Ohio sports betting fans will soon be able to enjoy putting wagers on their favorite teams after a recent change in gambling legislation in the Buckeye State. House Bill 29 was signed into law and legalized in December 2021, setting a chain of events that will allow Ohio sports betting to be rolled out across the state very shortly.
However, while sports wagering in the Buckeye State is now officially legal, Ohio sports betting hopefuls will need to wait until next year to reap the full benefits of the new law – January 1, 2023, is the date in which the state’s gambling regulatory body, the Ohio Casino Commission, has appointed as the deadline to set up the necessary infrastructure before the rollout. With that date scheduled for Ohio’s first sportsbooks to go live, numerous operators have lined up in preparation to get a slice of the action and take advantage of their potential new customer base.
It’s easy to see how the new Ohio sports betting legislation will benefit the economy of the Buckeye State, which traditionally has had the most relaxed gambling laws regarding horse racing. The Ohio State Legislative Budget Office predicts that the new sportsbook licenses alone could generate a fiscal 2023 income of more than $10,000,000 with net revenue of $3.35 billion. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Ohio is expected to become one of the top sports gambling hubs in the United States. But how realistic is this expectation?
The deadline for operators to apply for licenses has now passed, but it is understood that more than 20 applications have been submitted. Furthermore, major bookmakers have already announced partnerships with Ohio-based sports teams, and many have their own mobile sports betting apps in the pipeline. It can therefore be said that these are exciting times for the Buckeye State.
Ohio Legal Sports Betting
Although the state of Ohio has not yet distributed any licenses for sports betting, the legislation mandates that the first online sportsbooks must be operational no later than January 1, 2023. BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook should be at the head of the queue because these firms hold casinos in the Buckeye State, which grants them access to the market there. FanDuel may join the market by entering a relationship with Boyd Gaming, while DraftKings may enter the market by launching on one of Penn National Gaming’s master licenses.
When online sports betting goes live in January, all sites and apps will be regulated and overseen by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The Ohio sports betting bill is expected to see up to 50 online sportsbooks open across the state. This, along with the rising popularity of eSports and a potential customer base exceeding eight million people, is likely to make the Buckeye State one of the hottest wagering spots in the country.
Among the most anticipated sportsbooks expected to make a splash with sports betting enthusiasts in Ohio are Caesars, DraftKings, BetMGM, Hard Rock, and FanDuel. Of course, there are many more sportsbook operators lined up, ready to make their mark in the Ohio sports betting market, but these are currently the ones making headlines.
There is no doubt that mobile sports betting apps will be a large part of the rollout on the launch day in January. One of the biggest appeals to Ohio sports bettors will be the ease, and convenience mobile apps offer them when they’re looking to place a bet. Having a sportsbook app at your fingertips on your mobile device makes the whole gambling experience much more enjoyable and accessible. Sports betting operators are well aware of this, and many bookmakers have already developed their own mobile apps ready to be launched on January 1.
Many sportsbooks have also already begun signing partnerships ahead of the Ohio sports betting launch to secure their place in the market. The most recognizable is Caesars, which already has a deal lined up with Ohio’s National Basketball Association team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ohio Caesars Sportsbook app is currently in place for launch day. It is a natural extension of Caesar’s brand, which has an excellent reputation and a physical location in the state.
Another major sportsbook operator anticipated to be ready on the Ohio sports betting launch day is DraftKings. DraftKings Ohio has announced its own app, and the word on the street is that the operator is expected to offer as much as $1,050 in bonus funds as a welcome offer to new sports betting fans in Ohio. With its user-friendly site, an impressive range of betting options, and bold branding, it’s safe to say that Ohio sports betting fans will love the DraftKings Ohio hotly-anticipated mobile app.
How To Pick An Ohio Sports Betting Site
As an Ohio sports bettor, when picking a decent sports wagering site, Ohio sports betting hopefuls are spoilt for choice. This could be overwhelming, especially come launch day on January 1, when sportsbook operators will no doubt be clamoring to prove their worth in the new market.
Operators should be licensed by the Ohio Casino Commission, meaning they will be safely regulated. To narrow your potential sites further, you’ll need to consider what you’re looking for in sports gambling. For instance, if it’s National Hockey League sports that you’re interested in, find out what operators cater best for that particular sport and offer the best odds. There are numerous factors to consider when choosing the best sportsbook, but ultimately, the decision is down to you alone.
Online reviews are usually effective indicators of whether or not a site can be trusted or not. As many Ohio sports betting sites already have a head-start by operating in other states, they’ll likely have built up enough of a reputation for you to decide whether or not they’re worth signing up to. Is the site fast and efficient in solving customer concerns? Does it offer quick and simple deposits and withdrawals? What facilities does it have for customer support, such as FAQs and 24-hour chat options? These are just some questions you should ask yourself before choosing the best Ohio sports betting site.
Another essential factor to consider when choosing an Ohio sportsbook is the betting lines and odds on offer. You want to ensure that you get the best odds for the sport you’re interested in, which might mean registering and monitoring different accounts with more than one sportsbook.
The offers and promotions available to users are a significant consideration for Ohio sports betting fans when choosing a site. Launch day on January 1 is expected to see an abundance of incredible deals as the new sportsbook operators battle for new customers. There is no doubt that there will be highly competitive welcome bonuses and new registration promos everywhere, so make sure you compare these. It might be worth taking advantage of these deals while they last, so get in there early if you’re an Ohio sports betting fan.
However, regardless of how amazing any offers might be, it’s essential that the site you choose is fully licensed by the Ohio Casino Commission and has credible positive reviews. Remember, it probably is if something sounds too good to be true.
History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in Ohio
Ohio sports betting has a long history, dating back to the Second World War. Off-track betting was first legalized in the Buckeye state in 1933, and in that same year, the Ohio State Racing Commission was established. The commission is still active today and has regulated racing and pari-mutuel betting in Ohio ever since.
Ohio State Senator Ron Mottl started a campaign in 1971 to create a lottery in the Buckeye State. The Ohio Lottery Commission was thus established in 1973, and the lottery was rolled out the following year.
In 1987, the Ohio lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment to make Ohio lottery profits go towards education causes. To date, the Ohio Lottery has contributed more than $26 billion to education in the state.
The Buckeye State has long been associated with horse racing. In 1994, Ohio sports betting fans were given more leeway when state race tracks were authorized to permit one to two off-track gambling locations offering pari-mutuel wagering.
In January 2018, Ohio became the 18 th US state to sanction daily fantasy sports. A few months later, the United States Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), giving individual states the authority to pass their own sports gambling laws.
May 2020 saw the Ohio House of Representatives pass House Bill 194, which aimed for all Ohio sports betting to be regulated by the state’s lottery commission. The bill, however, failed to pass.
2001 was when the move towards Ohio sports betting legalization gained momentum. Senate Bill 176 was presented to legalize sports betting in Ohio in the spring of that year. The bill, which called for 20 standalone retail licenses and 20 mobile licenses in Ohio, passed that summer; however, it was not heard by the house until the end of 2021.
At the end of 2021, Ohio sports betting was boosted when the state overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow for sports gambling. Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law on December 22, pledging that Ohio sports betting would legally launch by January 2023. The bill states that Ohio sports betting fans of at least 21 years of age can bet on professional and college games, Olympic sports, motorsport events, horse racing, and esports.
According to the Ohio Casino Commission, a maximum of 25 licenses is expected for large retailers, such as casinos and racinos. Under the new act, these operators would be permitted to partner with legal mobile apps like FanDuel and DraftKings.
There was an unexpected twist in the campaign for Ohio sports betting legalization in January 2022 when Gov Mike DeWine announced that sports gaming operations might be up and running before 2023. However, the governor confirmed a few months later that the official launch date for Ohio sports betting operations would be January 1, 2023.
Ohio sports betting operators were given a deadline of July 15, 2022, to apply for an Ohio sports gambling license, and this saw several vendors submitting applications. Also that month, the Cincinnati Bengals announced that they had partnered with Betfred Sports, thus making the bookmaker the team’s official sports betting partner. This announcement caused excitement among Ohio sports betting fans as it signaled the first of numerous expected partnerships.
A total of 22 Type-A Ohio sports betting license applications were submitted ahead of the July 15 deadline. This means that sports betting fans in Ohio could see almost two dozen sportsbooks go live on January 1.
Ohio Sports Teams
The Buckeye State is well known for its major professional and college sporting teams, which will offer a range of options for Ohio sports betting enthusiasts after launch day on January 1. In addition, the Ohio sports betting fan has a wide range of home sports teams to choose from across soccer, football, baseball, ice hockey, rugby, horse racing, and more.
Football and baseball are huge in Ohio, and the state even played a central role in creating the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
For sports betting fans in Ohio looking to place a sports bet on football, the state is home to the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, both of which have a loyal following and are sure to attract the attention of sportsbook operators – the Bengals have already announced a partnership with bookmaker Betfred Sports ahead of January 2023’s Ohio sports betting legalization launch. Also of interest to Ohio sports betting hopefuls within the soccer world will be the Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati.
For the Ohio sports betting devotee interested in baseball, there are the Major League Baseball teams, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Cleveland Guardians. The Reds have partnered with WynnBET to gain momentum in their mobile betting app in neighboring Indiana. As the app is already up and running, it surely won’t be long until online sportsbook fans can also take advantage of it.
Similarly, Ohio sports betting hopefuls interested in basketball could reap shining rewards after receiving a boost from a major bookmaker – Betway has announced sponsorship deals for several National Basketball teams, including Ohio’s own Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team with their home arena in Columbus, Ohio. They are also commonly referred to as the Jackets. They entered the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2000 as an expansion club and are currently members of the Metropolitan Division within the Eastern Conference.
College sports are popular in the Buckeye State, so those interested in Ohio sports betting will likely put a wager on one of the state’s college teams. The new act legalizing sports betting in Ohio legislates for college team gambling, which is good news for those who follow the state’s many collegiate sports teams. The Ohio State University’s Buckeyes has a massive fan base – said to be the largest of any college football team in the United States. The team is already popular with gamblers out of the state, so it’s very likely that once Ohio sports betting is officially launched, the Buckeyes will be a hot favorite for local wagers.
Retail Sports Betting in Ohio
As much as online sports wagering is easy and convenient, there’s nothing quite like the experience of going into a physical casino and placing a bet. There are several retail gambling venues across the state for Ohio Sports Bettors, many of which will soon offer their own sportsbooks for Ohio sports betting fans to enjoy. The Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is a popular hotspot, like the Hollywood Casinos in Columbus and Toledo. The state’s first casino, the Jack Cleveland Casino, opened in 2012 and occupies Tower City’s iconic Higbee Building.
Ohio sports betting fans who prefer their brick and mortar establishments will be pleased to hear that the new gambling legislation covers retail. Therefore, in January 2023, Ohio retail sports betting books are expected to open at casinos and racinos across the state. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will regulate retail sportsbooks, while the Ohio Lottery Commission will oversee Ohio sports betting at kiosks. All casinos and racinos in Ohio can apply for a Type-A license and partner with an operator. Retail sportsbooks within brick and mortar locations can apply for Type-B licenses, while Type-C licenses will be issued to kiosks. There are 11 casinos in Ohio, and all or most will likely wish to cash in on the new legislation.
If you can’t wait until January, why not visit one of the nearby states where sports gambling is already legal? Depending on where they live in the Buckeye State, Ohio, sports betting devotees can take a road trip to Indiana , Michigan , Pennsylvania , or West Virginia, where they can currently wager on sports legally.
There are currently no Indian reservations in Ohio; therefore, no tribes are federally recognized in the state. While there aren’t any tribal gaming casinos in the Buckeye State, the Seminole Tribe of Florida owns the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.
Daily Fantasy Sports
While sportsbooks are yet to launch in the state following the 2021 bill physically, Ohio sports betting enthusiasts have been enjoying playing daily fantasy sports for some time. The Buckeye State passed legislation at the end of 2017 by legalizing daily fantasy sports, which the Ohio Casino Control Commission oversees.
When the legislation was passed, it was estimated that almost two million Ohio sports betting supporters were already playing daily fantasy sports thanks to a state-wide legal loophole that categorizes them as a game of skill rather than chance. On passing its law sanctioning daily fantasy sports , the state set a yearly licensing fee of $10,000 maximum, with an added registration fee determined by the number of users. The daily fantasy sports operators are also charged a registration fee, although they don’t need to pay tax on their revenue.
Currently, the most popular operators of daily fantasy sports in Ohio are DraftKings and FanDuel, Ohio sports betting fans also enjoy many other daily fantasy sports, such as Daily Fantasy and Yahoo Fantasy Sports.
Offshore Sports Betting
With legal sports betting available, there s no need for a sports bettor to look beyond legal sports betting websites. While offshore gambling is easily accessible to Ohio sports betting fans, it isn’t necessary due to the Buckeye State’s 2021 House Bill 29. Ideally, offshore sportsbooks should be avoided, but if you want to consider them, do make sure you do your research first. Additionally, offshore casinos and online sports betting are more likely to be unregulated than state-legalized online sports betting operators. Therefore, you don’t have any protection should anything go wrong with your cash when placing a sports bet.
If you choose to go down the risky path of offshore sports betting, make sure that the site you are using is credible and reliable – look at trusted reviews and make an informed decision. It’s worth noting that platforms based in Curacao and Costa Rica are recognized internationally and are generally safe to use.
Ohio Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting
Horse racing has a rich history in the Buckeye State, and gambling on the sport has been enjoyed legally by Ohio sports betting fans since the inter-War period. The state is home to the famous Ohio Derby, an annual event dating back to 1876, and more than a dozen off-track betting locations.
Ohio sports betting on horse racing at racetracks is legal and has been since 1933, when the Ohio State Racing Commission was created, and off-track betting was sanctioned. Fortunately for sports betting fans interested in putting money on a horse, the new legislation will allow them to bet online. Since Ohio lawmakers passed the House Bill 29 of 2021 which legalized online horse racing betting, many United States based horse race betting apps have started setting up shop in Ohio in anticipation of launch day on January 1.
BetMGM has already taken its place in the line and launched a new betting app for horse racing in the Buckeye State. Ohio is the first US state to get the new mobile app from the sports betting division of MGM. The much-anticipated app will allow sports betting fans in Ohio to wager on races at over 200 locations around the world.
Legalizing online horse race betting will undoubtedly delight the Ohio sports bettor. First, however, it’s worth acknowledging that there’s much fun during ‘a day at the races. Eight upgraded racetracks in Ohio accommodate a quarter horse, harness, and thoroughbred racing. Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs has been the premier racing destination in Columbus for over 50 years and hosts some of the best trots in the United States, including the Cleveland Trotting.
Final Thoughts / Summary
The future of sports gaming in Ohio certainly looks exciting, and it will be interesting to see how January’s much-anticipated launch pans out. For both fans and sportsbook operators, the Ohio sports betting market is a hotly-awaited realm still to be discovered. As a result, there is plenty of scope for new partnerships to develop between the state’s sporting teams and major bookmakers, as well as potential opportunities for sponsorships.
Official partnerships created in other states in the wake of sports betting legalization have seen massive amounts of money exchanged, which sounds promising for the Buckeye State’s home teams. How successful the rollout of Ohio sports betting remains to be seen. One thing is inevitable either way – this is an exciting time for the Buckeye State that is set to go down in history.