Ohio Retail Sportsbooks

Sports betting has been legalized in Ohio, and before long, residents will be able to place wagers at Ohio retail sportsbooks. Before diving into the possible retail locations for upcoming Ohio sportsbooks, it’s worth catching up on some of the general sports betting details that will apply to Ohioans and the brands that launch in the market.

House Bill 29 requires that all entities aiming to offer sports betting in Ohio apply for licenses with the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). Sportsbooks would be awarded a five-year license, and those licenses will be divided into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Type A License: This license will cost up to $2.5 million and will allow the operation of a mobile sports betting app. Pro sports teams, casinos, and racinos will have access to a Type A license. Entities granted a Type A license will be permitted to contract with up to two mobile sports betting platforms/providers. The first skin — or distinct brand — costs $3 million. The second skin costs $10 million, but the company must demonstrate that a second skin would add financial benefit without restricting another entity from securing a Type A license.

Type B License: These licenses will require a financial outlay of anywhere between $90,000 and $140,000. They’ll be available to retail stores. Ohio has already earmarked Type B licenses to companies within the state. One is reserved for a business near Cedar Point in Sandusky. Additionally, the counties of Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton have received the green light to host up to five locations. Summit and Montgomery counties can have up to three apiece.

Type C License: These licenses are for businesses that are working an unlimited number of bars and restaurants that have various liquor permits. They can only offer point spread, Over/Under, and moneyline wagers at kiosks.

Current Ohio Sports Betting Application Count

Ahead of the August 15 deadline for remaining Ohio sports betting license submission, below is the application count for each license type.

Application TypeApplication Count
Type A22
Type B25
Type C7
Mobile Management Provider21
Management Provider21
Suppliers36
Holding Companies98
Type C Hosts235
Key Sports Gaming Employees385

Ohio Retail Sportsbook Update

There are 40 retail sportsbook licenses available in Ohio. Population plays a large role in how many licenses will be awarded per county.

  • Populations of 100,000 to 399,999 will be granted one license per county. Two could be awarded if there are video lottery terminals in the county.
  • Counties holding 400,000 to 799,999 in population will be allocated three licenses.
  • For populations over 800,000 people, five licenses are allowed for that county.
  • An exception applies for counties with a population between 50,000 to 100,000 if the county brings in at least five million tourists per year.

The OCCC closed the summer window for applications and the first batch of sports betting licenses were approved for Type A and Type B licenses. These include the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Crew, Jack Cleveland Casino, Jack Thistledown Racino, Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley, and Muirfield Village Golf Club. The mobile betting partners associated with each of these businesses are still in the review phase of their applications.

Ohio Type C sports betting licenses for kiosks have not been approved yet and the remaining Type A and Type B licenses should be following soon. In order to guess the possible Ohio retail sportsbooks coming soon, take a look below at the locations that have applied for a Type B application in each county and the number of licenses that county has left based on their population.

Ohio CountyLicenses Allowed in CountyApplications Filed by NameApplications Approved by NameRemaining License Spots
Ashtabula 0SPIRE Institute (Out the Gate)0*
Franklin5Hollywood Casino (Barstool/BetRivers), Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs (Caesars), Columbus Blue Jackets (Fanatics), Hollywood Casino (Barstool/BetRivers)Murifield Village Golf Club (BetParx) and Columbus Crew (Tipico)3*
Cuyahoga5Cleveland Cavaliers (Caesars Sportsbook), Cleveland Guardians (Fanatics), Harry Buffalo (PointsBet), and Ravencrest PartnersCleveland Browns (Bally Bet), Jack Casino (BetJACK), Jack Thistledown Racino (BetJACK)2*
Hamilton5Hard Rock Casino Sportsbook, Belterra Pack, Cincinnati Bengals (Betfred), FC Cincinnati (SuperBook)Cincinnati Reds (BetMGM)4
Summit3MGM Northfield Park (BetMGM Sportsbook)3
Montgomery3Hollywood Gaming at Daytona Raceway (Barstool Sportsbook)3
Lucas3Hollywood Casino (Barstool Sportsbook)2
Butler1Lori's Roadhouse1
Stark1Pro Football Hall of Fame (BetRivers Sportsbook)1
Warren2Miami Valley Gaming Racetrack2
Erie1Cedar Downs OTB (BetMGM)1
Mahoning2Corelli CentreHollywood Gaming (Barstool Sportsbook)1

*More applications have been sent in these counties than what’s allocated to them by population.

Ohio Legal Sports Betting

Online sports betting is legal in Ohio, however, sports betting must launch in January of 2023 before residents can place wagers. With the launch a little further away than Ohioans might hope, there is time to go through all the legal logistics needed to ensure a successful first year of sports betting.

This launch date gave the OCCC time to set two deadline dates for Ohio sports betting license applications. One on July 15 and the other on August 15. The state will provide an initial set of 25 Type A licenses and will be announcing the approved operators soon. Once those have been issued, the OCCC may opt to issue additional Type A licenses to eligible applicants. This would be reliant upon the determination that additional licenses would benefit the market.

Here are some additional details from Ohio’s current proposed sports betting legislation:

  • A proposed 10% tax for all sports betting revenue.
  • Collegiate betting will be allowed in Ohio and on Ohio-based programs.
  • The Ohio Casino Control Commission will likely regulate the future industry.

Ohio Professional Sports Partnerships

When it comes to more brick-and-mortar retail settings, professional sports franchises will be allowed to construct on-site sportsbooks at their team venues/stadiums. One such example will exist at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ home arena will serve as host to a 10,355-square-foot retail sportsbook located on the street level inside the arena’s northwest atrium.

The Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer also struck a deal in the sports gambling space, naming Tipico the club’s official and exclusive sports betting partner. As of early September, the Crew were approved for a sports betting license. While Tipico is still undergoing the approval process, this is promising for the construction of one of the Ohio retail sportsbooks landing at Lower.com Field. 

The Cincinnati Bengals announced a partnership with BetFred in mid-July. The United Kingdom based sports betting company has started to appear more prominent in the new United States markets, this partnership will be the Sportsbook’s first professional sports partnership.

Ohio TeamRetail PartnerMobile Partner
Cleveland Cavaliers 🏀Caesars SportsbookFubo
Cleveland Browns 🏈Bally BetBally Bet
Cleveland Guardians ⚾️Fanaticsbet365
Columbus Crew ⚽️N/ATipico
Columbus Blue Jackets 🏒FanaticsFanatics
Cincinnati Bengals 🏈N/ABetfred
FC Cincinnati ⚽️SuperBookSuperBook
Cincinnati Reds ⚾️WynnBETWynnBET

Time will tell what other moves teams in the state make on the sports betting partnership front. The Cleveland Browns of the National Football League is the next team to watch in the coming months.

Which Ohio Casinos Will Partner With Mobile Sportsbooks?

Only certain locations, like Ohio retail casinos and racinos, professional sports venues, and mixed facilities that offer horseraces and other traditional casino activities, will be allowed to apply for Class A licenses and partner with mobile sportsbook operators.

Ohio currently has four retail casinos located in major cities like Cincinnati and Toledo:

  • Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
  • JACK Cleveland Casino
  • Hollywood Columbus Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Toledo

Additionally, there are seven race tracks that may pursue Class A licensure as soon as they can. Each of these locations already has slot machines, as well. The racetracks include these eight locations:

  • Belterra Park Gaming
  • JACK Thistledown Racino
  • MGM Northfield Park
  • Miami Valley Gaming & Racing
  • Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
  • Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
  • Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course

Finally, the partnership between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Caesars Sportsbook will include an on-location retail sportsbook. While it is the first partnership that includes a physical sportsbook within the stadium, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals could eventually follow suit.

What Type Of Bets Can Be Placed At Ohio Retail Sportsbooks?

Once sports betting launches in Ohio, betting enthusiasts will be able to place a wide variety of wagers at either mobile or retail sportsbook locations. Type C licensees will be restricted to offering moneyline, point spread, and total (Over/Under) wagers.

Moneyline

Moneyline bets are easy to understand and popular wager types. They involve betting on which team out of two will win a given match. These are favorite bets for casual or new sports bettors who don’t want to dive too deep into the details of betting odds and algorithms. Ohio sports bettors may only be allowed to place these bets using mobile platforms rather than retail books.

Futures

Futures bets are long-term wagers that involve betting on the outcome of a future event, i.e. the winner of a division, playoff series, or championships such as March Madness or the NBA Finals. Like moneyline bets, these may end up only being available at Ohio’s mobile sportsbooks instead of its retail facilities.

Prop

Prop bets involve wagering on a specific event or outcome within a game, not necessarily the game’s victor. Prop bets are often player-centric, but they can involve teams as well. Examples of individual prop bets include betting on whether a player will score Over/Under a certain point total or if a pitcher will record Over/Under a set number of strikeouts. These are fun for bettors because it allows them to become invested in more elements of the game aside from the final outcome.

Parlay

Parlay bets are popular among experienced sports bettors and involve wagering on multiple single bets. Bettors have to win each “leg” of the bet in order to win the entire parlay wager. These can potentially result in massive payouts if the bettor is correct. Of course, with an increased reward come increased odds. The more legs on a parlay, the more likely one will lose, thereby eliminating the entire ticket.

Spread

Spread bets are similar to moneyline wagers but they’re more advanced because bettors are also incorporating the margin of victory or defeat.

  • Wagering that the underdog team will win a game outright or lose by less than a certain number of points, OR
  • Wagering that the favorite team will win a game by more than a set score.

A favorite is accompanied by a minus (-) sign. An underdog is accompanied by a plus (+) sign. If a team is listed at -3, it must win by no less than 4 in order to cover. On the other hand, an underdog who is listed at +3 will cover if it loses by no more than 2. If a team wins or loses by the spread number, it’s called a “push” and the bettor receives his or her money back. Many spreads are listed with a decimal, i.e. -3.5. The favorite still needs to win by at least 4 in order for the bet to win. However, the extra half-point on the spread eliminates the chance for a push.

Over/Under

Over/Under (also called totals) bets simply require bettors to wager on whether the combined score accumulated by both teams in a given game will be more or less than the number propositioned by the betting line. 

Ohio Sports Betting Guide

While sports betting is legal in Ohio, state residents continue to patiently await its launch. In the meantime, we can provide Ohioans with a representation of what they can expect when sports betting becomes available and the market is ready for them to place their first wagers.

The 3 Best Online Sports Betting Apps In Ohio

Right now, there aren’t any guarantees about which Ohio sportsbook apps will be available at launch. That being said, the three operators listed below are particularly likely given existing commercial deals with casino or racino companies:

  • DraftKings is one of the most likely operators to launch in Ohio, as it already provides Ohio residents with daily fantasy sports via its mobile app. However, it may launch either retail or mobile sports betting (or both) in the Buckeye State since it has a deal with Penn National Gaming. Penn already owns four gambling properties throughout Ohio (two casinos and two racinos); it would be easy for this company to simply sign DraftKings as its sole mobile sports betting provider.
  • BetMGM is another potential shoo-in for sports wagering operations. It’s a growing company and, more importantly, has a foothold in Ohio through MGM Resorts International, which owns both an off-track betting parlor and a racetrack/racino. Thus, BetMGM may be one of the first online sportsbooks to launch.
  • FanDuel, DraftKings’ major rival, is also operating in Ohio by offering daily fantasy sports. More importantly, this operator has a commercial relationship with Boyd Gaming, which itself owns the racetrack Belterra Park. FanDuel may launch mobile sports wagering sooner rather than later.

Ohio Sports Betting Timeline

The process of launching sports betting in Ohio started last December when Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law.

While this seems like a ways off, prospective sports bettors in Ohio will be pleased to know the process is already rolling. There are applications from prospective operators being processed and we will soon know which Ohio sportsbooks will launch on New Year’s day. Before then, there is still plenty to do before launch.

  • May 6, 2021 – The Ohio Select Committee on Gaming announced SB 176: the long-awaited initial legislation for Ohio’s sports betting industry.
  • May 12, 2021 – The Committee revised some provisions in the bill, such as enabling Class A license holders to partner with unlimited operators.
  • June 30, 2021 – Target date for sports betting discussions to be finished and legislation to be signed.
  • December 22, 2021 — Gov. Mike DeWine signs House Bill 29 into law.
  • July 15, 2022 — First deadline for sportsbooks license applications.
  • August 15, 2022– Second deadline for sportsbooks license applications.
  • Jan 1, 2023 – Official launch of sports betting in Ohio

Is It Legal To Bet On Sports Outside Of Legal Sportsbooks In Ohio?

It is now legal to bet on sports in Ohio, but residents must await the official launch of sports betting within the state. However, not only is it illegal to bet offshore or at unregulated sportsbooks, but it’s highly recommended against. Sports betting will launch January 1, 2023 at midnight — the law states that it must launch by that date. And even though prospective bettors may be itching to place their first wagers, it’s not worth taking illegal measures to do so. Not when it’s so close to arriving.

Ohio residents will be able to wager on sports using mobile sportsbooks from licensed operators. These books will be available from anywhere within Ohio state lines provided the user is over the age of 21.

Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Will bettors be able to place wagers at Ohio Retail Sportsbooks and Online Sportsbooks?

Sports bettors will be able to place sports bets both at retail sportsbooks located at sports arenas and on mobile sportsbook platforms partnered with casinos and racinos. Depending on how the final steps of the regulation process plays out, bettors may also be able to put money down using sportsbooks at small businesses like bowling alleys and certain restaurants or bars.

When can I bet on sports in Ohio?

While the sports betting bill passed in 2021, the OCCC announced the official launch date for sports betting in Ohio is January 1, 2023.

Can you bet on horse racing at Ohio’s sportsbooks?

Not yet, but you likely will be able to. You can already place bets on horse races at the racetracks scattered throughout Ohio.

How old will you have to be to enter an Ohio sportsbook or use a mobile sportsbook?

The legal age for gambling in Ohio is 21.

Do you have to pay taxes on winnings from sports betting in Ohio?

Yes. Bettors will be required to pay a 10% tax rate on all sports betting winnings. 

Will live betting or in-game betting be offered at Ohio's sportsbook locations?

Yes. Many of the major operators likely to launch in Ohio already offer in-game betting in other states with legal sports betting industries. It’s unlikely that Ohio will ban these types of wagers, at least for their mobile platforms.

Are there any Ohio casinos with sportsbooks?

Not yet, but you can rest assured that each of the four retail casinos in Ohio will partner with at least one mobile sportsbook operator once the industry launches. Many of them will likely have multiple partners. Additionally, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, will host a Caesars Sportsbook in the arena.

Is DraftKings offering sports betting in Ohio?

Not yet, but this operator already provides daily fantasy sports to Ohio residents and is among the operators most likely to launch sports betting when the time comes.

About the Author

Emma Carlin

Emma Carlin is a Content Manager based in Washington D.C. and has recently joined the Sharp team following her time working in the sports industry. She has spent a majority of her career working in public relations, writing and producing content for professional teams and athletes.