Ohio Online Sports Betting

The official launch date for legal Ohio sports betting hasn’t been locked in. However, the release of various deadlines provides a bit more clarity into when the first sports wager will be placed in the state.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law in December 2021 and the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) will be responsible for ushering legal sports betting into the state. It has already set the fees that companies will be required to pay, and is set to begin accepting applications in summer of 2022.

Ohio law dictates that the state must launch mobile sports betting by January 1, 2023. With this date set, prospective sports gamblers at least have a finish line in mind.

It may be a bit unrealistic to expect legal sports betting to launch by the start of football season, but the expectation is Ohioans will be able to place wagers on the NFL, college football, the World Cup, and March Madness.

Ohio Sports Betting Updates

Ohio made the most important step towards legalized sports betting by passing House Bill 29 and signing into law. The journey isn’t over yet, but a sports betting launch timeline provides more checkpoints for bettors to pay attention to. The OCCC will begin accepting and reviewing license applications this spring. Some sportsbooks are already ticketed to hit the Ohio market.

Further details are being rolled out as well, including taxes and a stance on college sports betting. As far as taxes, entities that offer sports betting will be required to pay a 10% tax on their revenue — though there’s a unique tax structure that companies will need to review. While some states outlaw or restrict betting on college sports, college sports betting will be allowed in Ohio when the industry launches. Legal betting may not be available when Ohio State takes the field against Notre Dame as a heavy favorite, but perhaps it will arrive in time for what could be another prestigious bowl game.

Details pertaining to which sportsbooks will earn licenses will become available as the regulatory process develops, something we expect to begin summer of 2022.

Sportsbooks Coming Soon To Ohio

Caesars Sportsbook and the Cleveland Cavaliers forged a partnership in February 2022 that includes the opening of a retail sportsbook in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It’s reasonable to expect Caesars to have a mobile sports betting presence in the state as well. Dayton-based Wright Bet Ventures also has plans to launch a sportsbook in Ohio.

There’s not yet a comprehensive list of Ohio-bound sportsbooks. However, we can draw a strong idea on some more of those eventual entries into the market and offer educated guesses.

Additionally, the Columbus Crew also struck a pact with a gaming partner, joining forces with Tipico Sportsbook in January 2022. This is more relevant to the MLS club than the Ohio betting industry in general. Nonetheless, the long-term deal makes Tipico a founding-level partner and includes naming rights to the Tipico Beer Garden and Tipico Club. Tipico will also have prominent brand integration throughout Lower.com Field.

Furthermore, Unibet partnered with Penn National Gaming in 2020, gaining immediate access to the US betting markets in Illinois and Ohio. Unibet is one of the largest gambling organizations in the country and may very well be another operator well-positioned to acquire licensure shortly after the industry’s launch. Penn National also operates the Hollywood Casinos Brand, and Hollywood Casinos has locations in Dayton and Toledo.

Other big operators likely to be players in the Ohio market include DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, FanDuel, PointsBet, Betfred, and Unibet. BetMGM seems likely because MGM Resorts International operates a racino in Northfield.

Three Best Online Sports Betting Apps In Ohio 

While we’re highlighting a trio of sportsbook apps, prospective bettors shouldn’t get too hung up on which one app is best. Each app will offer the meat and potatoes that bettors seek. But among the potential sportsbooks that land in Ohio, some will offer slightly different features that appeal to bettors. Additionally, the vast majority of competitive sportsbooks will offer a promo code or bonus code to entice new users. Industry experts encourage bettors to keep multiple sportsbooks in their rotation. Not only is this a great strategy to take advantage of multiple welcome incentives, but it’s the best way to consistently find the best odds for a given event.

DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet are likely candidates for Ohio entries. Here’s what bettors need to know about them. 

DraftKings Ohio Sportsbook

DraftKings is one of the best and widely available sportsbooks in the US. DraftKings offers competitive odds and offers betting lines on many sports, from the most popular mainstream sports to niche sports like snooker, handball, and lacrosse. Bettors can often find individual player props as well.

And since it’s a major brand in almost all states where online betting is available, DraftKings comes with credibility that obscure or less familiar operators may lack. 

BetMGM Ohio

BetMGM Sportsbook is available in several states with legal online sports betting, including other Midwest states like Indiana and Iowa. It’s backed by MGM International, and that reputation comes through in its first-rate app. If BetMGM comes to Ohio, it will likely offer a favorable welcome bonus for those new to the app. 

Caesars Sportsbook Ohio

Caesars Sportsbook, previously William Hill, is a major operator with a renowned casino brand. It’s taken advantage of that opportunity to become one of the most widespread sportsbook operators in the United States. More locally, Caesars joined forces with the Cleveland Cavaliers, signing on as an official partner in February 2022.

Caesars has competitive odds across the board. Bettors who shop around for the best odds will have to include Caesars in their searches. Its first-bet insurance up to $1,100 is an attractive welcome bonus, too.

How To Bet Online In Ohio

In an ideal world, Ohio sports betting enthusiasts will be able to register for sportsbooks completely from their mobile device. Some states have required residents to visit a physical location to finalize registration. There’s no obvious reason to expect Ohio residents to be saddled with this final step. However, it wouldn’t be unprecedented.

We’ll begin to learn more as the fine print is finalized throughout the application and licensure process. Prospective bettors will need to be ready to provide proof of residence and verify their age and identity. Providing personal information online can make some people nervous, but future bettors can feel confident that the sportsbook apps that reach the Ohio market will take great care to protect their information.

Once mobile sports betting apps begin to reach the Ohio market, bettors will soon find the registration process quick and painless.

How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Apple iOS Device 

Finding sports betting apps on iOS devices is easy. Bettors just have to search for their desired apps in the App Store. They also have to make sure their app doesn’t have state-specific versions. Large sportsbooks have one app for every state, but smaller operators often have multiple apps. Once they pick a sportsbook, here’s how bettors register for an account:

  1. Click the “register” button in the top right corner of the app screen. 
  2. Fill out the three sections of bettor information. On steps one or three, bettors will find a place to enter their promo codes. 
  3. Once bettors have created their accounts, a deposit option will appear where the registration option was before. Bettors can make their deposits in several ways, including bank transfers, debit cards, and online wallets. 
  4. After they make their first deposits, bettors are ready to place their first wagers. 

How To Install Online Sportsbook Apps On An Android Device 

Finding an Android sportsbook app can be a little more involved than it is on an iOS device. The Google Play store has some sportsbook apps on it. However, Android bettors can visit sportsbook’s websites on their Android devices to get the option to download the Android app if it’s available. Once Android users find a sportsbook app they like, here’s how they can create their accounts: 

  1. Find the registration button in the top right corner of the app. 
  2. Next, bettors must fill out the three sections of personal and account information the registration process demands of them. If bettors have a promo code, then they can enter it during the registration process. 
  3. After that, bettors can make their first deposits. There will be many deposit options available, especially with major sportsbook brands. 
  4. Once bettors have money in their accounts, they can start betting. 

Opening Bonuses For Ohio Sports Betting Apps

Sportsbooks typically offer opening bonuses and promotions to new players. These are a wonderful way for new bettors to get their feet wet without taking on too much wagering risk. Opening bonuses come in a few major varieties, including:

  • Deposit match bonuses, which provide you with a certain amount of site credit based on your first deposit only. DraftKings is the best example of this, providing a 20% deposit match bonus of up to $1,000 of site credit. Any initial deposit will result in a site credit bonus worth 20% of that deposit amount added to your account.
  • Risk-free bets, such as the opening bonus provided by FanDuel. This bet protects your first wager only. If you lose your first bet, you’ll get refunded for up to $1,000 in the form of site credit vouchers.
  • Free bets. Some operators sometimes provide free bets that can be used on particular betting lines. DraftKings offers our readers who sign up a $50 free bet when they deposit $5. These are useful for new players who haven’t used a sportsbook before and who want to try out a mobile platform before adding any real money down, but keep in mind that these free bets are usually very low in value (often around $5 or so). 

It’s important to be familiar with the terms and conditions of any welcoming bonus. Sportsbooks will not try to scam or deceive users. However, some have terms to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of.

For example, DraftKings’ above-mentioned opening bonus requires you to play through any winnings you get from the site credit 25 times in total before you can make any withdrawals. So, you won’t see any winnings for some time even if you have the best luck.

FanDuel’s risk-free bet is refunded in five site vouchers, each of which will be worth 20% of your initial wager amount. You’ll also have to play through any winnings from the credit at least once before you can make any withdrawals.

When it comes to free bets, most of these have very short windows in which you have to use them before they expire. A common term for expiration is about a week after signing up for an account, although this can vary from operator to operator.

Take a few extra minutes to be certain of what each sportsbook’s welcome bonus entails to avoid unnecessary surprises or frustration.   

Top Three Ohio Sportsbooks Summary

 iOS App Android App Average Review
DraftKingsYes - 238.0 MBYes - 114 MB4.7
BetMGMYes - 50.4 MBYes - 23 MB4.6
Caesars SportsbookYes - 1.1 GBYes - 48 MB4.3

How Can Players Deposit Money In Online Sports Betting Apps In Ohio? 

When sports betting comes to Ohio, bettors will need to know how to deposit funds. However, they’ll also need to know what deposit methods are unavailable to them. Here’s the rundown on making deposits at Ohio sportsbooks. 

Methods To Deposit Money Using An Online Sportsbook App 

No matter which sportsbook bettors choose, they’ll find some of the same deposit options wherever they go. Bank transfers are available at every sportsbook, but not every bank will allow transfers to and from sportsbooks. Some bank policies have yet to catch up to the mainstream appeal that sports betting has garnered. However, credit and debit cards are popular deposit options, too. They can be easier to use than bank transfers, but they can still be vulnerable to blocked transactions. 

However, there are other deposit options that get around that problem. PayPal is a common and reliable deposit option. Online wallets allow gambling transactions as long as the transactions are legal. At sportsbooks with expansive deposit options, bettors will also find Skrill, another online wallet that focuses on foreign currencies. Finally, sportsbooks include cash deposit options. There are different services to facilitate those transactions, but everyone has a cash option.  

Apple iOS Users 

Some iPhone users may want to know whether they can dig old iTunes gift cards out of the back of their closets and use them for sportsbook deposits. However, iTunes gift cards are not valid sportsbook deposit options. They would allow anonymous deposits, which would violate sportsbooks’ mandate to identify their bettors. 

Apple Pay cannot be used to make deposits for the same reason. It has not been sufficiently tied to a bettor’s identity to be used as a sportsbook deposit method. Apple Pay could be refined to one day be used as one. But for now, Apple users don’t have any special deposit methods. 

Android Users

Android users can’t use Google Play Store gift cards or Samsung Pay to make sportsbook deposits. Neither option can be tied to a bettor’s identity, so sportsbooks can’t accept them. Like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay could be developed into a viable sportsbook deposit option. But Android users don’t have special deposit options. 

What Makes For A Good Mobile Sports Betting App?

There are a few things that make for a good mobile sports betting app. A great app should have seamless navigation, easy access to promotions, minimal bugs, and even easier bet tracking. 

Finding the event or bet to wager on shouldn’t be the digital version of searching for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Bettors should only require a few clicks within the app to find what they want. Upon landing on the specific sport and matchup, bettors using a quality sportsbook will be easily digest the lines and odds being offered. The more organized and streamlined a sportsbook is, the better experience bettors will have.

Part of seamless navigation is providing a platform free of bugs and glitches. An unreliable operating platform is among the quickest ways to fail in what will be a competitive market. Competition in Ohio’s legal sports betting market will be fierce, and sportsbooks that can’t deliver the basics will be squeezed out of the market. Bettors will have too many options to remain loyal to sportsbooks that routinely drop the ball on user experience fundamentals. 

That easy navigation is just the beginning. Great sportsbooks set themselves further apart from competitors with quality promotions. Not only should promotions be easy to access. Their terms should also be easy to understand. Promotions with dense and challenging terms run the risk of foregoing the benefits of a worthwhile promotion. 

Finally, making it easy to keep track of how bets have gone is critical to successful sportsbooks. It should be easy for bettors to tell whether they’ve won or lost a bet. It should also be easy for them to collect their winnings, deposit funds, and monitor their bet slips. 

Local Sports And Teams

When sports betting launches in Ohio, you’ll likely be able to place wagers on all the major American sports you would expect. This includes professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, and more.

Furthermore, you might find special promotions attached to local professional Ohio sports teams. The Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals are Ohio’s two NFL teams, both of which have big fan bases would likely provide instantaneous revenue for the future sports betting industry. Furthermore, bettors can find Super Bowl odds for both the Bengals and Browns.

Perhaps the best news for Ohioans is that bettors in state will be permitted to wager on college sports as well. As popular as the aforementioned Bengals and Browns are in Ohio, the Ohio State Buckeyes may move the needle more than any other team in the state.

Ohio also serves as the home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as MLB’s Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds. The Cavaliers and Caesars Sportsbook have already forged a partnership.

But most major mobile sportsbooks don’t just offer odds for major sports leagues and franchises. They also typically offer betting lines for more niche activities like darts, cricket, rugby, and other international sports. NASCAR, MMA, UFC, and other sports activities are sure to be represented in the big operators like DraftKings.

All in all, Ohio sports wagerers will have a wide range of sports to bet on plus some popular teams to support.

Esports Betting In Ohio

eSports is a rapidly growing industry and sportsbooks are offering odds on competitive gaming. Big sports betting platforms including BetMGM and FanDuel already offer eSports betting lines in other states where they currently operate, so we expect Ohio’s future sports wagering industry to also include betting opportunities for these games and tournaments.

Legal Betting Vs Illegal Betting In Ohio

Ohio’s sports betting industry still has some steps to clear before launching within the Buckeye State, but bettors should still avoid venturing offshore to get their gambling fix. Offshore betting sites are a bad idea for several key reasons:

  • Illegal sportsbooks are breaking the law, plain and simple. If you use these or provide them with your personal information, you could end up in legal trouble.
  • This threat of legal consequences means users have no recourse to seek intervention should they experience issues with an offshore outfit.
  • Offshore betting sites provide subpar wagering experiences. Illegal betting sites are beholden to no one, so they aren’t required to actually give back your wagered cash or provide you with your winnings.
  • Additionally, illegal betting sites aren’t always concerned with your digital security. Any personal information you provide to these sites could be lifted and used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.

All in all, it’s never a good idea to take your business to any illegal sportsbook, even if you are annoyed or frustrated with how long the industry is taking to launch. It’s a much better bet (pun intended) to wait for the future fair and regulated industry to come to fruition than it is to risk your personal information and money right now. 

How Can I Secure My Mobile Sports Betting Account? 

Bettors can take control of their account security, too. One of the best ways to do that is for them to not let anyone else access their accounts. Bank information is still in bettors’ accounts, and allowing people in there is an open invitation to access it. Bettors can also use a different password for their sportsbook accounts. Using the same password for every account invites a security breach. Bettors should protect their sportsbook accounts. 

How Can You Tell That Online Sportsbooks In Ohio Are Fair?

The good news is that you’ll be able to tell whether an Ohio sports betting platform is fair and regulated pretty quickly. Any licensed sportsbook is required to announce that fact on their main website, and the OCCC will keep a list of regulated sportsbooks.

Regulated online sportsbooks in Ohio will be fair because:

  • They have high-quality digital security, which protects both your personal information and your winnings in case of hacking or theft.
  • They will be required to include a certain amount of insurance for their players, protecting you in the event of a digital breach.
  • They will use official league data and professional linemakers to generate player-friendly odds and betting lines. This way, sports wagerers on both sides of a bet will have a great time and see a potential for profit.

In other words, regulated online sportsbooks in Ohio will offer better betting experiences and will be much safer to use than even the most attractive offshore or illegal betting site.

Additionally, the sportsbook operators likely to come to Ohio will be recognizable brands in the industry, including DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook. Each of these sportsbooks already has a legitimate presence in other states, so you can rest assured that they have a history of operating fairly and treating their users appropriately.

Sports Betting In Ohio FAQs

What types of sports bets are allowed in Ohio?

At this time, sports betting is legal in Ohio, but it has not yet launched. Daily fantasy sports and other wagering activities like betting on horse races may be allowed, but sports wagering in any capacity is not yet available. When sports betting launches, Ohioans can expect a wide array of betting options on a number of sports, including college competitions.

Will I be able to wager on Ohio State football in Ohio?

Yes. Once sports betting launches in the Buckeye State, Ohioans will be able to bet on college sports. Some states with legal sports wagering industries, such as New Jersey and Virginia, either do not allow any wagers on college sports or prevent wagering on college sports games that include in-state teams.

When will I be able to bet on sports in Ohio?

There is no official launch date at this time. However, we are getting closer to getting one. The OCCC released the first deadline for license applications to be submitted. That deadline is late spring, keeping a fourth quarter launch well within reach. 

What is the tax rate for online sports betting in Ohio?

The tax rate for Ohio will be 10%. For those interested in the details, however, Ohio’s tax structure will be unique. House Bill 29 requires sportsbooks to pay taxes daily. This is a different approach from states that require sportsbooks to pay taxes on a monthly basis.

Who can get a license to run an online sportsbook in Ohio?

All entities that wish to offer sports betting in Ohio have to apply for licenses with the OCCC. They would be awarded a five-year license, and those licenses will be divided into three categories: Type A, Type B, and Type C.

Is DraftKings offering sports betting in Ohio?

Not yet. However, DraftKings is likely to launch in the Ohio sports betting industry when it finally arrives.

Is FanDuel offering sports betting in Ohio?

Not yet. However, FanDuel is another big sports betting operator that is likely to pursue licensure as soon as possible.

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.