Ohio Sports Betting – Legality, Timeline & Pre-Launch Offers

For some time the Buckeye State has been one of the most attractive legal sports betting markets in the country thanks to its large population (11.7 million), legions of voracious sports fans, and a significant number of pro sports and collegiate athletic teams. Now, after years of efforts, the end of the tunnel is finally in sight.  Legal sports betting in Ohio will officially begin on January 1, 2023.

On Jan 1, 2023, Ohio will join a list of 30+ U.S. states and jurisdictions that have either expressly authorized or allowed some form of legal sports wagering after the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Ohio sports betting is right around the corner. On this page, we will discuss how Ohio finally ended up joining the ranks of legal sports betting states after years of frustration, what that means for bettors in the state, when sports betting will be live, and more.

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How Sports Betting Came to Ohio

There was a time when industry observers joked that every state outside of Utah would have legal sports betting before Ohio. It seemed that way for a while, with the legislative debates and proposals that always seemed to get people just excited enough to think that maybe this was actually the day/week/month that sports betting would be legalized in the state. Then something would happen, or not happen, and everyone would be sad that the legislative progress derailed…again.

Over and over it would go. Progress and setbacks. Hope and despair. Legislation passing the Senate but not the House, and vice versa. Would Ohioans ever be able to wager on their favorite teams? Things seemed bleak. Then, one day in December 2021 (December 8 to be exact), a breakthrough! Could it be? Yes! All of a sudden, H.B. 29, a bill to fully legalize sports betting in the state, passed the Senate 31-1. Later the same day it passed the House by a vote of 72-12. What just happened? SportHandle’s Slack channels were abuzz.

The passage of H.B. 29 came suddenly but was the result of several months of behind-closed-door negotiations. The bill is a monumental victory for fans of sports betting, and the work is officially done!

Unfortunately, bettors won’t be able to fire up their favorite sports betting apps in the state until January 1, 2023 because of the methodical rulemaking process, but still, sports betting will be live in Ohio in just a few months, which is a remarkable achievement that will bring joy and excitement to thousands of Buckeye State bettors. While we’re talking about H.B. 29, let’s go over what is actually in the bill because it has some interesting sections that haven’t been included in other state laws.

Type A, B, and C Licenses

The legislation authorizes up to 25 Type-A licenses, which are meant for casinos or professional sports organizations, or venues. This would include all the casinos in the state (obviously) but would also include the state’s professional sports teams, NASCAR, and the PGA Tour. The actual number of casinos and sports teams does not equal 25, but the legislature decided to go high in case things change in the future. Each Type A licensee is awarded two online “skins” or partners for online gaming. This format is common in many states and allows online-only operators like DraftKings to enter different markets.

Type B sportsbooks are for stand-alone sportsbooks. Forty Type B licenses are available, which means that there could be up to 40 retail sportsbooks dotting the state. This would be in addition to the existing casinos that can add sportsbooks to their facilities. As you can see, Ohio is really leaning into legalized sports betting.

Type C sportsbooks will definitely be the most prevalent in the state. A Type C sportsbook license is for a retail kiosk that can be placed in a facility that already has a liquor license, which would include thousands of bars and restaurants throughout the state. These kiosks, managed by the state lottery, will only offer basic bets like over/under, spread bets, and Moneyline, and will cap withdrawals at $700/week. But bettors will be paid in cash by the establishment where the kiosk is located. The license fee for a Type C sportsbook is just $1000 for three years, so we expect many taverns and restaurants to install kiosks at their businesses. This will be a great option for those who want to bet on sports but for whatever reason aren’t interested in signing up for a mobile sportsbook app.

Additional Details

  • The tax rate for sports betting revenue in the state is a low 10%, which should hit the sweet spot of maximizing revenue to the state by encouraging competition.
  • Sports betting becoming legal in Ohio means that the state will keep a great of tax revenue that was being spent by bettors making legal wagers in every single bordering state aside from Kentucky. Ohio joins neighbors Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in legalizing sports betting. Keeping those bettors home means keeping the revenue in the state, which is good news for all Ohioans and bad news for the neighboring states.
  • There are no major restrictions on the types of wagers eligible to be offered by sportsbooks, which is great news for the MANY fans of Ohio State University who will now be able to wager on their favorite college football team.
  • eSports wagers are also allowed to be offered, which is worth keeping an eye on. eSports are wagered on in other states, but the market is very small. That could change as more people become interested in watching and wagering on video games.
  • Equitable access to sports wagering licenses is another focus of the bill. The legislation requires a study to be conducted examining whether disadvantaged persons experience discrimination in the sports wagering industry. This study will be closely watched and will possibly lead to further action to ensure that licenses are distributed in an equitable manner.
  • Similar to Michigan, the legislation requires a universal start date, which means that operators will all be approved for licenses before the start date, which will be no later than January 1, 2023. All operators will start on the same day so as to not give anyone an unfair advantage. This worked very well in Michigan and will likely be used by other states in the future.
  • The sports betting industry in Ohio will be regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. This was the source of some negotiation, as many in the legislature wanted the Lottery Commission to regulate the industry. In the end, having the Casino Commission regulate sports betting is better for bettors in the state because it will ensure a more open, competitive marketplace rather than one controlled by the state lottery.

Ohio Sportsbooks – Expected Mobile Sportsbooks, Brick & Mortar Lounges

Online Sportsbook Brand(s)*License PartnerLocationOnline Launch Date
Bally BetCleveland BrownsClevelandJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Barstool Sportsbook Hollywood Casino Columbus ColumbusJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
bet365 SportsbookCleveland GuardiansClevelandJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
BetFanaticsTipicoColumbusJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Betfred Sportsbook Cincinnati BengalsCincinnatiJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
betJACKJack Cleveland CasinoClevelandJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Jack Thistledown Racino North RandallJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
BetMGM SportsbookMGM Northfield Park NorthfieldJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
BetPARXPGA Tour/Memorial TournamentDublinJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
BetRivers SportsbookPro Football Hall of Fame CantonJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Caesars Sportsbook Scioto Downs Racino ColumbusJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
DraftKings SportsbookHollywood Casino Toledo ToledoJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
FanDuel SportsbookBelterra Park Gaming & Entertainment CenterAnderson TownshipJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Fubo SportsbookCleveland CavaliersClevelandJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Hard Rock SportsbookHard Rock Casino Cincinnati CincinnatiJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
PointsBet Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course AustintownJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
SuperBook SportsbookFC CincinnatiCincinnatiJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
TipicoColumbus CrewColumbusJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)
Underdog SportsCincinnati RedsCincinnatiJanuary 1, 2023 (est.)

Inked Sportsbook Partnerships in Ohio

With the passage of HB 29 in December 2021, Ohio lawmakers had the beginning of 2022 to pave the way for sportsbooks to infiltrate into the buckeye state.

Now that Ohioans can prepare for a launch on January 1, 2023, several partnerships have been inked before the launch day. Let’s catch you up to speed.

Cleveland Cavaliers

It seems like a great time to buy stock in a young and promising Cavs team. They are coming off a solid year where they reached the NBA play-in tournament. 

Although they fell short of making their first postseason since Lebron James departed in free agency, the Cavs boast one of the best young corps in the NBA. And it seems like sportsbooks are bullish on this Cavs squad as plenty of partnerships have been agreed upon.

Caesars Sportsbook will be an official sports betting partner of the Cavaliers. They will open an in-class retail sportsbook on the street level inside their team arena, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Fubo Gaming will also be an official sports betting partner of the Cavs. Fubo will open a 3,000 square foot sports lounge in the stadium. In addition, Betway agreed to a partnership with Cleveland in March of 2021.

Cleveland Browns

After coming off a disappointing season full of expectations, the Browns will look to silence their critics.

Bally Bet is the first of many potential partnerships with Cleveland’s football team. The two sides agreed in April of 2022. The deal will include a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium, and the Bally Bet mobile sportsbook app launch.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians have elected to partner up with BetFanatics on their retail location as well as bet365 Sportsbook on their app.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were the first of the Ohio professional sports teams to apply for a Type A gaming proprietor license.

The Bengals, coming off their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989, and have announced that they will partner with Betfred Sportsbook.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have agreed to a partnership with BetMGM on their retail location while the Reds will also partner up with Underdog Sports on their app.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Fresh off signing the prize of NHL free agency in Johnny Gaudreau, BetFanatics will be the sportsbook partner for both retail and online for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus Crew

Tipico Sportsbook and Ohio’s MLS team, the Columbus Crew, agreed on a partnership in January 2022. The deal will include a beer garden sponsored by the sportsbook and brand integration throughout Lower.com Field.

FC Cincinnati

Cincinnati’s soccer team agree to a partnership with SuperBook Sports for both retail and online.

PGA Tour

The PGA Tour agreed to a deal with betPARX Sportsbook. betPARX Ohio will become the exclusive sports betting sponsor of the Memorial Tournament, held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, during the spring. betPARX Ohio Sportsbook will apply for a Type A license.

Other Deals

  • WynnBET Sportsbook agreed to secure market access to Ohio in January of 2021.
  • Kindred Sportsbook agreed to secure market access to Ohio in September 2020 for the Unibet brand through a partnership with Penn National Gaming.
  • MaximBet Sportsbook agreed to secure market access to Ohio in September of 2021.

Professional Sports Teams in Ohio

Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and they are subject to change.

ClubLeagueOdds
Cincinnati BengalsNFLWin Super Bowl +2100
Cincinnati RedsMLBWin World Series N/A
Cleveland BrownsNFLWin Super Bowl +4400
Cleveland CavaliersNBAWin NBA Championship +3300
Cleveland GuardiansMLBWin World Series +3200
Columbus Blue JacketsNHLWin Stanley Cup +7500
Columbus Crew SCMLSWin MLS Cup +3400
FC CincinnatiMLSWin MLS Cup +2300

Ohio Casino/Racino Properties and Ownership

There are four casinos and seven racinos located in Ohio.  The legislation that passed and was signed into law allows each property, along with the state’s professional sports teams, to offer two online brands — also known as “skins” — apiece. This means that all the major sportsbooks, and many of the lesser-known ones, will eventually be available in the state. Here is more about the existing casinos and their potential sportsbook partners:

Casinos

Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Casino Toledo (Penn National Gaming)

Penn National owns two casinos and three racinos in the state. There is no doubt it will use one of its online skins to bring Barstool Sportsbook to the state. Barstool is owned by Penn National and has become a formidable, if controversial, presence in the sports betting world. Other sportsbooks could partner with Penn National to gain entry to the state, particularly if it is determined that each individual Penn National gaming location qualifies for two online skins, which would leave the company with 10 golden tickets to hand out to the highest bidder.

Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati (Hard Rock International)

In 2019, Jack Entertainment sold Jack Casino Cincinnati to Hard Rock International for $745 million. Jack still maintains ownership of two other properties in the state – in Cleveland and North Randall. Hard Rock Sportsbook operates online in a handful of states, including Arizona and New Jersey.

Hard Rock will be bringing its online sportsbook to the state of Ohio, and in fact, is already advertising an exciting prelaunch offer. The sooner you pre-register for Hard Rock Sportsbook Ohio, the more you’ll get in bonus bucks. If you register before August 1st new Ohio sports bettors can bank $500 in bonus bets. The amount drop $100 at the start of each month, concluding with $50 in bonus bets for those who register on Ohio launch day – January 1, 2023.

Jack Casino Cleveland (Jack Entertainment)

Jack Entertainment partnered with the UK-based risk-management and odds supplier Kambi Sports to power its physical and online sportsbooks. Kambi has been a popular choice for U.S. bookmakers, as it’s also the back-end supplier for Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino. With its significant name recognition, it’s possible Jack Casino could create its own online sportsbook, or it may partner with a different brand. Either way, Jack Entertainment will be in the sportsbook game in 2023.

Racinos

Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center (Boyd Gaming)

Boyd Gaming has a market access deal with FanDuel Sportsbook, which has worked out quite well for Boyd as FanDuel has gained a dominant market share in every state in which it operates. Ohioans can expect a physical FanDuel Sportsbook similar to the one at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. FanDuel has also outfitted lounges in Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan, among the growing list of states.

Scioto Downs Racino (Eldorado Resorts)

Caesars owns Eldorado Scioto Downs, a popular racino outside Columbus. Caesars Sportsbook will have access to the state through this facility, and we expect the online sportsbook to do quite well. Caesars will also likely open a retail sportsbook at Scioto Downs which will no doubt be filled with Buckeye fans during football season.

MGM Northfield Park (MGM International Resorts)

MGM International Resorts established ROAR Digital as a joint venture between MGM and GVC Holdings, and they have done a great job elevating their online brand, BetMGM, into the upper echelon of the U.S. sportsbooks. The companies put up a total of $200 million at the outset of the partnership, and have injected more capital as the U.S. market has opened up further.  MGM has also partnered with Yahoo! Sports to serve as an acquisition engine, cut a deal with Buffalo Wild Wings for marketing purposes, and also is now using actor/entertainer Jamie Foxx to endorse the brand. In other words, they’re all in, and of course, very experienced in sportsbook hospitality through properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, where MGM spent $10 million to build out a sportsbook lounge at the Borgata. BetMGM will be in Ohio on Day 1 and will be a very popular choice among the state’s sports bettors.

Miami Valley Gaming (Churchill Downs/Delaware North)

Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) owns Miami Valley Gaming, but the company recently announced that they are getting out of the sports betting game, retiring the TwinSpires sportsbook brand later this year. This could lead to CDI partnering with another sportbook to license one or both of their two online skins that come with the Miami Valley property.

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway (Penn National Gaming)

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway opened in 1959 as a car racing and thoroughbred track. It has since evolved into a racino that launched in August of 2014. Hollywood Gaming is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming and will partner with Barstool Sportsbook.

Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course (Penn National Gaming)

As one may venture to guess, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course is also owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming. Construction began in 2013, and the opening occurred in September 2014, with operations launching in November of that same year. The track replaced Beulah Park Racetrack in Columbus. Barstool Sportsbook will be the retail location’s book while Mahoning Valley secured an agreement with PointsBet as their online sportsbook.

Jack Thistledown Racino (Jack Entertainment)

Jack Thistledown Racino is a racino located in North Randall, Ohio. It is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Jack Entertainment. The track opened in 1931 and is the home of the Ohio Derby, the only graded stakes race in the Buckeye state.

Ohio Sportsbook Available Sports

The full list of sports authorized to be wagered on will be finalized later on as part of the rulemaking process, but we have a pretty good idea of which sports will be offered in the state. Bettors in Ohio will be able to wager on most, if not all, of the following sports:

  • Australian Rules Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (NBA and NCAA)
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Football (NFL and NCAA)
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • MMA
  • Motorsports
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis

Ohio Sportsbook Bet Types

A market is a type of bet. Sportsbooks offer thousands of different wagers or markets. If you want to bet the Reds Moneyline in their upcoming game against the Cubs, that is one market. A moneyline bet on the Cubs would be a second market. A spread bet on the Bengals -6.5 in an NFL game against the Ravens is a third type of market. Big games like the Super Bowl can have thousands of markets available, mostly related to prop bets like how many rushing yards an RB will get or how many TDs a QB will throw. Even low-profile games like a Tuesday night Cavaliers-Grizzlies NBA game can have over 100 bets offered. Here are all the bet types that will be available to bettors in Ohio:

Ohio Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

Once sportsbooks are ready to open in Ohio, it will be a mad dash to sign up new customers. This will greatly benefit bettors in the state who will be the recipients of some of the best new customer promotions and sportsbook bonuses available anywhere in the country. While we can’t say exactly which promotions will be offered, we are confident that at least some of the following sportsbook promotions will be available to bettors in Ohio:

Ohio Sportsbook Banking Options

All online sportsbooks offer different types of deposit and withdrawal options. Some offer a wide variety of banking options, while others only offer a few options. The more banking options available, the better it is for bettors, because everyone has their own preferred method of funding their sportsbook accounts. Be sure to check with your particular financial institution before initiating a deposit because some banks decline transactions related to sports betting. Here are all the banking options available at legal, regulated sportsbooks, most of which will be offered by sportsbooks in Ohio:

  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • VIP Preferred ACH eCheck
  • Play+ branded prepaid card
  • Visa/Mastercard/Discover
  • Online banking
  • PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Paper checks mailed to your home address
  • Wire transfer

The Latest Ohio Sports Betting News

Ohio Casino History

The Buckeye State is a relative newcomer to the casino industry, having only had retail casino gambling since 2012. Ohio voters approved a ballot initiative in 2009 to allow for casinos in four of its major cities. Ohio was part of the regional casino boom that occurred in the aftermath of the Great Recession, which temporarily greatly damaged gaming revenue in Las Vegas. Tourism was hit hard, so the industry lobbied to put casinos across the country.

Casino gambling also allowed states to raise revenues without raising taxes on residents, and Ohio, along with many other states, went that route. Under Ohio law, the four casinos are regulated by the OCCC, while the racinos are under OLC oversight. The racinos don’t have live dealer table games, which is the main difference between the facilities.

The first casino to open was Hollywood Casino Toledo in 2012, followed by the other three casinos in the spring of 2013. The first racino also opened in 2012. The racinos were authorized under an executive order from the governor that allowed video lottery terminals at the racetracks. Ohio has had seven racinos since 2014, and under the legal landscape, there isn’t a cap on the number of racinos. There is a cap of four Las Vegas-style casinos.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Yes, BUT it has not yet launched. We’re almost there! Ohio is expected to launch when January 1, 2023 comes around.

Which online sportsbooks are expected to be available in Ohio?

Even though we are a few months out before Ohio officially launches, we are already up to 17 online sportsbooks that are expected to launch on January 1! The legislation authorizes up to 25 Type-A licenses, so there may be more on the way but for now, it is still a robust lineup full of some big-time players, as well as smaller operations.

What is the legal betting age in Ohio?

You must be at least 21 years old to legally wager in Ohio. Virtually all states have moved forward with 21+ sports and Ohio is no different.

Do I have to be in Ohio to place a bet?

Yes you do. If you’re not located within the borders of Ohio, you will not be able to successfully place a wager with a licensed Ohio online sportsbook.

Are sports betting bonuses offered in Ohio?

Oh, you bet. With plenty of sportsbooks making their way to the Buckeye State, there will be a number of enticing welcome offers for you to jump on.

Recent Updates

September 13, 2022 – Page was updated with a comprehensive Ohio Sports Betting FAQ section including all the basics that Ohioans need to know when their state goes live on the January 1, 2023 launch date. In addition, there was a polish on details that have been since finalized between the last sweep and in September.

 

Brian Pempus

Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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