Ohio Sports Betting in 2021

Last updated: Dec. 6, 2021

On Dec. 6, 2021, Sen. Kirk Shuring confirmed what Rep. Bill Seitz had floated only days earlier — he and other state lawmakers have reached an agreement to legitimize Ohio sports betting for Jan. 1, 2023.

Ohio has yet to join four of its bordering states in legalizing sports betting. When it does, it could be among the most prominent sports wagering markets in the United States.

Stay tuned as we keep this page updated with the latest developments in Ohio sports betting.

Ohio, United States
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Ohio, United States
Online betting in the Buckeye State
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    Population: 11.7 million

  • 21+ Icon

    Legal age for sports betting: 21

  • Dice Icon

    Online sports betting: Coming soon

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    Retail sportsbooks: Coming soon

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    Sports betting revenue: N/A

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Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

No. Although there have been multiple attempts over the past few years, Ohio has yet to legalize sports betting.

As the fall of 2021 nears its close, Rep. Seitz, Sen. Schuring, and Rep. Jay Edwards have agreed upon adjustments to Ohio sports betting language in HB 29 and sent it to the Legislative Service Commission.

If both the House and Senate are agreeable to the amended bill, they could pass it as soon as Dec. 8, when they meet on the same day for the final time in 2021. The new language would require the OCCC to issue licenses by no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

Should the bill be approved, it would head to the desk of Governor Mike DeWine, who has long stated that sports betting in Ohio seems inevitable.

Senate Bill 176, which was passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by a 30-2 vote back in June 2021, could bring legal sports betting to Ohio as soon as April 1, 2022, but the House has pushed back on that legislation, preferring HB 29.

While it appears a significant wait for legal sports wagering is still ahead for Ohioans, the good news is that both retail and mobile sports betting should be available when all is said and done. While not much else is clear at this stage, players should have plenty of options when placing their first bets in the Buckeye State.

Follow our U.S. legal tracker for the latest on each state's sports betting progress.

Timeline of sports betting in Ohio

Ohio’s numerous sports betting bills have undergone minor tinkering and extreme overhauls since the state first looked to legalize sports wagering. Still, after an unsuccessful final push to legalize sports betting by June 30, 2021, a resolution has yet to be found.  

The following timeline summarizes the history of sports betting in Ohio:

Jan. 2018: Ohio becomes the 18th state to legalize daily fantasy sports, as then-Gov. John Kasich enacts the Buckeye State’s DFS bill into law.

May 2018: SCOTUS overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opening the door for states to set their own sports betting laws.

May 2020: The Ohio House of Representatives passes HB 194, calling for the Ohio Lottery Commission to regulate all sports gambling in Ohio. The bill eventually dies in the Senate.

May 2021: Sen. Kirk Schuring introduces SB 176 as the latest sports betting legislation in Ohio. The bill calls for 20 mobile licenses and 20 standalone retail licenses.

June 2021: The Senate passes SB 176 by a vote of 30-2. Looking to legalize sports betting before the House’s summer break, Sen. Schuring makes an amendment to HB 29. The Senate passes HB 29, but the bill won't be heard by the House until fall 2021.

Oct. 25, 2021: Sen. Schuring proclaims 90% of Ohio's sports betting bill is agreed upon, citing sportsbook licenses — and where exactly sports betting will take place — as the primary issue yet to be resolved.

Nov. 11, 2021: Details on a path to legalization remain scant. Legislation sits with a conference committee formed in October, and the typically upbeat Sen. Schuring remains confident yet cautious on a 2021 rollout. 

Dec. 1, 2021: Rep. Bill Seitz, Sen. Kirk Schuring, and Rep. Jay Edwards agree upon revisions to Ohio sports betting language in HB 29 and send the bill to the Legislative Service Commission.

Dec. 6, 2021: Sen. Shuring confirms that state lawmakers "have an agreement on sports gaming" that would hand out licenses no later than Jan. 1, 2023.

Online sports betting: Coming soon to Ohio

The earliest sports betting could arrive in Ohio is April 1, 2022, though it seems like Jan. 1, 2023 is more realistic. Fortunately, each of Ohio’s recent proposed sports wagering bills has included retail betting, mobile betting, and fully remote registration. 

Regardless of the bill that ultimately becomes the state’s sports betting law, it seems Ohioans will be able to register, make account deposits, and place wagers from anywhere within the state. Ohio’s latest bill calls for up to 20 licenses for online operators, so bettors should also have plenty of options when choosing a sportsbook.

Who can bet on sports in Ohio?

Anyone over 21 will be able to place a sports bet in Ohio once it's legalized. Sports betting should be convenient and accessible in Ohio, with retail sportsbooks located in major cities and online sportsbooks just a click away.

Here's everything you'll need to know before placing your first sports bet in the Buckeye State.

21plus Legal age

Sports betting will be available to adults 21 and over in Ohio.

bank Retail sportsbooks

There are no legal retail sportsbooks operating in Ohio. However, it stands to reason that Ohio’s four major casinos — located in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo — will feature physical sports betting facilities on or off-site when permitted.

21plus Mobile betting

Mobile sports betting has been included in each of the recently proposed sports betting bills in Ohio. Regardless of the bill that ultimately becomes the state’s sports betting law, Ohioans should expect mobile wagering to be on the table.

21plus Remote registration

Remote registration has also been included in recent proposals. This will allow Ohio sports bettors to register, make deposits, and place bets from anywhere in-state. Fully remote registration would be a huge win for players in the Buckeye State.

globe Within state borders

In states with legal and regulated sports betting, sports bets can only be placed by those physically located in said states. This will ring true in Ohio as well. When online sportsbooks are up and running, Ohioans will have to confirm they have both feet on the ground in Ohio before placing a wager.

percent Taxable winnings

All gambling winnings are taxed at both the federal and state level in Ohio. Sports bet winnings should be no different. 

Expect to pay a withholding tax of 25% of all winnings when you provide your SSN. This amount may creep up to 28% should you prefer not to provide this information. Additionally, a state tax of 4% will be docked from your winnings as well.

Crossing state lines: Nearby betting sites 2021

Legal sports betting likely won’t be coming to Ohio until January 2023. Until then, Ohioans do have options nearby. 

Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have legalized and regulated mobile and in-person sports betting. As long as you are physically present in one of these states, you’ll be able to place a sports bet. For online bettors, it’s as easy as downloading a mobile app, entering your personal information, and making your first deposit.

The pros and cons of Ohio sports betting

The stars have yet to align, but Ohio’s current push to legalize sports gambling does look promising. The latest proposal would allow up to 40 licenses to be handed out to casinos, racinos, and other businesses.

Unfortunately, Ohio is well past the deadline to launch legal sports betting in 2021. January 1, 2023, is now the likeliest date for sportsbooks to go live. 

Ohio sports betting
Pros
  • All signs point to fully online betting
  • Proposed bill allows for plenty of sports betting licenses
  • Pressure to keep tax revenue from neighboring states could expedite the legalization process
Cons
  • Sports betting has not yet been legalized
  • Potential for further delays with constant tweaks to sports betting bills

How to start betting in Ohio

Ohioans will be able to place their first bets remotely or physically. Wagers will be able to be placed online using a sports betting mobile app or an online sportsbook. Retail sportsbooks will be an option for those looking to bet in person.

1

Select a sportsbook

There should be plenty of options for Ohio sports bettors when legal sports wagering launches in the Buckeye State. Before registering with a sportsbook, players should check out some (early) reviews and look over the bonuses offered by each provider.

Line shopping is recommended here as well. Finding the most favorable betting lines will ensure you maximize the return on your hard-earned cash.

2

Register online

By all accounts, Ohio sports bettors should have the option to sign up with a sportsbook from the comfort of their own homes (or anywhere else in the state). The registration process can be completed by entering some personal information and verifying your identity with a driver’s license or SSN.

3

Claim a bonus

Online sportsbooks regularly entice players with promotions and bonuses. Ohio sportsbooks will be no different. Expect to encounter bonuses such as risk-free bets, no-deposit bonuses, and deposit matches.

4

Deposit funds

Once you’ve chosen a sportsbook and claimed your bonus offer, it’ll be time to add some funds to your account. Ohio should follow in the footsteps of other states with legal sports betting by allowing you to use PayPal, credit/debit, bank transfers, PayNearMe, and more.

Don’t overlook the transaction fees associated with some of these payment methods. Always check your bank’s or financial institution’s terms and conditions before moving forward with your deposit.

5

Choose your bet types

All of the popular bet types will be available to Ohio sports bettors. These include moneylines, Over/Unders (totals), point spreads, parlays, teasers, futures, and live bets.

6

Start betting

It will be important to shop around before placing your first bet in the Buckeye State. Not all Ohio sportsbooks will offer players the same betting lines, so take your time to identify the most favorable betting opportunities when legal options become available.

7

Withdraw funds

Check out the terms and conditions associated with fund withdrawals from your chosen sportsbook. These transactions could be immediate or take one to two days to process.

Depending on the withdrawal method you choose, there may be fees attached to this transaction as well.

odds icon Reading the odds 

Ohio will follow other states by using American odds as the default option to show you betting odds. Look for a minus sign (-) to spot favorites. The number that follows will tell you the amount you’ll have to wager to walk away with $100 in winnings. For example, -180 odds mean you need to risk $180 to win $100.

Underdogs are accompanied by a plus sign (+). The number here represents the amount you’ll win when betting $100. For example, +110 odds indicate a bet of $100 would net you $110 if the underdog comes out on top.

If you’d like to view odds as fractions or decimals, check out our odds converter

 

What you can't bet on in Ohio

For now, the answer is simple: All sports bets are off-limits. When Ohio does legalize sports betting, Ohio bettors will still be prohibited from placing wagers on amateur athletes under the age of 18. 

This section will be updated as Ohio's sports betting landscape starts to take shape. 

Money Icon Politics

Gamblers may not bet on political events in Ohio or any other U.S. state.

Money Icon Entertainment award ceremonies

Betting on entertainment awards, such as the Oscars or Academy Awards, is not permitted in Ohio. 

Money Icon Esports

It is illegal to bet on esports in Ohio. However, esports is included in SB 176. If this bill eventually passes through the House, esports betting could be legalized and regulated.

What about Ohio college sports?

It remains to be seen if Ohio bettors will be permitted to place wagers on in-state college teams. Many other states allow sports bettors to get in on the college sports action but limit this to out-of-state teams.

 

Home team advantage: Ohio sports

It’s not always best to put your money where your mouth is when backing your favorite squad.

Sports bettors should always be careful when risking their bankroll. Do your due diligence before blindly laying action on your hometown team. Our how to bet guides are a great place to start. 

NHL
Columbus Blue Jackets
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers
NFL
Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals
MLB
Cleveland Guardians
Cincinnati Reds

Other types of gambling

Ohio is relatively new to the world of gambling. The first casino opened in 2012, and the state has yet to legalize any form of online gambling other than pari-mutuel horse race betting. 

casino Casino

There are four casinos and seven racinos in Ohio. The state’s casinos have been strategically placed in its four major cities — Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo.

Each casino offers a full lineup of games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Ohio’s racinos have been limited to VLT (video lottery terminals) only.

As online casinos are illegal in Ohio, gamblers are limited to sweepstakes casinos. Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots are popular sweepstakes options. 

poker Poker

Thirty-three poker rooms can be found in Ohio’s four major cities. Online poker, however, is illegal in the Buckeye State. 

Global Poker, which follows a sweepstakes model, remains the only legal online poker option in Ohio.

Horse and jockey Horse racing

Horse racing enthusiasts can take in live races year-round at one of Ohio’s seven racinos. Ohio bettors are also free to place bets online with TVG, TwinSpires, or BetAmerica.

Horse and jockey Daily fantasy sports

Ohio legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS) in January 2018, though it took over two years for operators to obtain licenses to offer games in the Buckeye State. The most popular sites include DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, and StatHero.

Responsible gaming in Ohio

The unfortunate reality is that problem gambling remains an issue in all states with legalized and regulated gambling. For Ohioans, multiple organizations have put numerous resources into place to support those with gambling addictions.

Gamblers may join the Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program if they wish to restrict their access to gambling establishments. In the future, sportsbooks should be expected to provide players with the option to set deposit, wager, and loss limits.

Legal U.S. sports betting markets

Ohio has yet to legalize sports betting. But when they do, they’ll join the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Sportsbooks to avoid in Ohio

With no regulated sports betting in Ohio, offshore sportsbooks may seem like a good option. However, these websites are illegal and you're taking a huge risk by placing your funds in these types of accounts. Steer clear of the following websites in Ohio.

Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Allegations of withdrawal issues
  • No license information available on site
  • Poor customer service
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Multiple reports of slow payments
  • Allegations of non-payments
  • Risk of account closure simply for winning bets
Bookname
Blacklist Star Rating
  • Reports of confiscated winnings
  • Slow customer support response times

Ohio sports betting FAQs

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