Ohio Gambling Laws

Sports betting will officially arrive in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. Sports Betting Hall of Fame inductee Sara Slane expressed optimism as it pertains to Ohio’s progress toward an eventual launch of legal sports betting, and she was right. Though, some will certainly have wished for an earlier arrival to place more football wagers.

In December 2021, Ohio Lawmakers approved House Bill 29, and Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law later the same month. With the launch date now set for the official arrival of sports betting, we can take a peek backwards at the events that led to Gov. DeWine legalizing sports betting.

Legalized sports betting in Ohio had been in the works for some time and building momentum in recent years. Ohio appeared to be among the most likely states to pass sports betting laws when the calendar flipped from 2020 to 2021. The Ohio State Senate established the Select Committee on Gaming for the sole purpose of crafting legislation. In the spring of 2021, it held numerous hearings with interested parties.

Highlights Of Sports Betting

  • Sports betting will launch on Jan. 1, 2023.
  • The legal age to bet is 21.
  • Bets allowed on all professional, collegiate, and Olympic sports.
  • Proposition bets will be legal in specific locations.
  • There will be three different classes of licenses available for application.
  • Online mobile sports betting applications are accepted as part of a Type A license. There will be up to 40 Type A licenses.
  • Retail sportsbooks at casinos and other locations throughout the state are based on the population size of the county hosting the retail location. This is a Type B license.
  • Restaurants and other locations may be allowed to have sports betting kiosks, similar to Keno machines, with small, minimal bets on outcomes-only of sporting events. This will be a Type C license. 

Professional Sports Teams In Ohio

The Cavaliers forged a partnership with Caesars Sportsbook in February 2022. Terms of the deal include the opening of a retail sportsbook at the Cavs’ home arena, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Ohio Senator Kirk Schuring has said he expects the state’s NFL teams to have sportsbooks at their facilities as well. MLB has regulations stipulating where and how close to games betting can occur, so he expects sportsbooks to be located close to, but not necessarily on, MLB property.

College Sports In Ohio

Ohio State University has urged the state of Ohio to limit betting on collegiate sports. Among their requests are limiting college betting to football and basketball, so those who want to bet on the Buckeyes winning the College Football Playoff wouldn’t be impacted.

Time will tell if the Ohio Casino Control Commission grants any of those requests. As it stands, however, Ohio bettors will be able to bet on college sports. The Ohio State Buckeyes are a major football program — and perhaps the most popular football team in the state — so it would’ve been a tough blow for the Ohio betting market to deny residents the opportunity to wager on the state’s flagship sports brand.

All total there are more than three dozen schools in the state that are eligible for sports betting.

Ohio Gambling Laws FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Yes. Sports betting is legal in Ohio, and it will launch on Jan. 1, 2023. 

When will I be able to place a sports bet in Ohio?

Sportsbooks will begin operations in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. Those who are running low on patience can use check out the new betJACK app that launched in the state. It’s not sports betting, per se, but it will give prospective Ohio sports bettors a taste of what it’s like.

How old will you have to be to place a sports bet in Ohio?

You must be 21 to gamble in any form in Ohio. This is a common minimum age in many states that have legalized and launched sports betting.

Will online gambling be legal in Ohio?

Yes. As part of the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, residents will be able to wager online through mobile sportsbook apps in addition to in-person at retail sportsbook locations.

Does Ohio have a lottery?

Yes. The lottery can be played in person or by purchasing tickets at licensed locations.

Is it safe to gamble at casinos in Ohio?

Yes. There are four casinos in the state. The Ohio Casino Control Board regulates the casinos.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.