Ohio Sports Betting

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

Ohio sports betting has finally made its long-awaited debut. Dozens of online and retail sportsbooks began taking bets on Jan. 1, 2023 — just in time for Super Bowl LVII. 

Expect Ohio sportsbooks to release a bevy of Super Bowl promotions and betting offers leading up to the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles matchup.

Twenty-eight online and retail sportsbooks are fully licensed to do business in the Buckeye State. That includes 16 sportsbook apps that can take bets anywhere within state lines, along with 12 retail sportsbooks spread across Ohio at various casinos, racinos and professional sports stadiums, among other locales.  Ohio’s sports betting market also includes sports betting kiosks inside local businesses, including bars, restaurants and grocery stores across the state.

Bettors can now take advantage of sign-up bonuses and other deals to get online sports betting accounts started on the right foot. PlayOhio is your source for the latest Ohio sports betting news as this budding market continues to take shape. 

Best Ohio online sportsbooks in 2022

Rank
Sportsbook
Bonus
Features
Play
1
Up to $1,250
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply
DraftKings Promo: Bet $5 Get $200 Instantly
PLUS $50 Bonus Bet
PLUS Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
OH only. 21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs apply
To Claim: Click Play Now
2
UP TO $1,500
In Bet Credits
Up to $1,500 In Bet Credits 
OH only. 21+.Gambling Problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER
Promo Code: LEGAL1BET
3
UP TO $1,000
In Bonus Bets
$1,000 Paid Back in Bonus Bets
Free Live Streaming - Watch Live Games
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Use Bonus Code: PLAYBONUS
4
$500 BONUS
2nd Chance Bet Credit
2nd Chance Bet up to $500
ONLY 1x Play Through!
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Use Exclusive Affiliate Code: PLAYRIV
5
$3,000
No Sweat First Bet
Big Game Promo: Up to $3,000 No Sweat First Bet
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
To Claim: Click Play Now
6
Bet $1
Get $200
In Bet Credits
Bet $1, Get $200 Win or Lose 
30% Extra on Same Game Parlay Profit
OH only. 21+.Gambling Problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER
To Claim: Click Play Now
7
GET UP TO $1,111
In Fred Bets
Bet $50 Get $111
Get $200 a Week for 5 Weeks 
Daily Odds Boosts
OH only. 21+.Gambling Problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER+

Latest updates:

Ohio sports betting launch coverage

When did Ohio sports betting launch?

Sports betting in Ohio launched at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2023.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has fully licensed 29 sportsbooks (17 online sportsbooks, 12 retail sportsbooks), noting that more will join the market soon. The OCCC had conditionally approved 43 sportsbooks to enter the market (21 online, 22 retail). Those who were not fully licensed in time for Jan. 1 have likely planned later start dates. 

The commission has approved over 1,000 Ohio businesses to add self-service sports betting kiosks. Many chose not install the machines on Day 1, however. The Kroger grocery chain, for instance, is approved to add kiosks to 42 locations in the state but does not plan to install and operate them until spring at the earliest. 

Commissioners are happy with the first few weeks of legal Ohio sports betting, though they have noted that some sportsbooks need to be more mindful of advertising rules. The commission has already fined a number of sportsbooks for breaking the rules.

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Ohio as of 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: 17 fully approved. Four others are conditionally approved and could launch soon. The state can license up to 46, but anything over 25 requires specific OCCC approval; 
  • Number of retail sportsbooks: 12 fully approved for Jan. 1 start date. Ten others are conditionally approved. The state can license up to 40 retail sportsbooks.
  • Age requirement: 21 or older
  • Quirks: Esports wagering permitted; limited sports betting through lottery kiosks

Our top Ohio sports betting sites

Of these brands, some stand above the rest. We recommend you explore each option when it launches and decide. Here are our top picks.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Read review: DraftKings Ohio

Best feature(s): Live betting

Why we like DraftKings

DraftKings Ohio built its reputation in the daily fantasy sports world but is now one of the most recognizable US sports betting brands. The DraftKings Sportsbook app offers the most sports to bet on as any platform and is competitive in the number of markets offered for major sports as well. Features like betting pools, which offer experiences similar to tournaments, offer alternatives to straight betting. DK also is on the cutting edge for live betting, too.

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Caesars Sportsbook

Read review: Caesars Ohio

Best feature(s): Promotions

Why we like Caesars

Caesars Ohio has been a dominant gambling brand for decades. In Ohio, that Caesars brand recognition may not be as high as in other places. For online sports betting, Caesars is the first to offer live streaming of NFL games on the app. Like its famed Caesars Rewards loyalty program has for years, the app also takes care of existing customers. At Caesars Sportsbook, players will find all sorts of promotions to play nearly every day. It enhances the betting experience and — if played wisely — the bankroll.

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BetMGM Sportsbook

Read review: BetMGM Ohio

Best feature(s): Edit My Bet, MGM Rewards

Why we like BetMGM

BetMGM Ohio players will have the option for players to edit open bets, as the arms race for player experience continues. BetMGM also allows bettors to earn MGM Rewards points, the company-wide loyalty program that offers comps, discounts and other benefits.

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FanDuel Sportsbook Maryland welcome promotion and bonus code

FanDuel Sportsbook

Read review: FanDuel Ohio

Best feature(s): Ease, same-game parlays

Why we like FanDuel

FanDuel Ohio is expected to be the state’s leader in online sports betting. There are many good reasons why, including how easy the intuitive FD app is to use. FanDuel is the pioneer for same-game parlays, a model that other apps have followed.

What sportsbook apps launched in Ohio on Jan. 1?

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

BrandPartner
DraftKingsHollywood Toledo
CaesarsEldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
BetMGMMGM Northfield Park
FanDuelBelterra Park
Bet365Cleveland Guardians
PointsBetHollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley
BetfredCincinnati Bengals
BetRiversHollywood Dayton
BarstoolHollywood Columbus
Hard RockHard Rock Cincinnati
BetJackJACK Casino Cleveland
FanaticsColumbus Blue Jackets
BetrPro Football Hall of Fame
MVGBetMiami Valley Gaming and Racing
Bally BetCleveland Browns
TipicoColumbus Crew
Out The GateSPIRE Institute
BetParxMemorial Tournament/PGA Tour
SuperbookFC Cincinnati
BetwayBelterra Park
UnderdogCincinnati Reds

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

  • BallyBet
  • Out the Gate
  • betPARX
  • Fanatics
  • Underdog

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

  • PlayUp
  • Wynn Bet
  • Prophet Exchange

New books will continue to be approved for licenses in Ohio.

How does Ohio sports betting work?

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

HB 29 established 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 either are — or 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) and NASCAR might eventually have a book at its race venues in Ohio, too.

Type C licenses

Type C licenses are 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 sports betting kiosks already on site at these locations to also accept lottery sports betting.

Sports betting kiosks offer a limited number of bet types, including 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 the thousands. Any lottery retailer is eligible to apply.

Ohio retail sportsbook locations

Ohio’s sports betting law allows for both online and retail sports betting. Here are the 12 live retail sportsbooks in Ohio.

PropertyEntityOperator
Hard Rock Cincinnati Seminole Tribe of FloridaHard Rock
Hollywood ColumbusPenn National GamingBarstool
Hollywood ToledoPenn National GamingDraftKings
Jack ClevelandJack EntertainmentbetJACK
Belterra ParkBoyd Gaming Corp.FanDuel
Eldorado Scioto DownsEldorado ResortsCaesars
Hollywood DaytonPenn National Gaming TBD
Hollywood Mahoning ValleyPenn National GamingPointsBet
Jack ThistledownJack EntertainmentWynnBet
MGM Northfield ParkNorthfield Park AssociatesBetMGM
The Machine RoomCincinnati RedsBetMGM
Taft's Ale HouseFC CincinnatiSuperBook

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 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.

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

Ohio missed out on World Cup betting in 2022, but the event drew impressive ratings in the US. Ohio is home to two MLS franchises that will familiarize local fans to the beautiful game, and Ohio bettors will certainly be more prepared to bet on the World Cup when it comes to the U.S. in 2026.

Soccer creates a bit of a 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.

Where can I find Ohio sports betting kiosks?

Check out our Kiosk page for all the details on placing a bet at your local sports bar, bowling alley, grocery store, or other eligible vendor.

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.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQ

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is the regulatory agency for sports betting in the Buckeye State. The OCCC has oversight of casinos, racinos and other gambling activities in the state as well.

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. Collegiate events are part of the OCCC’s 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 now available in Ohio, it’s worth utilizing 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.