Welcome to the only online resource you will need about sports betting in Ohio
Best Sportsbooks in Ohio (February 2023)
CURRENT STATUS OF SPORTS BETTING IN OHIO
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed legislation to legalize sports betting in Ohio in December 2021. As part of that agreement, the deadline for the industry to be up and running in the state is January 1, 2023. While many in the state hoped that it would be ready by the start of the 2022 football season, it was announced in June 2022 that the official launch date will be January 1, 2023.
During this time, the state is setting up the regulatory framework needed to manage such an endeavor, which includes deciding how gaming licenses will be issued and then regulated once in operation. Once implemented and the law is active, you will be able to place sports bets at retail locations in Ohio and anywhere in the state online via a computer or mobile device.
As of the summer of 2022, sports gambling is legal in 32 states and pending in four others, including Ohio. Four of Ohio’s neighboring states already have legal online and in-person sports gambling—Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia. With its dense population and many sports teams, Ohio will likely become one of America’s hottest betting markets.
OHIO SPORTS-BETTING TIMELINE
- November 2020: The Ohio House and Senate draft two separate sports-betting bills, but they are put on the back burner because the sponsors of the bills in both the House and Senate either lost their bid for re-election or were term-limited out of office.
- December 2020: Legislation on legalizing sports gambling is officially tabled to the next legislative session.
- March 2021: At the start of the 2021 legislative session in Columbus, Gov. Mike DeWine said that sports betting in Ohio was “inevitable.”
- June 2021: The Ohio Senate passes a sports betting bill, and legislation is introduced in the House for the same going into the summer recess.
- September 2021: A committee is established to decide on one bill that can pass both the House and Senate on legalizing sports betting in Ohio in a quicker manner.
- November 2021: Negotiations on the bill intensify in both chambers of the state legislature with the primary discussions being over how many mobile licenses will be issued and the state lottery commission’s role in overseeing the new industry.
- December 8, 2021: With the holiday legislative break looming, the House and Senate both overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize sports betting in Ohio, passing the House 72-12 and the Senate by a 31-1 margin.
- December 22, 2021: Gov. DeWine signs the bill, making it law. As part of the agreement, bets must be taken in the state no later than January 1, 2023.
- February 2022: Caesars announces a partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers that will establish a sportsbook venue at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse—the home arena of the Cavaliers.
- April 2022: Bally Bet reaches a deal with the Cleveland Browns, joining other deals between sportsbook providers and pro sports organizations like Tipico Sportsbook with the Columbus Crew of the MLS and betPARX with the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament.
- May 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission establishes timelines for operators to apply for licenses. Type A and B proprietors can apply from June 15-July 15. Type C proprietors can apply from July 15-August 15. See the details of each type below under the details of Ohio’s sports betting bill.
- June 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission officially announces January 1, 2023, as the date that sports betting will go live in Buckeye State.
- July 2022: The state said that there were over a dozen sports-betting applications for Type A and B licenses received between June 15 and July 15. Online sportsbooks must partner with a brick-and-mortar retail sportsbook before they can officially launch.
POTENTIAL ONLINE SPORTSBOOKS IN OHIO
Ohio law will allow for as many as 46 online sportsbooks to do business in the Buckeye State come January 1, 2023. Each of these online enterprises must partner with a brick-and-mortar casino, racino (race track where other forms of gambling, such as slot machines, are available), or pro sports venue.
On June 20, 2022, BetMGM and PointsBet became the first two online sportsbooks to officially apply for a license to do business in Ohio. All of the other major online sportsbook players are expected to the same.
As bettors living in states where sports betting is already operational have found out, there is heavy competition for bettors’ business, and that leads to companies offering favorable deals to join and play on their platform.
While there will be many more operators in Ohio, here is a brief rundown of the five biggest ones in other states.
BetMGM is the online casino arm of MGM Resorts International, one of the biggest names in gaming. The company owns MGM Northfield Park in Cleveland, so that will likely be the retail location it partners with. The platform typically offers risk-free bets for new players and ongoing promotions throughout the year. BetMGM holds licenses with 18 states in the U.S. for mobile sports betting along with online casinos and poker in other states. In Ohio, this bill only legalizes online sports betting.
PointsBet has become a popular online sportsbook due to the number of unique options they offer gamers. They are currently in 10 states and partner with Penn National Gaming for their brick-and-mortar properties, which include Hollywood Casinos in the state. In addition to offering risk-free bets for new users, PointsBet offers lots of flexibility on a daily basis, including random booster odds and the ability to take an early payout on a bet. The company has also performed acts of goodwill toward its customers when it refunded bets that were lost when the New Orleans Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 NFC Championship game after a pass interference plenty that wasn’t called on the Rams.
Caesars is a huge name in the gaming industry and will likely add Ohio to its mobile sports betting portfolio that includes 15 states. After a $17 billion merger with Eldorado Resorts, Caesars already owns property in Ohio to uses as a retail location. In addition, Caesars made a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to become its official sports-betting partner and plans to open a retail sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse that will have an entrance at street level so the public can visit the sportsbook without having to attend a game. The Caesars Sportsbook offers risk-free bet introductory promos and has plenty of tie-ins on NBA wagers as part of its partnership with that league.
DraftKings is one of the biggest names in daily fantasy sports, which is already legal in Ohio. The company also runs an online sportsbook in 17 states, and it is expected to add Ohio sports betting as well. They currently don’t have a partnership with a land-based casino in the Buckeye State but expect a deal to be made before sports betting becomes legal in Ohio. Instead of a risk-free bet, DraftKings is offering a 20% match on a new player’s first deposit, up to $1,000. Those familiar with the crowns reward system that DraftKings uses for daily fantasy sports will also be happy because the sportsbook uses a similar rewards system.
FanDuel is the other major player in daily fantasy sports, and once sports betting was able to be legalized in the United States in 2018, it has since become the market leader by taking in around 40% of all sports wagers in the country. With that kind of reach, it’s safe to say FanDuel will be a part of Ohio’s sports betting launch. It has a relationship with Boyd Gaming, which owns two retail properties in Ohio. FanDuel offers a risk-free wager for new users along with ongoing promotions throughout the year, and its mobile app is one of the highest-rated in the industry.
OHIO’S SPORTS BETTING BILL
Ohio House Bill 29 (HB 29) is the bill that contains Ohio’s new sports betting law. As we mentioned earlier, it was enacted into law in December 2021 and will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
As part of these laws in each state, sportsbook operators pay a tax on all of its revenue to the state for the ability to do business and fall under its regulatory practices. The taxes range from 6.75% (Iowa) to 51% (New York, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island). For Ohio, that percentage will be 10%, which is lower than most states that have legalized sports betting.
In addition, companies looking to do business in Ohio must apply for a license. There are three types of licenses available.
Type A License
A Type A license is to allow online sports betting associated with casinos, racinos, and pro sports venues. The first 21 license holders can partner up with two different Mobile Management Service Providers (DraftKings, BetMGM, etc.), and four license holders after that can partner with one, making for a total of 46 potential mobile sportsbooks in Ohio starting in 2023.
The license holder and Mobile Management Service Provider will both have to provide fees ranging from $1 million to $6.67 million to the state for a five-year license.
Type B License
Type B licenses allow for an in-person (aka brick-and-mortar) sportsbook, and a provider must already hold a Type B license to get a Type A license, which allows for online betting.
There can be a total of 40 of these issued in the state and will vary by county size. Counties with more than 800,000 people can have up to five Type B license holders, counties between 400,000 and 800,000 residents can have up to three, and counties with a population of less than 400,000 can only have one.
Type C License
This allows for anyone with a class-D liquor license to run a sports-betting kiosk at their place of business. This includes restaurants, bars, liquor stores, convenience stores, and more. Thousands of these are expected to be issued prior to the January 1, 2023 launch date.
Legal Sports and Ohio Teams to Bet On
You will be able to bet on sports in the United States and around the world once wagering opens on January 1, 2023. This includes the major team sports in the U.S. (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS), individual sports like golf, tennis, boxing, and UFC, and international sports like cricket, rugby, and soccer leagues from around the world.
🏈 NFL – Betting on the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals
The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on in the U.S., and Ohio is well-represented in the league with two teams. The Cincinnati Bengals made an improbable run to the Super Bowl last year with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, but they fell short against the Los Angeles Rams in the big game. The Cleveland Browns are division rivals of the Bengals, both playing in the AFC North. The Browns are one of four teams to have not yet played in a Super Bowl. The Browns have made a partnership with online sportsbook Bally Bet.
🏀 NBA – Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are partnering with both Caesars and Fubo when it comes to sports betting. The NBA has become the second-most popular pro sport to wager on in the U.S. The Cavs, after enjoying plenty of success in the 2010s by going to four-straight NBA Finals with LeBron James (and winning one in 2016), are working their way back into contention. The team is now led by young stars like Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Collin Sexton, and they reached the play-in tournament of the playoffs in 2021-22 for the first time since James left the team in 2018.
⚾️ MLB – Betting on the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds
Major League Baseball is firmly entrenched in the Buckeye State with two longtime franchises: the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds. The Guardians, known as the Indians until 2021, have the longest World Series drought in MLB, having last won a championship in 1948. The team came close twice in recent years, reaching Game 7 of the World Series in both 1997 and 2016 before losing each time. The Reds last won the World Series in 1990 and were beginning to show improvement over the last few years, but they recently traded a lot of their better players in order to get younger—with the exception of longtime first baseman Joey Votto, who remains.
🏒 NHL – Betting on the Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been a part of the National Hockey League for 20 years, but they have not had a lot of playoff success. The only playoff series that they won came in 2019, when they recorded a shocking four-game sweep over the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had the best record in the regular season that year. There is some renewed excitement surrounding the Blue Jackets going into the 2022-23 season since they signed free-agent Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year contract. The 28-year-old had a career-high 40 goals for Calgary last year and has 609 points in 602 games in his career.
️⚽️ MLS – Betting on the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati
Ohio is represented in the legacy of Major League Soccer and its expansion as well, as the league has become one of the fastest-growing in the United States. The Columbus Crew were a charter member of MLS when it began play in 1996. The team has two MLS Cups, winning in 2008 and 2020. Brian McBride is the franchise’s leading goal scorer with 79. FC Cincinnati began play in 2019 and is having its best year in 2020, sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
🏆 NCAA – Betting on the Ohio State Buckeyes and Other Ohio College Teams
In some states, betting on college teams residing in the state is prohibited, but it will be allowed in Ohio. This is good news for college football fans, as the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the top teams in the country. The team has reached the College Football Playoff four times, winning in 2014 and having seven other national championships to its credit. The Buckeyes play their games at the 102,780-seat Ohio Stadium in Columbus. There are a host of other college football and basketball teams in the state, including the Cincinnati Bearcats, who reached the College Football Playoff for the first time after recording an undefeated 2021 season.
Ohio Sports Betting Compared to Other States
Ohio joins neighboring states Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia in legalizing sports gambling. Kentucky, which borders Ohio to the south, does not have any plans to legalize sports betting in the near future. Online casino gaming (slots and table games like blackjack) and online poker remain illegal in Ohio. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia offer online casinos and online poker as well.
The legalization and regulation of online sports betting is a good thing for Ohio residents who are interested in doing so because it gives bettors a safe place to make bets and ensure that they will receive a proper payout if they win.
Taxes and Responsible Gaming
We mentioned the 10% tax that operators must pay to the state of Ohio on the revenue they take in from sports bets. On the consumer side, the money you win from betting on sports is fully taxable and must be reported. You may also be able to deduct gambling losses, so be sure to save your tickets, receipts, and online statements. Each online sportsbook allows you to access your betting history, so this is a convenient way to be able to log your wins and losses come tax time.
As part of a state like Ohio regulating online and in-person sports betting, the government provides resources for those who feel like they cannot control their gambling and may wager more than they can afford. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has a website devoted to responsible gaming and resources that are available for those with a problem. In addition, many online sportsbooks have tools like betting limits, deposit limits, and timeouts that will restrict access to your account if a problem is suspected.