Legal Ohio Sports Betting

Legal Ohio sports betting can seem a bit tricky to navigate at first, but in reality, residents do have several options. When you start searching for ways to legally bet on sports in OH, it will become clear that you have limited land-based options. Unfortunately, until sports gambling bills are passed, land-based sports betting is not allowed in Ohio. Still, residents are able to take their sports betting interests online in order to bet on the sports that they crave. Though not commonly known, this is a form of legal Ohio sports betting as long as legitimate sites are used.

There is more to betting on sports legally in Ohio than meets the eye, especially when you get into the different types of legal sports betting in the US. Many residents are aware that there are horse betting and daily fantasy sports options In Ohio, but our goal is to increase the awareness of sports betting in the state as well. We will give you details on each type of betting in Ohio so that you will have no problem finding a place where you can safely wager on sports and more.

Is Land-Based Sports Betting Legal In Ohio?

Although sports betting is becoming legal all across the United States, land-based sports betting is not yet legal in Ohio. Progress has been made in terms of legalizing sports betting, however. House Bill 194 passed in the House Finance Committee on May 27, 2020. If HB 194 passes in the state legislature, it would authorize the Ohio Lottery Commission to set and enforce regulations regarding sports betting in Ohio. Prior to passing in the committee, HB 194 was amended to include provisions that would authorize self-service lottery terminals throughout the state at establishments with liquor licenses. The bill still has to pass in both the House and Senate, but that looks more likely now than it did when the bill was first introduced.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Ohio?

Online sports betting is not technically prohibitted in Ohio, leaving residents with the option to bet on sports online. The state has not enacted any laws pertaining to online gaming, let alone online sports betting. There are no online sportsbooks that are regulated by the state of Ohio, but international online sportsbooks are still fully legal for Ohio residents. American anti-gambling laws, including Ohio’s, are written to target providers rather than individual gamblers, and they don’t apply to operators outside their jurisdiction.

Additionally, if HB 194 passes, the Ohio Lottery Commission will be free to set its own regulations regarding online sports betting. Given the recent amendments added to the bill that seem to be in favor of increasing revenues however possible, it seems likely that online betting will be approved if the bill passes. Nearby states like Indiana and Iowa have already proven the profitability of online betting for states, and Ohio has a larger population and more major professional and college sports teams than either of those states. 

Where To Bet On Sports In Ohio?

As a state resident, your options for legal Ohio sports betting are limited to one option – the internet. There is not a strip of sportsbooks or bars where you can go to place wagers on sports. Ohio has yet to legalize any form of sports betting. Once sports betting becomes legal in Ohio, sportsbooks could open in the Miami Valley Gaming Casino in Lebanon, the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, or any one of Ohio’s numerous other casinos.

Without physical locations for sports betting in Ohio, online sportsbooks are your best bet. You have the flexibility and convenience of betting from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Sports betting sites are the only way that you can safely bet on sports while remaining in-state.

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Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

As a resident of Ohio, there is a good chance that you live in an area that offers some form of betting. You will find several casinos and horse race tracks scattered throughout the state, some of which are racinos. You will not be able to find places to bet on sports, but online sportsbooks bring sports betting action right to your living room or mobile phone. Our recommended sites are Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes. They are industry leaders in online sports betting who are trustworthy and reliable. The closest land-based option would be to drive to either Pennsylvania or West Virginia, and both sports betting states ​have a number of opportunities for you to enjoy sports betting. Aside from sports betting, here are cities where you can find other gaming opportunities (and hopefully sports wagering in the near future):

List of Potential Cities

  • Youngstown
  • Toledo
  • Columbus
  • Cincinnati

Ohio Sports Betting Sites

Ohio sports betting sites are not regulated and are instead licensed by offshore operators. These online sportsbooks are Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, 5Dimes, BetDSI, and BookMaker, and they each have licenses to accept players from the US. All of the sites offer different sportsbook bonus codes​ and promotions to Ohio residents to help build your bankroll for more wagering opportunities.

The sports betting sites in Ohio may be based offshore, but they will still have the betting options that American bettors look for. You will find all of your favorite professional and collegiate sports to wager on, such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, and more. Just like a US sportsbook, your betting options include moneylines, totals, point spreads, parlays, props, and other exotic wagers.

Ohio Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

Ohio sports betting and gambling laws are specific in some areas while being vague in others. As far as general gambling, Chapter 2915 of the Ohio Revised Code permits social gambling but prohibits professional gambling schemes. There are numerous laws that make operating as a bookie illegal in Ohio, but you will not find any laws that directly mention sports bettors, which is beneficial to residents of the state.

Horse racing is also popular in the state of Ohio. Chapter 3769 of the ORC contains regulations related to horse racing betting in the state. ORC 3769.01 permits horse racing at licensed facilities and ORC 3769.08 authorizes the pari-mutuel system of wagering. You can also simulcast races at various OTB locations throughout the state.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Considering that Ohio is home to a wide variety of professional and collegiate sports teams, it is no surprise that the state has a large base of sports fans. Sportsbooks also give sports enthusiasts the chance to wager on all of their favorite sports, whether it be NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or NCAA sports. When you join an online sportsbook, you can find betting lines on all of the teams you love. Though you can bet on any sport and team of your choice on Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, etc., here are some of the most popular teams for Ohio residents to bet on:


Cincinnati Bearcats Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio Bobcats
Miami-Ohio RedHawks Toledo Rockets  


Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) Cincinnati Reds (MLB) Cleveland Browns (NFL)
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) Cleveland Indians (MLB) Cleveland Rockers (WNBA)
Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)    

Horse Racing Betting In Ohio

Horse racing betting in Ohio has been legal for quite some time. The state is home to both Thoroughbred and harness racing at a few different race tracks. These include the JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Northfield Park in Northfield, and Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown. There are also simulcast races and several Off-track betting locations within the state.

Residents also have the option to use online offshore racebooks, which give you instant access to races happening at tracks all over the nation. Horse racing betting sites also have extra bonuses and rebates that are exclusive to betting on horses online. It all comes down to the level of convenience and horse betting opportunities that you are looking for.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Ohio

Although Ohio had no regulated daily fantasy sports, or DFS, in its law books, residents and tourists alike for a long time had access to both FanDuel and DraftKings, the top DFS providers, easily within the state. Ohio senator Bill Coley made a motion to analyze the legality of DFS, asking the Attorney General of the situation. The Armey General has encouraged the General Assembly to review DFS laws in order to come up with a concrete definition. Ohio lawmakers then presented HB 132 in an attempt to define DFS for regulation and the bill has since passed, bringing regulated DFS to all Ohio residents.

Legal Sports Betting in Ohio – Outlook for 2020

Ohio is currently considering two bills: OH HB194 is a 135-page monstrosity of a bill that would task the Ohio Lottery Commission with crafting regulations and governing sports betting in the state; SB111 clocks in at an even gaudier 142 pages and charges the Ohio Casino Control Commission with regulating sports wagering in the state and levying taxes on the revenue generated by sports wagering. Both bills are currently still in their respective committees (HB194 in the Finance Committee and SB111 in the General Government and Agency Review Committee). 

Legal Ohio Sports Betting FAQs

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Ohio?

The best part about legal Ohio sports betting sites is that you can bet real money and, in turn, win real money. When you develop a smart betting strategy and select the best lines, real money sports betting can be quite profitable. Online sportsbooks such as Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes make it easy to fund your account with Bitcoin or your credit card, and cashing out on your winnings is just as simple. Choose to receive your earnings in a check, bank wire, MoneyGram, bitcoin, or other methods. You can bet real money on sports in Ohio at any online sportsbook.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Ohio?

Online sports betting is safe in Ohio when you use legitimate sports betting sites. These online sportsbooks use the latest technology to protect your financial and personal information. All of the data entered is encrypted with secure SSL certificates, and your contact info is never sold to third-parties. As long as you are of age, you can safely bet at any online sportsbook of your choosing.

Will Sports Betting In Ohio Ever Be Legal?

Yes, residents of Ohio can expect to see some sort of legalized sports betting in the near future. Lawmakers are open to the idea of making wagering on sporting events legal. Bills that could pass into law are being adjusted to fit the needs of all those involved in making legalization a reality. That kind of progress is a positive for seeing a future legal sports betting market in the state of Ohio. Until then, bettors have the option of using offshore internet sportsbooks to fulfill all their wagering needs when it comes to sports. There are plenty of reputable sites that accept gamblers from Ohio. These sites include Bovada, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, and BetOnline. Not only are they legal to use, but they are also shockingly convenient as you can do all your betting from the comfort of your own home.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Ohio?

While we are not legal experts and this is an opinion, it is extremely unlikely to get arrested for sports betting in Ohio. If you place bets at legal Ohio sports betting sites that are operated offshore, you will not run into any issues. There have never been any arrests made for casual bettors using an online sportsbook. Betting on sports at an illegal bookmaker located in Ohio would be troublesome, which is why you should avoid local bookies at all costs.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In Ohio?

The sports betting age in Ohio is 21 years old. Once you are 21 or older, you can join any online sportsbook of your choice. Some sports betting sites will allow players to start wagering at age 18, but residents will still need to wait until after their 21st birthday to join in order to avoid issues with underage gambling. If you start placing sports wagers before the legal age, you are at risk of having your account suspended and/or funds forfeited at your online sportsbook.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Ohio?

There are mobile sports betting apps available in Ohio; just visit Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes from your smartphone. Nearly every online sportsbook also offers a mobile betting platform for players to bet while on the go. You still have access to all of your essential features, such as deposits, withdrawals, and of course, you’ll be able to bet on your favorite teams. Many mobile sportsbooks will offer exclusive rewards just for using the mobile betting feature, and you can still redeem the same bonuses that you would from the desktop sportsbook.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Ohio?

The best place to wager on sports in Ohio is on the internet. Until the state legalizes sports betting, the only legal option available to residents is offshore online sportsbooks. These sports wagering sites are legal for Ohio gamblers to join and offer some of the best wagers and events in the industry. Some are even better than that of Las Vegas sportsbooks in terms of odds. Another great thing about them is that they are accessible through your iPhone or Android device, making gambling on sports that much more convenient as it can be done from anywhere. The best internet sites to join are ones such as Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting. They offer everything you’ll need to get the ultimate sports betting experience.

Should I Use A Local Bookie In Ohio?

Using a private bookie is never a good idea. The reason being is they are not tied to any rules, meaning they are not obligated to honor your wagers should you win. And because you chose to use a local bookie that was not licensed and running an illegal business, there is not much you can do to recover your money. If you want to place wagers on anything involving sports, offshore internet sportsbooks are the best option. They are licensed, regulated, and trustworthy. You never have to worry about anything when using these sites, and they’re legal as well. These online sports betting sites are firing on all cylinders for bettors in the Ohio area.

Do Any Casinos In Ohio Have Sports Betting?

No, there are no casinos in Ohio that have sports betting. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are the closest states to Ohio that have sportsbooks operational. Sites that offer online casinos will often have sportsbooks as well. These one-stop-shops allow sports fans and casino players to wager on all types of games from one central account.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Ohio?

You can bet on sports with friends in Ohio as long as 100% of the money is pooled together. This means that the pool is not being conducted for profit and is permissible under ORC 2915.01. For other types of sports betting, you will need to use an online sportsbook. Our recommendations are Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, BetDSI, BookMaker, and 5Dimes.

In Ohio, you and your friends can get online and bet on sports without issue. Online sportsbooks are open to everyone, giving you and your friends a wide range of betting options. Everyone can create their own accounts and choose the particular event(s) that they would like to wager on. Social betting is just one more convenient and safe way to enjoy legal Ohio sports betting.