sport betting bonuses and promos. Ohioans’ best chance to secure site credits or free bets is when they sign up at an app, which generally will offer a bonus just for registering for an account or making a first deposit.
  • Requested registration information — All sportsbooks will require new customers to submit various pieces of personal information to create the account and save it in the app’s system. Players should expect to enter their full name, email address, phone number, mailing address, date of birth, Social Security number, and a login/password combination.
  • Multiple options for depositing — Deposits are the lifeblood for every sportsbook, which means the books want to make it as easy as possible to put money into an account. There are always multiple ways to deposit. Usually, players can use electronic checks, credit cards, debit cards, PayPal/Skrill, online banking, and prepaid cards — and some sportsbooks might have more options beyond those.
  • Multiple, but fewer, options for withdrawals — Each app will maintain several valid withdrawal methods, but they will invariably be fewer in number than their deposit method counterparts.
  • Main lobby format — Easy navigation is critical for a sportsbook’s success, and programmers are loath to muck around with the standard template of sportsbook apps across the country. So, with very few exceptions, players will find a list of sports in a thin strip on the left side of the main display, a wider area with featured bets or live betting options in the center, and the bet slip on the right. The ribbon across the top will have all the administrative links, like the login and cashier buttons.
  • Cash-out option — This feature is quickly becoming standard fare for most American sportsbooks as it has proven to be so popular. If an open wager appears quite likely to result in a win for the player, the sportsbook will offer a settlement amount that allows the bet to close. The book, obviously, saves money on the potential loss, but the players also protect themselves against any late reversals of fortune.

As sportsbook apps debut in Ohio, the key to discerning the truly special ones from the pedestrian ones will lie in one of two places. Either the app will have additional features beyond the ones listed above that truly elevate the bettor’s experience, or it will present an especially adept presentation of the common features. As you consider whether an app is worth your time, make sure to take into account any features that aren’t part of the standard package.

Where will Ohioans be able to bet?

Although it’s impossible to know the full list of sportsbook locations that Ohio will have, here are the most likely venues to house a betting shop when sports betting finally drops in the Buckeye State. Unsurprisingly, most of them will be in Ohio’s largest cities and at Ohio casinos.

CityLocations
CincinnatiBelterra Park Cincinnati
Great American Ball Park
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Paul Brown Stadium
TQL Stadium
ClevelandFirstEnergy Stadium
JACK Casino Cleveland
Progressive Field
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
ColumbusEldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
Hollywood Casino Columbus
Lower.com Field
Nationwide Arena
DaytonHollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
LebanonMiami Valley Gaming
NorthfieldMGM Northfield Park
North RandallJACK Thistledown Racino
ToledoHollywood Casino Toledo
YoungstownHollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course

Betting on popular Ohio sports

Ohio is home to a plethora of popular sports teams. Representatives from every major sports league hang their hats in the Buckeye State. In addition, Ohio is home to several universities with top athletic teams in multiple sports. Here are some of the most important sports entities in the state:

  • MLB: Cincinnati Reds, Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati
  • MLB: Cleveland Guardians, Progressive Field, 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland
  • MLS: Columbus Crew, Lower.com Field, 96 Columbus Crew Way, Columbus
  • MLS: FC Cincinnati, TQL Stadium, 1501 Central Parkway, Cincinnati
  • NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, 1 Center Court, Cleveland
  • NCAA: Ohio State University, 281 W. Lane Ave., Columbus
  • NCAA: University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati
  • NFL: Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
  • NFL: Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland
  • NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus

The structure of each individual sport dictates the different kinds of wagers that bettors can make. Some games are easier to bet than others, but every game has its share of experienced handicappers who prefer the nuances of their particular sport. Here’s what to know about betting on each sport.

Football/basketball

Football and basketball offer most of the same types of wagers as each other and, for that matter, almost every type of wager. Because both sports’ games feature plenty of scoring (generally), it is easy to use both team and individual statistics as the basis for a host of wagers. Football betting odds are especially useful for bettors who wish to wager on in-game events, as the pauses between each play allow for betting options to pop up the entire game. Basketball odds, on the other hand, are a bit more fast-paced, so it’s more common to find individual player prop bets for scoring or other stats. Either sport may offer options to bet on the outcome of individual quarters of play, too.

Baseball/hockey

Baseball and hockey are lumped together as betting options due to a particular commonality. Neither baseball games nor hockey matches typically feature an abundance of scoring, and it is quite common for games to come down to one run or goal. For oddsmakers seeking to set spread betting lines, this feature is problematic. So bettors will instead find a wager that serves as a hybrid between the spread and the moneyline. The margin will be a standard 1.5 runs or goals, and the sportsbook varies the payout ratios far more dramatically than it would for a standard point spread. This type of bet is appropriately called the run line in baseball and the puck line in hockey, but they work in the same manner.

Soccer

The 2022 World Cup is on the way, but Ohio will miss World Cup betting this time because it will conclude before launch.

Soccer creates an even bigger headache for oddsmakers because of the high likelihood of games ending in a draw. Since spread bets and moneylines rely on the margin of victory or a definite winner for their resolution, a tie game simply doesn’t work. This means that soccer bettors may find a couple of distinct betting options. The first type of soccer wager is the three-way moneyline, where a tie is one of the choices that you can bet on. When a three-way moneyline is in play, the outcome at the end of regulation becomes quite important because a bet on either team to win loses if the game goes to extra time or a shootout.

The other type of bet that soccer fans might encounter is the Asian handicap. In this style, the underdog in the game receives a goal cushion that often includes matches ending in a draw. In other words, it places the onus on the favorite to win outright. These bets are often expressed as decimals, and the bet’s resolution depends upon a margin of a full goal. So it is possible to win or lose an Asian handicap wager, but it is also possible to half-win or half-lose.

Other sports

Of course, there are many popular sports in Ohio that go beyond the list above. For the most part, the primary method will be moneyline betting, since it’s just a question of which team or player wins the contest. Boxing, mixed martial arts, table tennis, tennis and rugby all have distinct winners, by and large, and Ohio bettors simply have to pick their favorites.

Other sports, like golf or NASCAR, have many teams or players competing for a single prize. In those cases, the prevailing type of wager is the futures bet, where the bettor will pick from a list of every single person or team in the event. Futures like this are riskier than moneylines due to their increased variables, but there’s really no better way to offer odds on the PGA’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village or the Indianapolis 500.

Rules for Ohio bettors

Although most of Ohio sports betting law pertains to the various bits of information associated with licensing and regulation, there are a few requirements that Ohio sports bettors will have to meet in order to play. The good news is that the final draft of the law permits a more open set of offerings in the state, at least compared to many other sports betting jurisdictions. Here is a brief rundown on who may bet in Ohio and upon what they may wager:

  1. Bettors must be 21 or older to play.
  2. Bettors must be in Ohio in order to bet, regardless of whether the wager is online or in person. Players will have to confirm their locations electronically before any legal sportsbook will accept their wagers.
  3. It is not necessary to be a resident of Ohio to play.
  4. Players may bet on professional sports, college sports, international contests like the Olympics, esports competitions, motorsports races, or any other event for which the Ohio Casino Control Commission has given permission. However, the OCCC must give special approval for any event that involves participants younger than 18.
  5. Players may not bet on any sporting event involving primary or secondary school students.
  6. Players may not wager on horse races, lottery games, casino games, or fantasy sports contests as a function of their sports betting.
  7. Lottery kiosk bettors may wager no more than $700 in a week.

How we got to legal sports betting in Ohio

There was no impulse for sports betting in Ohio while the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act served as a federal ban on the activity in almost every state. However, New Jersey’s victory in the US Supreme Court in 2018 caused the wheels to begin turning in many areas in the US, including the Buckeye State. Since then, Ohio lawmakers have worked diligently, if unevenly, toward legalizing sports betting in the state.

The first significant movements occurred in 2019 when two Ohio legislators, Sen. John Eklund and Rep. Dave Greenspan, offered separate proposals for sports betting in the state. Greenspan’s HB 194 received the bulk of activity during the year and was the subject of no fewer than eight House committee hearings, though without much progress. Meanwhile, Eklund’s SB 111 went onto the back burner, more or less, as the Senate waited to see the outcome from the activities in the lower chamber.

Greenspan’s efforts finally paid off in May 2020 when HB 194 moved out of committee after a ninth meeting. The House passed the bill almost immediately thereafter, and it moved to the Senate for consideration in the early part of June 2020. Greenspan indicated that he planned to engage Eklund on the matter and looked to find support for the bill during the summer. All seemed to be going well until a couple of setbacks.

Eklund announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2020. Then, Greenspan lost his bid for re-election. Proponents of Buckeye State sports betting were quickly bereft of their two most stalwart advocates in the Ohio Legislature, and HB 194 died unceremoniously in the waning days of 2020, seemingly putting a halt to sports betting efforts in the state.

Sen. Kirk Schuring had other plans in mind for 2021 when he introduced SB 176 in May 2021 as a measure to legalize sports betting in Ohio. After about a month of discussion, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill over to the House. However, after it became clear that the House did not plan to hear the bill before the summer break, Schuring changed gears and attached most of the bill’s text as amendments to a bill pertaining to veteran ID cards — HB 29.

This bill ended up carrying the day for Schuring. After some haggling, it passed both chambers and headed to DeWine’s desk for his signature. DeWine had already indicated that he planned to sign off on the bill, and he did.

The law set a Jan. 1, 2023, deadline for the beginning of sports betting in the state.

The OCCC confirmed on June 1, 2022, that Jan. 1, 2023, will indeed be the launch date.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQ

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is the natural regulator for new gambling due to its existing oversight of other gambling activities in the state. The law explicitly names the OCCC as the regulatory agency for sports betting in the Buckeye State.

No. In addition to casinos, Ohio sportsbooks will be at professional sports venues around the state. On top of that, various businesses can secure an onsite book if they can demonstrate their eligibility to the OCCC. Finally, there will be limited sports betting options available through lottery retailers around the state. Ohioans will have no shortage of physical options for sports betting, even if they plan to mostly use their phones.

Yes. The language of the law includes collegiate events as part of its list of acceptable activities for wagering. The only exception might be if a competition involves a competitor under 18. But, even in such a rare instance, the OCCC is empowered to make a judgment call about allowing betting to proceed.

Those sites are not based inside the United States and are not subject to Ohio or US law. It is risky to place wagers on those sites because they may not be honest actors or anything more than criminal enterprises. With legal sports betting coming to Ohio in short order, it’s worth waiting for sportsbooks that are held to the same legal and ethical standards as people expect from other businesses.

Yes. Ohio made daily fantasy sports contests legal in 2017. Ohio residents and visitors can play on FanDuel, DraftKings, and any other permitted DFS providers.