Gambling in Ohio

Ohio has no clear-cut legal statement regarding gambling. Residents and constant visitors to the Buckeye state would not be surprised about this vague stand. Ohio can't be reckoned with being liberal regarding gambling, including online gambling. But, it is illegal to engage in unsanctioned bookmaking or a game of chance as a significant source of revenue, according to Ohio Code Section 2915.

With no clear legal definition, gambling is a major cause of concern for gamblers and prosecutors in the State. For this reason, we have created this guide to provide useful gambling information to residents and visitors to the State. In addition, it will aid online gambling enthusiasts in understanding what moves are being made to permit iGaming products and the options available to them.

The Current State of Online Gambling in Ohio

Ohio's state legislature has been quite slow on the issue of online gambling. It is easy to think that a learned state legislature such as this would have addressed the matter by now, especially with such a powerful land-based gambling lobby in the State. But let's face facts, Ohio may have been late to embrace gambling compared to other states. However, the Buckeye State has done an outstanding job catching up in the last decade. 

Casinos were allowed only in recent years, and there is already a thriving casino sector, with many significant projects under construction in the State's major cities at the same time. As a result, Ohio is practically experiencing a rapid expansion. There are seven racinos, four full-service casinos in Ohio's main cities, and a substantial Ohio Lottery to choose from for legal gambling in Ohio.

Sports betting is legal and regulated in Ohio, both online and in-person. In December 2021, Governor Mike DeWine put his signature on House Bill 29, making Ohio the 33rd State to permit sports gambling. Casinos, stadiums, sports teams, bars, and restaurants can apply for licenses. Additionally, bettors would be able to place bets on college, professional, and esports betting sites by 2023.

With the legalization of online sports betting, it is only time until real money slots and table games are available to Ohio residents. Unfortunately, for the time being, Ohio online casino gamblers may only establish accounts at play-money social casinos and sweepstakes gambling websites.

Gambling Products in Ohio

Online Sports Betting

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has until January 1, 2023, to begin regulated betting in the State. However, there is a possibility that these regulations on sports betting may come sooner. The Commission recently approved the fourth set of rules guiding supplier and employee licensing, security and surveillance requirements, and house rules.

Residents and visitors to the Buckeye state will be able to access live betting, Super Bowl, college betting, March Madness bets, and at least 25 other applications once the product is launched. In addition, we expect as many as 50 sports betting apps and 60 retail establishments spread across the State.

Online Casinos

In Ohio, there are no legal real money online casinos. Currently, all hands are on deck to get online sports betting running, but like a ripple effect, we are certain that online casinos will be next. Four of Ohio's five bordering states allow legal internet gaming.

When Ohio approves online gambling, racinos and casinos in the State will be inclusive. Meanwhile, legal options for enjoying casein games include social casinos like Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and Funzpoints.

Online Poker

Ohio had eight live poker rooms, commercial casinos operated some, and others were standalone venues. There were at least 28 tables for players to enjoy poker in each location.

Additionally, there were poker rooms operated by charities, but all have been shut down. Currently, there are no online poker bills under consideration in the Ohio Legislature. As a result, online poker may not be available in Ohio until a breakthrough with online sports betting.

Ohio Lottery

The Ohio Lottery is a sophisticated state lottery system created in 1971. Senator Ron Motti led the campaign for a state lottery. Scratchers, in-state and multi-state draw games, and instant win games are available for punters.

Additional keno alternatives are available on Ohio online lottery terminals throughout the State, either as normal keno offers or instant-win versions.

For years, lawmakers have been pushing to introduce an online lottery option, and the bill has passed at least twice. Ohio Lottery has a mobile app that can be used on your mobile devices, iOS or Android. You should know that profits from lottery sales are directed toward public education.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Ohio is one of the states that allows daily fantasy sports or DFS. Ohio Gov. John Kasich passed the legislation in 2018 and empowered the Ohio Casino Control Commission to oversee the system.

As a result, FanDuel, Yahoo DFS, and DraftKings offer this product to Ohioans. Unfortunately, licensing fee was set at $10,000, which has a repulsive effect on some operators. In addition, DraftKings Fantasy Millionaire competitions and special events such as March Madness and the World Cup are accessible in Ohio.

Casinos & Gambling

In Ohio, casinos and gambling are divided into traditional Vegas-style casinos and racinos. These groups make up a total of 11 casino establishments in the state. The racinos can offer Video Lottery Terminals, while the traditional casinos offer slots and table games.

Ohio's four main cities — Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, and Cleveland- have a single full-service casino. In addition, the Hard Rock Cincinnati and the JACK Casino Cleveland are two of the State's commercial casinos. 

Laws that Govern Ohio Online Gambling

The landscape of online gambling in Buckeye state is incredible. There have been several changes to ensure that gambling in the state gets better. In every city or county, there are regulated forms of gambling available. The Ohio code guides every aspect of gambling. Additionally, laws are enforced by the state.

The Buckeye state defines gambling as bookmaking: games of chance or facilitating schemes for profit. In addition, it is defined as wagering on games of chance or schemes for livelihood. Therefore, playing craps, slots, or roulette and possessing gambling devices are all considered gambling by Ohio law.

Ohio laws permit horse racing betting and gambling at Indian casinos. In addition, charitable gambling and non-profit organization are allowed for fundraisings, such as bingo and raffles. The various forms of gambling do not permit cheating. Punters caught cheating are said to commit a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable.

Fact is, there is no punishment in Ohio against someone who gambled on the Internet. However, it is beneficial to understand the gambling rules to avoid criminal charges. In addition, Ohio is one of the fastest-growing states in the US, with a sizable population. 

The State's legal gambling age is different for each gambling product you are interested in taking part in. Players who are 16 can play bingo games, 18 for racinos, state lottery, and Keno, and 21 for casinos. Children over 13 years can visit the racetracks guided by a parent or guardian. Sports betting will require players to be 21 years old before placing bets. Both measures under discussion by the Ohio Legislature need providers to verify that bettors are above 21. Additionally, it would be best if you understood that state laws are ever-changing due to the passage of new legislation.

Who Governs Gambling Operations in Ohio

The Ohio Casino Control Commission was established to oversee casino gambling in Ohio. It is required by law to oversee and regulate all casino and sports gambling activity in the state. The Commission is eligible to develop a licensing procedure for casinos, sportsbooks, advertising rules, and consumer protection measures to accomplish its supervision function.

The Commission will also specify the financial standards that investors must achieve to be permitted to offer casinos and sports betting services in the state. In essence, this organization has the authority to enact additional oversight legislation. There are three forms of licenses the Commission gives out, Type A, Type B, and Type C.

Type A – Licenses will enable racinos, casinos, and sportsbooks to conduct business online using mobile and web-based apps. This license provides Ohio gamblers with a plethora of sports betting options.

Type B – Licenses enable land-based sportsbooks to make sports betting available to gamblers across the state.

Type C – Licenses will allow betting devices in pubs and restaurants with class D-1, D-2, and D-5 permits. Revenue generated by sports betting operations will be subject to a 10% tax.

The Commission's duties have grown to encompass sports gaming, skill-based amusement machines, and fantasy contests. The Commission's workforce is dispersed over five office locations, including 24-hour monitoring at the state's four casinos. Through licensing, compliance, and enforcement efforts, all workers contribute to the Commission's purpose of ensuring the integrity of Ohio's gaming industry. June E. Taylor leads the Commission as Chair, while Matthew T Schuler is the Executive Director.

The VLTs at the racetracks, on the other hand, are handled by the Ohio Lottery because, technically, they are lottery games. Still, it is not difficult to determine who controls each gambling category in Ohio.

How to Gamble Online Safely in Ohio

Currently, there are no legal online gambling websites in Ohio. Under Ohio law, legal and licensed websites such as DraftKings Sportsbook and Golden Nugget Casino are unavailable. However, in the State, social and sweepstakes casinos are available and legal to play. Therefore, players in Ohio can enjoy playing at either the retail casinos or sweepstakes casinos.

However, you would come across several offshore gambling sites on the internet. These websites are not located in the United States and are not subject to Ohio or US law. So you're taking a chance if you decide to gamble with them. You are better off with retail and sweepstakes than taking a risk with your finances. Soon, there would be online betting sites available.

Alternatively, if you must gamble legally and safely online, your best choice is to go to one of Ohio's neighboring states that have made significant progress in their gambling legislature. Online casinos, poker, and sports betting are available in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Although Indiana does not offer online casinos, it does have online sportsbooks. Otherwise, social casinos and sweepstakes are available to Ohio residents.


Is online gambling legal in Ohio?
What is the legal gambling age in OH?
Can I play legal online casinos across state lines?
Where are the land-based casinos in Ohio?
Do I have to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in Ohio?
Can I play poker online in Ohio?
What states around Ohio offer online gambling?
Why is legal online gambling taking so long in Ohio?

Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 8/22/2022