When the first sports bet is taken in Ohio Sunday — as early at 12:00:01, as one operator quipped — the launch will mark the biggest single-day, universal go-live event since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018.
As of Friday, 16 digital platforms and 13 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks had plans to open on New Year’s Day, many just after the stroke of midnight. With those first bets, Ohio will become the fourth-biggest state by population to offer live, legal sports wagering in the U.S., behind New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Ohio has eight professional sports teams spread across three cities, including two each in the NFL, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer.
Best Ohio Sportsbook Offers
Operators expect Ohio to be a boon and have been anticipating launching there for more than a year after lawmakers legalized sports wagering in December 2021. Ohioans have been inundated with advertising and marketing on social media, television, radio, billboards, and in person. The crush has been enough for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to issue a warning and fine at least one operator ahead of launch.
It’s scary how heavily advertised this new sports betting initiative is in Ohio. My timelines and pages are flooded with bait to sign up. Shocked this isn’t regulated tighter, especially given how addictive it is…not to mention, how does this thing know I’m 21+?
— Josh Gregory (@JoshuaGregory10) December 29, 2022
A savvy consumer will be able to cobble together more than $7,000 in free or matching bet opportunities, many being offered by smaller operators. For example, new Betfred customers could earn up to $1,111 in Fred Bets, while new SuperBook customers could earn up to $1,000 in bonus bets. Hard Rock Digital has multiple offers, including a spin on the company’s digital “Mystery Wheel,” while DraftKings is offering $200 in sign-up bonuses and a chance to win $100,000 in a drawing.
We at Sports Handle encourage you to bet responsibly, use the time- and money-limit tools provided by operators, and reach out for help if you’re struggling to control your betting. The Ohio Problem Gambling Hotline is available at 800-589-9966, and the National Problem Gambling Helpline’s number is 1-800-522-4700.
Here, we’ve pulled together a look at what’s out there for the first U.S. launch of 2023:
Tethered to: Hollywood Casino Columbus
Retail location: Hollywood Casino Columbus
Digital launch plan: Barstool Sportsbook plans to go live just after midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: Ahead of launch, Barstool Sports is offering $50 mycash and $50 in bonus cash to bettors who sign up early. This offer is good through Dec. 31. Beginning New Year’s Day, Barstool Sportsbook is offering new customers up to $1,000 in bonus cash if their first wager loses and a $100 “bonus giveaway” in which new customers get $100 in bonus cash by placing a wager of $1 or more.
Tethered to: Cincinnati Bengals
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: Betfred plans to launch around midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: Betfred is offering a promotion where users who sign up using this link and bet $50 or more can receive up to $1,111 in “Fred Bets”, which are essentially just bet credits. On a customer’s first wager of $50 or more on or after Jan. 1, they will receive $111 in Fred Bets automatically.
In addition to the initial $111 worth of Fred Bets, users can also receive 50% back on their losses (up to $200 in Fred Bets weekly) over the course of five weeks following Betfred’s launch in Ohio. Those who take full advantage can take home a total of $1,111 in Fred Bets from this promotion, making it one of Ohio’s largest offers to date.
Tethered to: JACK Cleveland Casino
Retail locations: JACK Cleveland Casino, JACK Thistledown
Digital launch plan: BetJACK has plans to go live at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Digital launch specials and promos: BetJACK is offering a deposit match of up to $200. For users to take advantage of the promotion, their first deposit must be at least $10, and it will be matched up to $200.
To receive the deposit match, however, a user has to wager (on bets with odds of -200 or longer) an amount equal to five times the initial deposit value. For example, if someone deposits $50, they’ll have to wager $250 before receiving the deposit match of $50. Users have 30 days from their first deposit to wager five times the amount to receive the deposit match. Bettors can register for the promotion through the end of June.
Tethered to: Northfield Park Associates
Retail locations: Northfield Park, Great American Ballpark/Cincinnati Reds
Digital launch plan: The app will be available for wagering at 12:01 a.m. Sunday
Digital launch specials and promos: Customers who sign up for the BetMGM platform using the bonus code HANDLEOH ahead of Jan. 1 will receive $200 in bet credits once betting goes live in Ohio — no deposit or initial wager required. Beginning Jan. 1, new users who sign up for a BetMGM account will earn a First Bet Insurance opportunity worth up to $1,000.
Tethered to: Pro Football Hall of Fame
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: Betr is expected to launch in Ohio soon after midnight on Jan. 1. Ohio represents the first state where Betr’s real-money platform will be operational.
Digital launch specials and promos: Betr is offering a “bounce-back $25” promotion to new users. If you sign up for Betr and place a real-money wager, then proceed to have a net loss over the next seven days, you can receive a promotional credit of up to $25.
For example, if your net winnings are $50 across your first week of betting, you won’t receive any promotional credit. If you have a net loss of $10, you’ll receive a $10 promotional credit. If you have a net loss of $300, you’ll receive a promotional credit of $25. The promotion runs through the entirety of 2023.
Tethered to: Hollywood Dayton Raceway
Retail location: Pro Football Hall of Fame
Digital launch plan: BetRivers is expected to launch at or near midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: Ohio users who sign up for BetRivers can take advantage of the platform’s $500 Second-Chance Bet promotion. New users can claim a bet credit worth up to $500 if their first wager with BetRivers loses.
To participate in the promotion, a new user must make an initial deposit into their account of at least $10. The first bet placed must have odds of -200 or longer (+100 would qualify, while -300 would not). If your first bet settles as a loss, the money wagered will be returned in the form of a bet credit. For example, a user will receive a $100 bet credit if their first wager of $100 falls short.
@BetRivers – Signed up, only promotion was up to a 500 dollar second chance bet. Appeared there was not an app for Ohio yet. 7/10 user friendly. @CaesarsSports – Registered, deposited $20, will receive $100 in free bets. 10/10 user friendliness.
— Jon (@pronkville08) December 19, 2022
Tethered to: Belterra Park
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: Like most other operators, Betway plans to launch at or near midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: Betway is offering new customers a “First Bet Reset” promotion. New users who deposit at least $10 upon signing up can receive up to $250 back in bet credits if their first wager loses. For example, if a bettor wagers $30 on a sporting event and the bet loses, they’ll receive $30 back in bet credits.
Tethered to: Cleveland Guardians
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: Bet365 is expected to go live in Ohio on Jan. 1 at or near midnight.
Digital launch specials and promos: Bet365 Sportsbook is offering a lucrative two-part welcome package for all new players in Ohio. The first portion of the promotion is a pre-registration offer that rewards all early sign-ups with $100 in bet credits on Jan. 1, no deposit or initial wager required. Sign up before launch day using this link to claim yours.
The second part of bet365’s Ohio welcome offer will occur after launch and will be available to anyone who creates a new account after Jan. 1, even if they missed out on the pre-registration special. It is bet365’s standard Bet $1, Get $200 promotion which is offered in most of its active states and clocks in as one of the best bang-for-your-buck sportsbook deals in the industry. New customers can deposit $10+ into their account and then place a wager of $1 or more with bet365 Ohio. The wager must have odds of -500 or longer, and the bet has to settle within 30 days of a user claiming the offer. (In other words, don’t make a long-term futures bet.) Once the bet settles, you will receive $200 in bet credits in exchange for a simple $1 wager.
Tethered to: Scioto Downs
Retail locations: Scioto Downs, Cleveland Cavaliers
Digital launch plan: Caesars plans to launch at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Digital launch specials and promos: Caesars Sportsbook is offering a pre-launch special of $100 in bet credits to be issued after Jan. 1 for anyone who creates an account ahead of launch day and funds it with an initial deposit of $20 or more. Register using the Caesars Ohio promo code HANDLETIX and make your $20 deposit before Jan. 1 arrives and you’ll automatically take home that $100 bet credit and be entered into a series of nine drawings to win free Cleveland Cavaliers tickets.
Caesars’ featured launch day special offers Ohioans a First Bet on Caesars worth up to $1,500. If your first wager at Caesars Sportsbook Ohio after sign-up doesn’t win, you will receive a bet credit equal to your lost stake up to $1,500. You can follow the sportsbook @CaesarsSports on Twitter.
Tethered to: Hollywood Casino Toledo
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: DraftKings plans to launch at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Digital launch specials and promos: DraftKings is offering a $200 pre-launch sign-up bonus plus a chance for five customers to win $100,000 each. All new customers in Ohio are automatically entered into the drawing. The company will likely offer launch-day specials as well.
Interesting that DraftKings already has betting lines for potential CFP Championship games.
▪️Smallest line would be a OSU/Mich rematch with Ohio State actually favored by 3 points.
▪️And most lopsided would be UGA/TCU with Georgia as a whopping 15.5 point favorite. pic.twitter.com/3KVcvxqCGE
— No Names All Game🌹 (@nonamesallgame) December 26, 2022
Tethered to: Belterra Park
Retail location: Belterra Park
Digital launch plan: Launch is planned for 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Digital launch specials and promos: For its exclusive pre-launch offer, FanDuel Sportsbook Ohio is currently offering all new bettors who register using this link both $100 in bonus bets and a free three-month subscription to NBA League Pass. Simply sign up before launch and you will receive an email containing your code for three months of League Pass to watch any out-of-market NBA game. Once FanDuel accepts its first wager in Ohio, all pre-registrants will be able to log in and find $100 in bonus bets waiting to be used.
FanDuel will also be offering multiple digital offers post-launch, including its signature Bet $5 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets welcome package that it’s previously offered in states like Maryland. For this special, digital customers must sign up for the FanDuel platform and deposit a minimum of $10. Upon placing a minimum $5 bet, customers will receive the $200 in bonus bets. Customers can also refer a friend and both customers will receive $150 in bonus bets.
Tethered to: Miami Valley Gaming and Racing
Retail location: Miami Valley Gaming and Racing
Digital launch plan: MVGBet will go live in Ohio on Jan. 1 at or soon after midnight.
Digital launch specials and promos: MVGBet is offering a $250 instant repay offer for new customers. If a user’s first bet on the platform loses, they’ll receive the value of the wager back (up to $250) in the form of a bet credit.
Since sports betting finna kick off in Ohio on New years lmfao. What other apps I needa download? pic.twitter.com/hDHBnKaxGq
— 🅿️ (@Peezy2x__) December 27, 2022
Tethered to: Hollywood at Mahoning Valley
Retail location: None
Digital launch plan: PointsBet plans to launch its digital platform in Ohio at or near midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: For its launch in Ohio, PointsBet Sportsbook is rolling out a special two-part welcome bonus that can be claimed both pre-launch or post-launch by clicking on this link. Once a new user’s account is verified, PointsBet will load it up with $200 in bet credits on Jan. 1.
After receiving $200 in bet credits on the house, all Ohio registrants will also unlock a five-day period where they can take advantage of five $100 Second Chance Bets (one per day). On each of the first five days after account creation, the first cash wager up to $100 will be covered by PointsBet in the event of a loss. If a customer’s first bet of the day happens to fall short, PointsBet will soften the blow with a bet credit refund equal to their lost stake.
Ohio customers can also use PointsBet’s “Daily Power Hour” from 1-2 p.m. ET every day. The one-hour period includes special promotions that involve bet credits and odds boosts.
Tethered to: Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Retail location: Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Digital launch plan: Hard Rock Sportsbook’s digital platform is expected to go live at or soon after midnight on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: Hard Rock is offering a unique Ohio-focused special. If seven or more eligible Ohio teams (the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Columbus Blue Jackets, and the men’s college basketball teams at Cincinnati, Miami, Ohio, Ohio State, Dayton, Toledo, and Xavier) win from Jan. 2-8, all active and eligible customers are eligible for a Mystery Wheel Spin with a prize of up to $500 in bonus bets. In addition to those teams winning, a user must wager at least $50 from Jan. 2-8 to be eligible.
Hard Rock Digital will also offer a $10 bonus bet to the first 100 people to attend the Hard Rock Cincinnati New Year’s Party and post a selfie from the sportsbook with the hashtag #TimeToRock Dec. 31/Jan. 1. To get the bonus, you must follow @HardRockSB on Twitter to be eligible.
In addition, one Ohio Hard Rock Sportsbook customer to guess the winner and exact final score of the Jan. 1 Steelers-Ravens game will get $500 in bonus bets. Customers must follow @HardRockSB on Twitter and reply to the promotional tweet before kickoff, and one Ohio Hard Rock Sportsbook customer who submits the closest guess to Joe Burrow’s exact number of passing yards in the Bengals Jan. 2 game vs. the Bills will get $1,000 in bonus bets. Customers must follow @HardRockSB on Twitter and reply to the promotional tweet before kickoff. One entry per account is permitted, and a tie will be broken based on the timestamp of each response.
Hard Rock also has ongoing promotions that give new users who place cash bets a chance to receive up to five mystery wheel spins, which could lead to a prize of up to $5,000 in bonus bets and a refer-a-friend bonus in which a mystery wheel spin is awarded and both the customer and friend can win up to $1,000 in bonus bets.
Jan. 1 is a date casinos, bars, restaurants and sportsbooks have had circled since the passage of Ohio House Bill 29, also known as sports betting.
— 10TV (@10TV) December 30, 2022
Tethered to: FC Cincinnati
Retail location: Taft’s Ale House (temporary)
Digital launch plan: SuperBook plans to launch its digital platform just after midnight Sunday.
Digital launch specials and promos: SuperBook is currently offering a pre-launch bonus that it will follow up with a $1,000 launch-day match in addition to other promotions. For the $1,000 match, consumers must sign up for the SuperBook platform and wager the same amount for a bonus match of up to $1,000.
Other promotions include the “Sunday Safety Bonus,” during which customers can bet $100 on any Sunday NFL game and receive $50 in bonus funds if a safety is scored in any game that day, and a refer-a-friend bonus, where consumers can share a unique referral code and get a matching bonus of the friend’s first bet up to $50. And every Tuesday, SuperBook Sports offers users a bonus voucher of 10% (with a maximum of $50 in bonus funds) on their first bet of the day with odds of -200 or longer.
Tethered to: Crew SC Stadium Company
Retail location: Crew SC Stadium Company
Digital launch plan: Tipico plans to launch its digital sportsbook in Ohio on Jan. 1.
Digital launch specials and promos: The operator is offering a few early sign-up bonuses, including one where users who deposit at least $10 upon signing up receive $150 in bet credits. Tipico has yet to share specifics on its post-launch promotions and specials.
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER