Ohio Sports Betting

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Sports fans could see a vote on Ohio sports betting legislation before the end of the year. A tentative agreement has been reached on legislation that would legalize sports betting in Ohio. Ohio residents could place their first bets by January 2023. According to the current version of Ohio Senate Bill 176, the Ohio Casino Control Commission will begin to accept applications from sportsbook operators by late January 1, 2022, and will begin to grant licenses by late 2022. Ohio sports betting is on the horizon.

Ohio State Senator Kirk Schuring helped form a Senate Select Committee on Gaming comprised of 3 House members and 3 senate members to fine-tune the sports betting bill and hopefully get it passed before the end of the year.

If the Governor signs off on the bill, then, regulators would need to create sports betting rules—as well as receive and approve licenses—before any sports betting apps can launch.

Legal online sports betting in Ohio is inching closer to a reality. 

Ohio Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • December 1, 2021:

    House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, announced on December 1, 2021, that a tentative agreement has been reached on legislation that would legalize sports betting in Ohio.

  • December 1, 2021:

    Conference committee members including Representative Bill Seitz agreed to changes in Ohio sports betting bill and hope to approve changes next week.

  • November 15, 2021:

    State Senator Kirk Schuring says plans are still in place to get a sports betting bill passed. If passed, sports betting could be live by Spring 2022.

  • October 26, 2021:

    In an interview, Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming Chair Kirk Schuring of Canton expects a conference committee could report on amendments to the sports betting legislation, with a possible vote in the next week.

  • October 7, 2021:

    State Sen. Kirk Schuring mentioned in an interview that Ohio sports betting could get a vote by Halloween.

  • September 29, 2021:

    Unfortunately, Ohio sports betting won’t launch in time for the 2022 Super Bowl.

  • August 18, 2021:

    The Ohio sports betting bill is still in the House and lawmakers are experiencing pushback on the bill from non-profits like the Ohio NAACP. The launch is still expected for spring 2022, however.

  • July 1, 2021:

    Ohio sports betting is delayed until after Labor Day, but state leaders say the wait won’t hurt Ohio in the long run.

  • June 14, 2021:

    With 45 amendments introduced in the Senate on the Ohio sports betting bill, it is expected that the Ohio State Senate will vote on the bill on Wednesday, June 16 and send it to the State House before the end of the week. State Sen. Kirk Schuring, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Gaming, is hoping to have the bill passed in both chambers before the end of the month.

  • June 10, 2021:

    The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming added additional amendments and have a self-imposed deadline of voting on the Ohio sports betting bill next week.

Which Sports Betting Sites 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.
TwinSpiresFormerly BetAmerica, TwinSpires is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, which owns 50% of Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon, OH.

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 In Ohio

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.

Download The App

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

Ultimately, the path to sports betting legalization in Ohio is likely to take some time, even at this point. But 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 betting 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 nearly $172 million in gambling revenue in August 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 August 2021, the sports betting industry alone generated over $52 million of revenue for the state.

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 has been extremely slow when it comes to legalizing sports betting, poker outside of casinos, and other gaming activities.

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 is taking so long to legalize another form of gambling. They may not want 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 doesn’t currently have any sports betting successes to speak of because no version of the activity is legal, even in the state’s retail casinos. But State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R), Governor Mike DeWine (R), and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been making a successful push for sports betting throughout 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

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 April 2022.

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.

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?

No, online and in-person sports betting is currently illegal in Ohio. However, state lawmakers have made major headways in sports betting legalization, and a legal sports betting market in Ohio is expected by April 2021.

When will Ohio have legal sports betting?

April 2022. An updated Ohio sports betting bill is expected to be introduced by late October. The state could begin accepting sportsbook operator licenses by late January 2022 for a launch in late April 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 most likely need to be 21 years of age or older, as this is the required age found in other legal states throughout the country. 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 organization to be in charge of the Ohio sports betting industry has not yet been announced. But it’s likely that the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which already regulates the active casinos in the state, will either regulate sports betting as well or have a hand in the formation of the committee responsible for overseeing sports betting.

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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