Ohio Online Sports Betting

Ohio is one of the many states looking to take advantage of sports betting since the US supreme court ruled that it is up to the states to decide on the legality in May 2018. Ohio has set the groundwork for legal sports betting within its borders, but there is still a lot to do before Ohio residents can enjoy sports betting from their hometown. Ohio has shown that they are not adverse to gambling, with 11 casinos/racinos opening their doors since 2012, so we are hopeful that sports wagering will begin by the end of 2019.

Ohio Sports Betting Legislative Landscape

Legal sports betting discussions in Ohio were put on hold in late 2018 and will be picked back up early 2019.

Here is a brief snapshot of Ohio’s legislative landscape as it pertains to sports betting:

  • PASPA is deemed unconstitutional in May 2018, opening the door for states to begin legal sports betting.
  • In July 2018, State Senators John Eklund (R) and Sean O’Brien (D) introduce Senate Bill 316, a one page, one section bill that stated  the purpose of the bill was “To express the intent of the General Assembly to develop and enact legislation legalizing sports wagering.”
  • Senator O’Brien said that they left the bill extremely vague on purpose to let the people know that they are working on legislation and to chime in if they have any opinions.  There are no specifics in the bill, and is being used as a sort of placeholder for future discussions.
  • Senator O’Brien believes that the best option for offering sports betting is through the states existing 11 casinos.
  • On March 14th, 2019, State Senator John Eklund (R) and Sean O’Brien(D) introduced a 146 page bill that would regulate online and live sports betting.
  • In the proposed bill, sports betting would be taxed at 6.25% and application fees would be $100,000.
  • Casino and licensed video lottery facilities would be eligible to apply for a license.
  • Online only sportsbooks, such as FanDuel and DraftKings would need to find partnerships with license holders.

PASPA

Sports betting is exploding in the United States ever since PASPA, a 30 year old law that essentially outlawed sports betting in all but a few states, was deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. New Jersey led the way opening its doors to sports betting almost immediately after the May 2018 decision. Since then, other states including West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania have began taking bets.

Outlook for Sports Betting In Ohio

Sports betting in Ohio is coming, the only real question is when.  With sports betting beginning in neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Ohio legislature knows they will be losing potential revenue to their neighbors to the East. FanDuel in New Jersey gets about 14% of their business comes from bettors hopping the border from neighboring states New York and Pennsylvania to take advantage of the thriving live and online sports betting market in New Jersey. Ohio saw their residents head to Pennsylvania for casino gambling for years until the referendum passed in 2009 and they know that sports betting will have the same affect. The New Jersey market is also a shining example how a safe and regulated market can help curb illegal offshore sports betting and local illegal bookmakers.

With the placeholder bill is on record to let the people know they are serious about making the leap into legal regulated sports betting, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Governor-elect Mike DeWine said:

“Its coming to Ohio whether people want it or not. We need to be there to do it right, the right way.”  While he seems to be hesitant of the situation he followed with “I think its important to do it right, so I will work with the state legislature when I’m governor to make sure it is done right, make sure we can control it, make sure that we can regulate it.”

With $150 million being wagered on sports illegally in the US, Ohio will look to take in some much needed tax revenue along with keeping their residents safe from illegal forms of sports wagering.  State senator Bill Conley believes that an interstate compact is the correct path to ease the worries of detractors stating that it will “get rid of the bad things people are worried about.  Things like casinos not taking bets, anti-money laundering, match-fixing.”  Others are not as sold on the interstate compact being neccesary such as Art Manteris, VP of sports operations at Stations Casino, saying it federal oversight could lead to over regulations.

While there is much work to be done, it seems as though the right people are on board for a 2019 sports betting launch in the Buckeye State.  While we are all looking forward to how and when this will happen, it definitely seems to be more of a “when” than “if.”

Ohio’s Betting History

Ohio is not usually the first place people think of when it comes to gambling, mainly since before 2009, all forms of gambling were illegal. That all changed in November 2009, Ohio residents voted in favor of a measure to allow four casinos in the state. The plan was to allow one casino in each major city including Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati. It took a few years to make this dream a reality, but on May 14th, 2012 the Jack Cleveland Casino opened its doors and with it, Ohio had joined the list of States to offer legal gambling within their borders. The other 3 casinos opened shortly after in 2012.

Since 2012, Ohio has approved seven other casinos bringing the total to 11. The gambling scene in alive and well in the Buckeye state and has grown into an almost billion dollar a year industry with tax revenue being divided into money for local communities, schools and state wide funds.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Not yet, but there is legislation in the works and we expect by the end of 2019 for sports betting to be legal in Ohio.

Where will I be able to place a sports bet in Ohio when it does become legal?

The state plans on having their 11 casinos and various video lottery locations handle sports betting.

What sports can I bet?

Most likely all professional and collegiate sports, including American, European and other international markets.

When will sports betting go live in Ohio?

With talks of legislation getting halted near the end of 2018, we hope to see sports betting go live in late 2019.

What types of bets will I be able to make in Ohio?

If Ohio follows the same matrix as other established states like New Jersey and Nevada, you will have a wide array of options such as:

  • Moneyline bets
  • Spread
  • Over/Under
  • Prop bets
  • Parlays

About the Author

  • Ryan Gutzler (rgutzler)

  • Ryan is a former two sport collegiate athlete who now relives the glory days through men’s leagues, coaching and of course, writing about sports. He is also a poker player, sports bettor and avid Sixers, Phillies, Flyers and Duke homer.