Ohio Gambling Laws
Gambling laws in Ohio aren’t the simplest, but there’s a bright future for sports betting ahead. Online sports betting is yet to launch in the state, but Ohioans will be able to gamble in this format from January 1 2023.
Gov Mike DeWine signed the state’s sports betting bill, HB 29, into law on December 22 2021. Since then, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has spent the past year preparing for the launch, with hundreds of retailers applying for gambling licenses. Once Ohio sports betting goes live, we’re expecting the likes of BetMGM, BetRivers, FanDuel, and more to launch in the state.
Of course, online sports betting isn’t the only type of gambling you can enjoy in the Buckeye State. The Ohio Lottery sells tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and a number of other draw games.
Casinos were prohibited in Ohio until 2009, when voters opted to legalize them to keep potential gambling revenue within state borders. Ohioans can bet at four land-based casinos:
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Jack Cleveland Casino
And seven ‘racinos’ offering horse race betting and a range of casino games:
- Belterra Park Cincinnati
- Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course
- Jack Thistledown Racino
- MGM Northfield Park
- Miami Valley Gaming
It’s currently illegal to operate online casinos in the state. Offshore casinos remain an option, but aren’t recommended due to the lack of player protection.
Minimum Gambling Age in Ohio
You must be at least 18 years old to take part in the state lottery and horse race betting in Ohio. You must be at least 21 to play at a land-based casino or to bet on sports.
Gambling Tax in Ohio
For bettors in Ohio, gambling winnings are treated as taxable income like any other. You’ll also have to pay federal tax on your wins of 24%.
Casino operators are taxed at 33%. Revenue from online sports betting will be taxed at 10% once it goes live.
Sports to Bet on in Ohio
The best Ohio sportsbooks offer a top range of betting markets — whether it’s the most popular sports in the world like soccer and tennis, national favorites like basketball and football, or smaller sports such as badminton. Below, you’ll find some guidance on the top sports to bet on in Ohio.
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events in the world, and its popularity only stands to increase — thanks in part to the spectacle of the halftime show. And here at home, football remains the number one sport by broadcast viewership.
The National Football League sees 32 teams from around the country come together in an epic clash for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Each team plays 17 matches in the regular season between September and January, so there’s plenty of action to bet on.
Super Bowl LVI was a hot contest between the previous champions, Ohio’s own Cincinnati Bengals, and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams clinched the win with a final score of 23–20.
Among a wealth of top-class basketball played across the globe, the NBA stands as the premier league of the sport. Fast-paced and often chaotic, this sport offers some of the best prop betting opportunities thanks to the smaller teams.
The NBA regular season is made up of 30 teams, with each playing 82 games between October and April. The top eight from the eastern and western conferences progress to the best-of-seven playoffs until only two remain. The final match sees the victor lifting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers represent Ohio in the NBA. Their only Championship win was in 2016, when series MVP LeBron James led the team to victory over the Golden State Warriors and in turn ended the infamous Cleveland sports curse.
Disregarded by some for its brutal gameplay, and lauded by others for its finesse and creativity, hockey is one of North America’s top sports. The NHL is considered the top ranked ice hockey league in the world, and is certain to deliver heart-stopping action every year in the contest for the Stanley Cup.
Each of the 32 teams plays 82 games in the regular season before the top 16 progress to the playoffs, leaving plenty of chances to bet on the NHL.
Ohio is represented by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL. Sadly, they’re yet to lift the trophy.
Nothing beats the thrill of the races, as the horses and their riders thunder down the track towards the finish. The global calendar for horse racing is jam-packed with betting opportunities, whether it’s top domestic races like the Kentucky Derby, or some of the highest caliber of international racing like the UK’s Grand National.
Ohio bettors looking to get their feet wet can try a win, place, or each-way bet, while those seeking bigger potential rewards may want to give a system bet a go — Trixie, Heinz, and Yankee bets are popular, or why not come up with your own horse racing parlay?
America has undoubtedly produced some of the world’s top golfers, and Ohio bettors can wager on many of the sport’s top events at our recommended sportsbooks. The 2022–23 PGA Tour will be in full swing from September, but there are plenty of other events to look forward to.
The Ryder Cup, the Masters, and the US Open are some of North America’s most prestigious golfing competitions. Across the pond, the Open Championship takes place at St Andrews, Scotland every summer.
With all-time greats like the Williams sisters, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi representing the US over the years, it comes as no surprise that tennis has a feverish following across the country. Ohio bettors can wager on a fantastic range of matches — the four Grand Slam tournaments of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open are the biggest events in the tennis calendar.
It’s an exciting time to get involved in the sport as well. As Nadal, Djokovic and Federer edge towards retirement — presumably, at some point — it’s only a matter of time before a power struggle emerges in the upper echelons of the sport. The chance for upset means there could be some intriguing opportunities for the savviest bettors.
Betting Formats in Ohio
The best Ohio sportsbooks don’t just cover a wide range of sports; there’ll also be plenty of different bet types you can make. Here’s a quick rundown of some popular options and how they work.
Moneyline bets are probably the simplest wager you can make. When you place a moneyline bet, you’re usually backing a team to win a match against another. These bets are represented with moneyline odds, also called American odds.
Say the Cavaliers are to play the Los Angeles Lakers. The odds might be:
- Cavaliers +200
- Lakers -150
The Lakers are the favorite to win, with a bet of $150 yielding $100. The Cavaliers are the underdog and a $100 bet wins $200 if they prevail.
In some sports, you’ll find three-way moneylines as the standard where a draw is the third option to bet on. These bets are found in sports where a draw is likely to occur, such as soccer.
Parlays, also known as accumulators or accas, are multi-leg bets where you chain together multiple wagers. They’re favored by bettors looking to make a larger profit from a smaller stake, as the payout is based on the combined odds of each leg. The more legs you place in your parlay, the greater the potential reward.
Here’s a quick example of a three-leg parlay on horse racing:
- Horse A to win Race 1 at odds of +150
- Horse B to win Race 2 at odds of -100
- Horse C to win Race 3 at odds of +75
If all three bets come good, a $10 stake would pay out $77.50 in profit. Parlays are an exciting way to shift the risk-reward balance, and you can often add parlay insurance to your wager to protect yourself from a single leg failing.
If you’d like to back a particular team to win but want to add an extra dimension to the wager, point spreads could be the answer. With these bets, whether you win or lose depends on the margin of the result.
Take the September 11 Bengals vs Steelers match as an example. The point spread is 6.5, and the Bengals are favorite to win:
- Steelers +6.5
- Bengals -6.5
This means the Bengals need to win by at least 7 points to cover the spread. Conversely, if the Steelers can win the game or lose by 7 points or less, bets on this outcome will succeed.
Prop bets are more speculative in nature and are bets placed on a particular event occurring within a match, rather than on the final outcome. They’re popular in a number of sports and you’ll find a wide range of markets covering the minutiae of each game.
You can expect to find betting options like passing, rushing, or receiving yards for football; points, rebounds, and assists for basketball; and goals, corners, and yellow cards for soccer. There might even be opportunities to bet on trivial aspects of a match, such as the color of Gatorade a team will drink!
Mobile Betting in Ohio
Sports betting will launch in Ohio on January 1 2023. Some of the country’s top sportsbooks have already applied for mobile betting licenses, so Ohioans will be able to bet with names like BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings.
These operators will offer native betting apps which can be downloaded onto iOS and Android mobile devices. You’ll get on-the-go access to top sports betting markets, betting bonuses and promotions, and handy features like push notifications to keep you up to date with the latest odds.
Safety and Security at Ohio Betting Sites
The OCCC licensing requirements set out a number of measures Ohio betting sites must take in order to protect players. For example, all data must be encrypted to prevent theft and protect customer information. There are also requirements around sports betting bonuses, and promotion rules must be set out clearly.
Operators must adhere to a number of responsible gambling requirements, including participation in the Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP). This allows players to exclude themselves from all gambling activities in the state through one simple system.
As legal sports betting is yet to launch in the state, the licensing requirements are not set in stone. You can find a draft of licensing requirements at the Ohio Casino Commission Control website.
Compare the Best Ohio Betting Sites with Compare.bet
Sports betting in Ohio will go live on January 1 2023. Why not prepare yourself by reading some more of our detailed expert guides? We’ve reviewed top sportsbooks and betting bonuses to make your choice easy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not currently. Legal sports betting in Ohio will launch on January 1 2023 after HB 29 was signed into law in December 2021.
Most likely. Online sports betting is yet to launch in Ohio, but when it does, we’re expecting to see PayPal offered as a payment method at the best sportsbooks.
All genuine betting sites must be licensed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. These licenses ensure the operator meets requirements around player protection and safety. Online sports betting hasn’t yet launched in Ohio, so you should avoid sites claiming otherwise as they may be fraudulent.