Ohio Sports Betting

The Ohio state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America

Is Sports Betting Legal In Ohio?

Good news and bad news. The bad news? Ohio doesn’t have legal online sports betting just yet. The good news? It’s coming January 1, 2023. Ohioans will be able to ring in the new year with wagers on their favorite sports. Plus, that launch date is just in time for Super Bowl LVII!

Overall, the Ohio sports betting market is shaping up to look very similar to other legal states, such as nearby Michigan or Indiana. To sign up and start betting, you’ll need to be 21 or older and within the state. You’ll confirm your age using a government-issued ID, and sportsbooks will confirm you’re within Ohio using GPS technology before you can place a bet. With a set launch date of January 1, 2023, you have plenty of time to get your ducks in a row before the time comes to register.

Ohio plans to grant up to 40 sports betting licenses, which means all the major players are anticipated to launch in the state. Some major operators already have a presence in Ohio via land-based casinos while others are lining up for an online launch in the state. We expect a handful to launch on or near January 1, including:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars
  • BetMGM
  • PointsBet
  • Barstool
  • WynnBET

Keep in mind this list is subject to change as the launch date nears, but that’s a solid list of expected books.

All-in-all, Ohio is looking like it’ll be a sports betting force to be reckoned with. Read one for everything you need to know about the state’s upcoming sports betting launch.

Ohio Sports Betting Overview, Timeline, And Background

It’s been a long road for Ohio, with various twists and turns along the way. But it’s finally reaching a tipping point, and sports betting will become a reality in mere months.

December 2021 brought the first meaningful movement on sports betting legislation. The Ohio state legislature approved House Bill 29, which set a framework for legal sports betting. The bill set the minimum betting age at 21, put the Ohio Casino Control Commission in charge of regulations, and allowed for betting on various sports and leagues.

Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law a few weeks after it was approved by the state’s lawmakers.

From there, the road to launch got a bit rocky. Various stakeholders aimed for a 2022 launch, but obstacles kept popping up. Nothing major, however, and the state reverted to its initial goal of early 2023. As it stands, that appears to be a firm launch date for Ohio sports betting.

Since the bill was passed, numerous operators have staked a claim in Ohio by applying for licenses. Among the companies that secured market access or applied for licensing (or both) are: BetRivers, WynnBET, PointsBet, BetMGM, Betfred, FanDuel, and DraftKings. This list is far from final, but it provides a good look at the operators you might expect to launch first in Ohio.

As of this writing, the January 1, 2023 launch date seems set. Barring any major hurdles, you can expect Ohio sports betting to launch then.

Which Online Sportsbooks Could Be Coming To Ohio?

Ohio is likely to have a whole slew of sportsbooks on or near day one. Many operators have already applied for licenses in preparation for the launch. Here’s a rundown of the major players expected in the Ohio sports betting space.

FanDuel

Expected launch: on or near January 1, 2023

FanDuel has applied for its Ohio license, which should come as no surprise. The company is frequently an early entrant in new markets. IF FanDuel isn’t live on day one, it’ll certainly enter the market shortly thereafter.

BetRivers

Expected launch: on or near January 1, 2023

BetRivers struck a deal with Penn National for Ohio market access. The midwest-based company is a shoo-in for an early launch. Whether it’s on day one remains to be seen, but BetRivers won’t wait long to go live in Ohio.

BetMGM

Expected launch: on or near January 1, 2023

BetMGM has already applied for its Ohio license. The company also owns MGM Northfield Park outside of Cleveland, giving it an easy in for a sports betting license.

DraftKings

Expected launch: on or near January 1, 2023

Draftkings has applied for its Ohio license. The company is notoriously on the ball when it comes to launching new markets. We wouldn’t be surprised if DraftKings was the very first to go live in Ohio.

Barstool Sportsbook

Expected launch: Early 2023

Barstool is owned by Penn National Gaming, which operates Ohio’s four Hollywood Casinos (Columbus, Toledo, Dayton Raceway, Mahoning Valley). Barstool hasn’t always been at the forefront when it comes to new market launches, so we wouldn’t anticipate a day one launch. Instead, expect early 2023. If Barstool launches on day one, it’ll be a pleasant surprise!

PointsBet

Expected launch: Early 2023

PointsBet has applied for its Ohio license, so it’s safe to expect it’ll come to the state near the launch date.

Betfred

Expected Launch: Early 2023

Betfred has applied for its license, plus it struck a multi-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, becoming the official sportsbook partner of the team. Betfred is likely to launch in the early days of Ohio sports betting.

Other Ohio Sports Betting Contenders

Beyond the sportsbooks above, we expect a variety of others to enter the fray. Here are the other sportsbooks expected to join the Ohio sports betting market near launch or slightly later in 2023.

  • Caesars Sportsbook: Caesars owns Eldorado Scioto Downs in Columbus
  • WynnBET: announced Ohio market access in 2021, but provided no details about the deal
  • Bally Bet: official partner of the Cleveland Browns
  • Hard Rock: owns Hard Rock in Cincinnati
  • Tipico: struck a partnership with The Columbus Crew soccer team
  • Fubo Gaming: official partner of the Cleveland Cavaliers

How To Bet On Sports In Ohio Once Legalized

When Ohio sports betting finally goes live, you will be able to sign up and start betting in a matter of minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you register and start wagering.

Signing Up

  1. Find your preferred sportsbook or sportsbooks. Remember the market will expand as time goes on, giving you more options.
  2. Download the app of your ideal sportsbook(s) or head to the desktop site. (If using a desktop, be prepared to install a separate geolocation plug-in.)
  3. Click “register” or “sign up” or similar to start the registration process.
  4. Provide your personal details as requested by the sportsbook. Usually, you’ll need the following: Name, Email address, Home address, Date of birth, Phone number, Password (you will create one), Government-issued ID, Social security number
  5. Connect a payment method and make a deposit. If PayPal is an option, we recommend using that as credit/debit cards have high decline rates.
  6. Make a deposit, keeping in mind you might get a bonus when you first fund your account. Check the sportsbook’s promotions section to confirm this.

Now you’re signed up. It’s a pretty simple process, but get in touch with customer service if you have trouble at any point.

Placing A Wager

Now you can start wagering. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Peruse the odds and markets available until you find your desired wager.
  2. Select the wager to add it to your betslip. If you want to make multiple individual wagers or a parlay, continue adding more bets until you have everything you want in your betslip.
  3. Head to your betslip and type in the amount you’d like to wager on each bet. This should also show you how much you’d win if your bet ends up successful.
  4. Click or tap “Place Bet” and wait for the sportsbook to confirm your wager is placed.
  5. Watch the game or match and hope your bet hits!

Again, the process here is relatively simple, and once you do it a few times you’ll learn the ropes quickly.

When Will Ohio Sports Betting Launch?

Ohio sports betting is slated to launch on January 1, 2023. This is after a long legislative road to approval.

It’s hard to definitively say which sportsbooks will launch on day one, though some top contenders exist. At the very least, expect the first week of the new year to feature various launches from big-name sportsbooks in Ohio. Sports betting operators will want to be live ASAP to capitalize on the opportunity and test their systems ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl.

Ohio Sports Teams

Ohio has teams representing all of the most popular leagues and sports. Though bettors will be able to wager on teams and sports nationwide, there are plenty of Ohio-based franchises that’ll be eligible for bets once the state goes live.

NFL: Cleveland Browns & Cincinnati Bengals

Having multiple NFL teams isn’t just for mega-states like New York, Texas, Florida, or California. Ohio is home to two NFL teams: the Browns and the Bengals. You’ll be able to place bets on both teams, including the usual moneyline, point spreads, and totals. Plus, football is a massive betting sport, so you can expect tons of player and game props and various specials to help boost your chances of winning your NFL bet.

You may also eventually have the option to place bets at retail sportsbooks in each team’s stadium. The Bengals are partnered with Betfred while the Browns are partnered with Bally Bet. There’s always a chance the partners could collaborate with the teams to build an in-person sportsbook for fans.

NCAAF

Fans of The Ohio State University Buckeyes will most likely be able to place bets on the team—good thing too, considering the Buckeyes are almost always a driving force in the NCAA.

Other Ohio colleges will be on the docket, too, including the Miami RedHawks, Ohio Bobcats, and others.

Some states prohibit betting on in-state college teams (even if they’re playing out of state), but Ohio is not expected to put such restrictions in place.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds & Cleveland Guardians

Not to be outdone by the NFL presence in the state, Ohio also has two MLB teams.

Baseball is a favorite sport among moneyline bettors. The games are often expected to be close, so the odds won’t break the bank. Plus, baseball is a slow and strategic game that lends itself well to live betting. Ohio bettors will have these options and more when betting on the Reds or Guardians.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers

Basketball bettors can place wagers on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The official sports betting partner of the team is Caesars.

You’ll be able to place Cavaliers bets online, though the partnership also includes a retail sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Soccer: Columbus Crew & FC Cincinnati

Two MLS clubs grace the Ohio sports betting scene: FC Cincinnati and The Columbus Crew. Both will be eligible for betting once Ohio sportsbooks are live.

The Columbus Crew is partnered with Tipico.

Other Major Sports

Ohio includes various other sports and leagues in its sports betting legislation, including Olympic events, horse racing, motorsports, esports, and more. Beyond the most popular sports, Ohio bettors will have other betting options.

Benefits Of Legal Online Sports Betting In Ohio

While you wait for legal online sportsbooks in Ohio, offshore sites may seem like a solid alternative. However, there are myriad reasons to steer clear and hold out for the official sports betting launch in the Buckeye State.

Better Odds

Offshore sportsbooks are frequented by bettors in states where sports betting isn’t fully legal. For this reason, they will often offer worse odds, or take a bigger cut compared to legal books. This is because many offshore books know their players don’t have many other options.

Ohio's legal sportsbooks will be incentivized to offer competitive odds because they’ll be competing for your money and attention.

Good Customer Service

Offshore books have limited customer service options and hours, whereas legal sportsbooks have dedicated teams ready to resolve any issue you might have. The faster they can solve your problem, the faster you can get back to betting, which in turn is better for the sportsbook.

Bonuses & Promotions

You’ll find hyper-competitive bonus offers and ongoing promotions at legal sportsbooks. In Ohio, there may eventually be up to 40 license-holders, so they’ll all want to compete to earn your business. You will find plenty of lucrative bonus offers at legal books, including risk-free bets, despot matches, and more.

Your Money & Data Are Safe

You can never guarantee that your funds or information are safe at an offshore book. Legal sportsbooks have an obligation to protect your data, and you are much safer using their platform than an unfamiliar gray market bookmaker.

Will Mobile Sports Betting Apps Be Available In Ohio

Yes. Mobile sports betting will be allowed in Ohio. In other legal markets, online betting comprises the vast majority of revenue, and it’s likely that will be the case in Ohio, too.

Mobile and desktop will both be great options for bettors who don’t want to visit a retail sportsbook. There are extra benefits to betting on mobile too. Mainly, you can bet on the go. As long as you’re within Ohio state borders, you can place bets from your phone or tablet. If you’re on the train watching a game from your phone and you think a particular live bet looks enticing, betting from your phone will let you get that wager in quickly.

Mobile betting is also naturally more convenient if you’re at a bar or out with friends; chances are you don’t have your computer handy.

Heck, even in a retail sportsbook, you have to contend with lines at the betting counter. Waiting could mean a change in the odds that don’t work in your favor. You can always bet on your phone while there to make it a smoother experience.

Overall, expect mobile betting to be the easiest and most streamlined method to place a bet in Ohio once the state launches sports betting.

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