Ohio Sports Betting

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Early this year, Governor Mike DeWine said Ohio online sports betting could be operational in Ohio before 2023. Some industry experts believe a launch could come even sooner–before NFL season this year. On May 9, Senator Schuring told a Canton news radio show that legal betting may launch as early as this fall. While Ohio betting apps have been slow to get off the ground, the Governor and some lawmakers seem motivated to bring betting apps to Ohio bettors sooner than later.

DeWine signed an Ohio sports betting bill into law last December. Legal Ohio online sportsbooks are coming to the state – and most likely in 2022.

Ohio Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • May 9, 2022:

    Ohio bettors can expect legal betting apps by mid-to-late fall, according to a statement from Senator Kirk Schuring today.

  • April 13, 2022:

    Ohio estimates sports betting could be a $1.1 billion dollar industry in its first year of launch.

  • March 17, 2022:

    Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg revealed its $2.4 million expansion of Barstool Sportsbook.

  • February 24, 2022:

    BetRivers, owned by Rush Street Interactive could be coming to Ohio after it secures market access in the state.

  • January 10, 2022:

    Governor Mike DeWine announced that sports betting operations could be operational before 2023, according to a report from News5 Cleveland.

  • December 22, 2021:

    Governor DeWine signs sports betting bill into law. Legal sports betting could be available in Ohio sometime in 2022.

  • December 16, 2021:

    Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler told cleveland.com  it may be late 2022 until the sports betting industry launches in the state.

  • December 8, 2021:

    Ohio lawmakers overwhelmingly approved sports-betting legislation. The passage of House Bill 29 allows for bets on collegiate and professional games. Ohioans will also be able to wager on Olympic sports, horse racing, motorsports events, and esports. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will regulate sports betting. Ohio residents must be 21 to bet legally. There will be a maximum of 25 licenses for large retailers – casinos and racinos – and they could partner  with mobile apps such as DraftKings or FanDuel.

Which Ohio Sports Betting Apps Might Come To Ohio?

Up to 40 Type A licenses will be granted in Ohio. Type A licenses include mobile sportsbooks. We feel confident that these sportsbooks will have access to Ohio based on their existing presence in the state:

SportsbookDetails On Ohio Market Access
Caesars SportsbookCaesars Entertainment owns and operates Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs.
BetMGMMGM Resorts partnered with Boyd Gaming for market access, which operates Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center. But MGM also owns MGM Northfield Park, so BetMGM would have access through that property.
WynnBETWynnBET announced early market access in Ohio on January 21, 2021, although the nature of that deal is unknown.
Barstool SportsbookBarstool Sports is owned by Penn National, which operates four of Ohio’s Hollywood Casinos: Hollywood Casino Columbus, Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course
Hard Rock SportsbookHard Rock Casino Cincinnati opens up market access for Hard Rock Sportsbook, which is available in Iowa & New Jersey.

We can also safely assume that the following online sportsbooks will come to Ohio because they’ve launched in most states with legal sports betting:

DraftKings and FanDuel will also launch their famous Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platforms, as DFS legalization is expected as part of the overall online sports betting legalization.

How To Place A Bet On Ohio Sportsbooks

Details are also relatively sparse about how sports bettors will eventually be able to place wagers. There are two major ways in which this can turn out: online or in-person registration.

Because there are 11 retail casinos currently in Ohio, the state legislature may require wagerers to register in person at partnered casinos before they can place a bet using a mobile sportsbook app. This would follow the precedent set by states like Illinois. Although in reality, Illinois ended up suspending the in-person registration requirement through most of 2020 and 2021. 

However, it’s also possible that the legislature will craft legal sports betting laws to allow for online-only registration, which would be much more convenient for sports bettors. With this model, wagerers would be able to download and register through the app from their couches.

Let’s break down the hypothetical registration process if this ends up being the case.

What’s The Best Ohio Sports Betting App To Download?

DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, PointsBet, Betfred, and BetRivers are all great options when it comes to finding the best betting app on the market. They are all available to both iOS and Android users, too. iPhone users will be able to download their favorite sportsbooks right from the App Store. The Google Play Store approves gambling apps on a case-by-case basis, so Android users can check the Google Play store platform or go directly to the website of their sportsbook of choice.

After downloading the app, the installation will begin automatically regardless of the platform used. The apps will also likely install geolocation software as a requirement of sports betting legislation. All other states require geolocation software to be installed, which will prevent sports bettors from placing wagers outside Ohio state lines.

Register For Sportsbook

Next, players will be required to register for their choice sportsbook by providing some pieces of personal information. This may include details like their Social Security number, physical address, and date of birth. All of this can be used to verify their identity and make sure they are actually Ohio residents.

Fund The Account

After downloading and registering for a sportsbook, players will be able to fund their sports betting accounts using a variety of methods. The best deposit methods are PayPal and online bank transfer. Credit card deposits usually get rejected. If they go through, the transaction is usually considered a cash advance, which comes with fees.

Ohio sports betting apps will likely offer the option to deposit and withdraw in cash at the partnering brick-and-mortar casino locations as well.

Place Bets

After funding their accounts, players will be able to place wagers as they please. It’s also a good idea to check for any opening bonuses that may apply in your case depending on the sportsbook you choose to download.

Just be sure to check the terms and conditions, as most opening bonuses have a least a few. For example, you may need to claim your bonus within a week of opening your account.

Ohio Legal Sportsbooks

Gov. DeWine signed the sports betting bill into law last December. Sports betting legislation was approved in Ohio on Dec. 8, 2021 with the passage of House Bill 29. The deadline to begin sports-betting operations is Jan. 1, 2023 but the implementation could come prior to then, according to DeWine.

“I’ve instructed our administration as soon as everything is ready we should move forward with it, we don’t want to hold it up, we want to follow what the law says and make this available to people, but it’s going to take some time for everything to be worked out before this can really start,” DeWine said.

“I believe the General Assembly was mindful of that process when it set [the Jan. 1, 2023 deadline], considering the task in front of our commission,” Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, told cleveland.com.

State Sen. Kirk Schuring, chairman of the Select Committee on Gaming, announced on Dec. 6 that a deal on the legislation had been reached, and just two days later, the House passed the amended version of House Bill 29.

WFMJ-TV cited an industry study that suggested Ohio could be among the top sports betting markets in the US when it reaches full maturity.

“Ohio appears poised to emerge as the second- or third-largest sports betting market in the country, clearly behind New York, but perhaps rivaling Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois for No. 2,” said Eric Ramsey, a data analyst who co-authored the market analysis.

Ramsey added, “The state took its time in legalizing sports betting and then took a collaborative approach with existing casino stakeholders, local pro sports franchises, and the lottery program. The result is a structure that is the new standard in the U.S.”

The study estimated that Ohio online and retail operators will generate between $9 billion and $12 billion in bets each year by their third year of operation, producing state tax revenue between $70 million and $90 million annually.

Ohio sports betting is heading toward reality.

Can I Use Off-Shore Betting Apps In Ohio?

If you’re a sports bettor really chomping at the bit and wanting to place wagers, it’ll still pay to wait for legal sports operators to be up and running instead of using an offshore or illegal betting site.

Simply put, illegal betting sites are not worth the risk. They have subpar digital security, and any personal information you provide will be highly vulnerable as well. Furthermore, nothing is stopping an offshore betting site from taking any money you provide to your account. There won’t even be a regulatory body to appeal to because, technically, you’d be breaking the law.

Even worse, most offshore betting sites don’t include player-friendly odds or excellent promotions. All in all, it’s much better to wait for legalization, even if it’ll take some more time.

Fully licensed and regulated sportsbooks provide better sports betting experiences for their users, as well as much better digital security. Furthermore, legal sportsbooks are regulated by certain authoritative bodies, which can provide you with a path to reconciliation if you have a problem with your sportsbook at any point.

Ohio Sports Betting Revenue

At this point, it’s tough to estimate the kind of revenue that the Ohio state government might enjoy should they decide to legalize sports betting. That being said, we can look at states that already have legal sportsbook industries, as well as Ohio’s own casino revenue, to draw some early conclusions.

For example, Ohio’s casino industry generated over $93 million in March 2022 alone. That’s a huge amount of profit from a single industry. Furthermore, that revenue is only from casino games and does not include racing or sports betting.

We can also look at states like New Jersey, which has well-developed sports betting industries. In the month of January 2022, the sports betting industry alone generated over $1.35 billion in betting handle

All in all, it’s clear that Ohio’s future sports betting industry has the potential to provide the state government with a lot of funding power should it continue to proceed quickly.

How Ohio Compares To Other States

Ohio is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to gambling overall. It has 11 brick-and-mortar casinos, and there are over 18,000 video gaming and slot machine options spread throughout them. Additionally, players can place bets on horse races at those casinos and through using online apps like TVG and TwinSpires.

Therefore, it’s tempting to say that Ohio is a relatively laissez-faire state when it comes to gambling. But the state government was extremely slow when it came to legalizing sports betting.

This is likely because Ohio’s casino scene is more complex than you might think. There are so many casinos that there’s actually a little over-saturation for this market. Several of these casinos may close down over the next few years due to the abundance of competition.

Because of this, it’s more accurate to say that Ohio has an overdeveloped gaming industry in some areas and an underdeveloped gaming industry in others. Perhaps this is why the state government took so long to legalize another form of gambling. They may not have wanted a repeat of the casino issue, which is taking many years to resolve by itself.

But it’s also good that Ohio’s state government is not necessarily against gambling expansions in the future. Several other states are struggling with relatively conservative attitudes toward gaming, such as California, and may not allow for legal sports betting even over the next few years.

Ohio Betting Successes And Failures

Ohio Sports Betting Success

Ohio lawmakers approved an amended version of House Bill 29 last December, setting the stage for  legalization of sports betting in the state. This development came after State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R), Governor Mike DeWine (R), and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made what proved to be a successful push for sports betting throughout 2021. The Governor signed the bill into law on Dec. 22, 2021.

Where Could Ohio Improve Online Gambling?

Naturally, Ohio could improve its online gambling industry in multiple ways. For starters, it could allow online slots and casino games (because it does not currently allow any online gambling save for horse race betting).

Ohio could also launch online sports betting quickly, even if it takes some time for retail sportsbooks to set up shop. Depending on the provisions outlined in future sports betting legislation, it might take a little while for retail sportsbooks to get their ducks in a row at partnered casinos.

To accelerate the launch for its residents, Ohio could allow mobile sportsbooks to start ahead of their retail locations. This would allow players to begin placing wagers up to several months earlier than they would if they had to wait for retail sportsbooks to also be ready for guests.

Legalization Efforts In Ohio

After a year-long push, state lawmakers approved sports-betting legislation on Dec. 8, 2021, and Gov. DeWine signed the bill into law on the 22nd.

License A will permit existing casinos and racinos to offer online sports betting. There will be no more than 40 licenses, or skins, operating under License A’s provisions. Casinos and racinos will not be permitted to offer retail sportsbooks on-site.

License B will permit professional sports teams to offer retail sports betting on-site, with a focus on prop bets.

With 11 casinos and 9 professional teams in Ohio, there could be numerous operators in the state once the market settles.

Although the draft bill stated that collegiate wagers will be allowed, it is unclear what restrictions will be placed on college wagers. That will be determined by the Ohio Casino Commission.

It does look, though, that apps won’t launch until late 2022 or early 2023.

Timeline Of Ohio Sports Betting

  • 2018 – The Supreme Court calls PASPA unconstitutional and Ohio legislators start discussing a potential legal sports betting bill
  • November 2020 – HB 194 is brought to Columbus, the Ohio State capital, and discussion begins almost immediately
  • January 2021 – Senate President Matt Huffman creates the Select Committee on Gaming, which will be comprised of seven members, including both Republicans and Democrats
  • Feb 2021 – Representative Kelly announces her intention to support sports betting legalization in Ohio
  • March 2021 – Governor Mike DeWine tells reporters that Ohio bettors can expect legal sports betting legalization in 2021.
  • April 2021 – State Senator Kirk Schuring expresses confidence that a sports betting bill will be introduced this month or early May.
  • May 2021 – The Ohio Select Committee on Gaming released a draft 252 page Ohio sports betting bill and scheduled a hearing for May 12, 2021.
  • October 2021 – State Sen. Kirk Schuring shared that a committee of six House and Senate members has been formed and it plans to have the bill on the House and Senate floor by late October.
  • December 2021 – Ohio lawmakers approved an amended version of House Bill 29, paving the way for the legalization of sports betting in the state. The Governor signs the bill into law.

Ohio Teams

Ohio may not have any sports betting at this time, but there’s certainly a market for the future industry. Although there are other states with many more professional sports franchises to boast about, Ohio does have a couple of professional sports teams with dedicated fans.

Ohio Professional Sports Teams

Ohio’s most famous professional leagues are spread across the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. The famous teams to speak of are:

  • The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, both NFL teams
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers, an NBA team
  • The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, both MLB teams
  • The Columbus blue jackets, and NHL franchise

Therefore, Ohio is one of the few states the has all four major sports leagues represented by their own home teams. These teams compete every year in major tournaments and competitions. Each of the above teams also has a small army of dedicated fans that would provide instantaneous sports betting revenue to the state government when sports betting is finally legalized.

Ohio College Sports Teams

Ohio is not as well known for its collegiate sports teams in any capacity. This being said, the state does have a few major colleges with collegiate teams for baseball, basketball, and football, including Ohio State and Bowling Green State University.

But many states that have legalized sports betting have also implemented restrictions on collegiate bets for their home teams. For example, New Jersey doesn’t allow any collegiate sports bets whatsoever if the games take place within the state or if their team is playing.

There’s been no word as to the contents of HB 194 and what it says about collegiate sports betting, nor what Ohio legislators think is appropriate for their future sports betting market. Therefore, time will tell whether collegiate sports betting is allowed in Ohio at all, or if it is totally restricted as it is in many other legal states.

Other Sports To Bet On In Ohio

In addition to major sports franchises and leagues, sports bettors in Ohio will be able to place wagers on other activities like darts, NASCAR, and even eSports depending on the sportsbook operator they use. Many top sports bettors have betting markets for these activities and more, especially DraftKings and FanDuel.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Ohio?

Online and in-person sports betting is currently unavailable in Ohio. However, state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved sports-betting legislation, and the Ohio governor signed the bill into law last December. Legal sports-betting operations could begin in Ohio as early as mid-to-late 2022.

Will I need to be an Ohio resident to bet online on Ohio?

No, you will not need to be an Ohio resident to bet online in Ohio. When legal online sportsbooks launch in Ohio, the requirement will be that you’re at least 21 years old and physically located within state lines. 

How old will I have to be to bet in Ohio?

You will need to be 21 years of age or older. It’s also how old you need to be to visit any of Ohio’s retail casinos, which will more than likely be partnered with the sportsbook operators who get licenses.

What sports and events will I be able to bet on in Ohio?

When Ohio sports betting launches, you will be able to bet on all professional-level domestic and international team sports, individual sports, and college sports. However, Ohio may put restrictions on betting on college sports, such as restricting bets on in-state college teams or banning prop bets on all college sports.

Who Regulates Online Sportsbook Apps In Ohio?

The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which already regulates the active casinos in the state, will regulate sports betting after the passage of House Bill 29.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.

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