Ohio Online Sports Betting – News and Updates on Sports Betting Legislation

Ohio is one of a growing collection of states that is pushing for sports betting legislation. The state has set the groundwork for legal sports betting, and it appears that a successful bill may not be far off.

The state of Ohio has shown that it is not averse to gambling, with 11 casinos/racinos opening their doors since 2012. With proper support, the activity could be legal by years end, with sportsbooks showing up around the state in 2021.

This page will function as an overall summary of legal sports betting in the state of Ohio – we’ll cover everything from eligibility requirements, to potential launch dates, to bonus offers and promo codes. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the Buckeye state.

Outlook and Timeline for Sports Betting In Ohio

Sports betting in Ohio is coming, the only real question is when. Current information indicates that sports betting could become legal in the state by the end of 2020. If it happens, we are likely to see retail wagering begin in early 2021, with online betting sites following a few months later.

Legal betting markets are forming throughout the U.S., in states all around Ohio. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana – all of which border Ohio – are now home to legal online markets.

FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey gets a significant portion of their business from bettors hopping the border from neighboring states like New York. 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 of how a safe and regulated market can help curb illegal offshore sports betting and local illegal bookmakers.

Gubernatorial Support

Thankfully, Ohio sports betting seems to have the backing of its Governor. Governor Mike DeWine has said:

“Its coming to Ohio whether people want it or not. We need to be there to do it right, the right way.” 

He followed with:

“I think it’s 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 U.S., Ohio will look to recoup some tax revenue, while also keeping their residents safe from illegal forms of sports wagering.

Ohio Sports Betting Rules

To this point Ohio’s proposed sports betting legislation looks good. There aren’t any destructive stipulations that could derail the industry before it gets started. Primary pillars look set to include:

Age

Before you can bet on sports in the state of Ohio, you’ll need to be 21 years old.

Location

Before you can bet on sports in the state of Ohio, you’ll need to be inside the state of Ohio. Sports betting legislation throughout the U.S. is done at the state level, meaning the rules are different in every state. Therefore, in order to legally engage with online sports betting in Ohio – you must be physically present in the state.

Ohio sports betting operators will require the use of geolocation tech, either through computer plug-ins or GPS chips (built into your phone) for proof of location. If you can’t prove where you are, the sites won’t let you wager.

OH residency will not be required to place a legal bet. Anyone that is of age, and in Ohio is eligible to take part.

Register Online

Once live, it looks like Ohio bettors will be able to sign up from any location using the internet, even while out of state. Some states like Iowa and Illinois have elected to legalize sports betting with an in-person requirement. Think online sports betting, but you have to go and visit a casino to get started… its far from ideal, and Ohioans can be thankful that it doesn’t seem to be a part of the discussion at this point.

Online Sportsbooks in Ohio

Once legalized, which online sportsbook companies will be available in the buckeye state?

There are eleven retail sites in Ohio (four casinos, seven racinos) that will be eligible to hold a sports betting license. Each license can house up to three different online sports betting skins/brands. This means that 33 different online bookmakers could eventually take up residence in Ohio.

While there’s still plenty of uncertainty, the market is starting to take shape already. Despite no official bill, partnership agreements have already begun.

theScore

  • License Partner: Penn National

The enormously popular sports media company has announced that it will be bringing its proprietary betting platform, theScore Bet, to the state of Ohio through a partnership agreement with Penn National. PNG owns multiple casinos in Ohio, giving them plenty of room in their stable.

Unibet

  • License Partner: Penn National

In September 2020 the Kindred Group, and their primary U.S.-facing sports betting brand Unibet, announced a deal with Penn National that covers both Ohio and Illinois. While we may not know exactly which casino that Unibet will receive its license through, we do know it will be with PNG.

More Sites Incoming

While the above have been confirmed, there’s a long list of potential suitors for the Buckeye state. When all is said and done, we expect to see many of the following sportsbooks – and plenty of surprise contenders:

We will provide updates as the industry continues to take shape.

Ohio Sports Betting Legislative Landscape

Legal sports betting discussions in Ohio have been in progress since 2018. Current signs are pointing towards a 2021 debut.

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

2018

  • 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 it was being used as a sort of placeholder for future discussions.
  • Senator O’Brien believed that the best option for offering sports betting is through the states existing 11 casino/racinos.

2019

  • 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.
  • Deliberation continued throughout 2019.

2020

  • In May 2020 the Ohio House passed a version of HB 194, which would officially legalize sports betting in the state – in-person and online and via mobile.
  • House sponsors backed the Ohio Lottery as the regulatory body, while the senate wanted the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) to be in charge.
    • In September it was reported that the House would cede to the Senate, paving the way for the OCCC to control sports betting in the state.
  • If all goes well, HB 194 could pass by the end of the year, arriving promptly on the Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for a signature.

PASPA

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act was a 30 year old law that essentially outlawed sports betting in all but a few areas of the country. It was deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2018, allowing new states to legalize betting. New Jersey led the way, opening its doors to sports betting almost immediately after the May 2018 decision. Since then, other states like West Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania have begun taking bets.

Ohio Sports Betting Deposits & Withdrawals

Once live, adding money to your Ohio online sports betting account will be really easy. Each site will have numerous options that they, and the state government have vetted. These payment processors will be fast, efficient, and most importantly – safe.

Expect Ohio betting websites to utilize many of the following:

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Online Banking Transfers
  • ACH/eChecks
  • Bank Wires
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • PayNearMe (pay with cash at your local 7-Eleven, Family Dollar, or CVS)
  • Prepaid Play+ Cards
  • Paper Checks
  • Cash at the casino cage

Generally speaking online sports betting cashiers start with just a handful of options, but expand over time to house plenty of choices. Regardless of the method you choose, they will all give you unprecedented access to your online cash.

Reasons To Bet With a Legal Online Sportsbook

Legal sportsbooks offer a ton of advantages. Here are a few of the main reasons you should be entrusting your action to a regulated book once they arrive in Ohio:

Safety

Legal books are legal. They’re licensed and regulated through the state government, and will be monitored closely by the appointed controlling body. Because of this regulation, you can trust a regulated online bookmaker the same way that you would trust a mega-casino in Las Vegas with your bet. They are 100% legitimate.

Mobility

Online sportsbooks that come to Ohio will do so with excellent, high-tier mobile betting apps. You can take a fully functional sportsbook with you anywhere in the state. Bet from your car, an airport, work, or while sitting on your couch. As long as you have your phone, you’re able to place a wager.

Promotions

The online sports betting market in Ohio will be a competitive one. With what looks like it will be room for 30+ betting sites, it could get crowded. This is great for bettors. When there is competition, it means there is value. Every site will have to bring its A-game, offering lucrative promotions and extras to entice players to stick with them. When sports betting sites square off, you win. There are more bonuses, free bets, odds boosts, and other extras to go around.

More Betting Options

Simply put, online sportsbooks offer more betting options than retail books. While Ohio hasn’t finalized its sports betting law yet, the current bill hasn’t referenced many betting restrictions. Plus, regulated online sportsbooks will offer live odds on sports contests that are already underway around the world. This means you can bet on every play of big games like the Super Bowl.

Ohio’s Betting History

Ohio isn’t the first state that comes to mind when you think of gambling. Before 2009, all forms of gambling were illegal in the state. However, everything changed in November 2009 when 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 additional racinos, bringing its total number of gambling facilities to eleven. The gambling scene is alive and well in the Buckeye state and has grown into almost a billion dollar a year industry. Tax revenue is divided between local communities, schools, and state wide funds.

Moving into the sphere of iGaming will be a huge step for the state.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Not yet, but there is legislation in the works. With the support of Governor Mike DeWine, sports betting is expected to be legal by the end of 2020.

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

Ohio is pursuing both online and retail sports betting. It looks like each of the state’s four casinos and seven racinos (eleven total sites) will be eligible to house a retail sportsbook.

In addition, online/mobile wagering will be available throughout the state through a wide variety of online operators.

What sports can I bet?

The current legislation that is being discussed does not contain any major restrictions. All major sports leagues, including both professional and collegiate sports, will be available on betting sheets. Bets on the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, Columbus Crew, and even the Ohio State Buckeyes will be fair game. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and plenty more – you name it.

When will sports betting go live in Ohio?

The details aren’t final yet, but our best estimate right now is that sports betting will begin in early 2021. If Ohio’s sports gambling bill becomes law at the end of 2020, retail books will likely be accepting wagers by spring 2021.

It takes a little longer to get set up for online wagering, but football season (fall) 2021 seems like a realistic target. We’ll update again once we have additional info.

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

Ohio has yet to propose any big betting restrictions. Once approved, you will have a wide array of options at your betting disposal, such as:

  • Moneyline bets
  • Spread
  • Over/Under
  • Prop bets
  • Parlays
  • Live, in-play wagering
  • Teasers
  • Round Robins

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