March Madness Betting In Ohio

If your March Madness bracket didn’t survive the University of Kentucky debacle, now’s the time to give your (new) picks a fresh start because the Sweet 16 is coming up this week. Although Ohio online sports bettors and gamblers can’t legally bet in Ohio quite yet, there’s an old-school way around the ban. Read on to learn more about how to legally place your bets if you live in Ohio.

Take A Road Trip

It’s low-tech, but it works — Road trip. While Ohio sports gamblers are waiting for opportunities to filter in thanks to relatively new state legislation, in the meantime they can cross state lines into Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 

You can make a pleasure cruise to place your wager and discover a fun new day trip location, or just take a quick drive to the state line and back. Find a welcoming local restaurant, a friendly gas station, a scenic overlook with a strong WiFi signal, or just pull over on the first off-ramp in a gambling-friendly state.

Remember that you don’t have to present a non-Ohio address on these platforms. You just have to have two feet across the line when the wager is placed. And here’s the best news: You don’t even have to wait until you reach your (very, very temporary) destination. It’s legal to sign up for a betting platform account in Ohio. You just can’t place your bet until you’re out in a state that has launched legal online sports betting. 

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Can You Place A March Madness Bet in Kentucky?

Not yet. But Kentucky sports betting is on the horizon. 

Our neighbor to the south is also on the path to legalizing sports betting. However, Kentucky is running just a bit behind Ohio. The Buckeye State’s sports betting legalization bill passed in December 2021, but Kentucky’s most recent attempt to match it just made it out of committee in mid-March 2022. 

House Bill 606 would widen sports betting at horse tracks. A similar bill is currently under consideration in Kentucky’s Senate. While Kentucky lags behind those of us in the Buckeye State on the legislative route, legalized betting could come into effect at nearly the same time as Ohio’s thanks to an emergency clause.

Keeping track of the neighbors: Ohio sports betting aims for success similar to adjacent states

Possible Ohio Online Sports Betting Apps for March Madness 2023

Several sportsbooks might legally welcome your bet for next year’s bracket. Here are some of the likely future March Madness contenders: 

All of these platforms are well-established in other states, and could even offer eSports options as Ohio betting evolves. Those are just the sportsbooks that have announced partnerships in the state. You can expect big-name sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel to find a way to gain market access, too.

How much will it cost?: Application fees set for Ohio sports betting licenses

Vegas (in Ohio), Baby

If you’re not in the mood for Michigan (and, let’s face it, most Ohioans aren’t), consider a trip to a retail casino. While online and mobile gambling still isn’t possible here, racinos and casinos are open for action in Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Here are four locations where sports betting will likely be available soon:

  • JACK has been welcoming Cleveland bettors since 2012. This massive facility also offers table games and slots.
  • Hollywood Casino in Toledo is known for its huge poker room and convenient interstate access.
  • Hollywood Casino in Columbus’ advantage is the whole deal: Hotel, resort amenities, and video poker, just to start. 
  • Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati has recently finished its transition from a JACK casino. Its signature guitar-accented restaurant opened in July.

Stay tuned. When you can get a good cheeseburger, hit on 18, and place a Super Bowl bet all at the same time here in Buckeye state, Ohio Sharp will let you know.

About the Author

Mary Beth Ellis

Mary Beth Ellis is a nonfiction writer in entertainment, sports, and culture. She is an educator and public speaker whose work has been widely anthologized both in print and online.