While it has taken some time, legal sports betting in Ohio will come to fruition. Ohio online sports betting was legalized in December 2021 when both legislative chambers passed bill HB29, and then shortly after, Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law. However, after several months of discussions, it was finally announced at the beginning of June that legal sports betting in Ohio will officially launch on January 1, 2023.
The news is big for Ohio online sports betting, as it is the seventh most populous state in the U.S. It is interesting that the three most populous states of California, Texas, and Florida, still do not have legal sports betting. The teams from the bigger professional leagues and the big boys of the online sportsbook industry have already started applying for licenses in the Buckeye State.
Keep reading this guide to get important information about legal sports betting in Ohio, including taxes and law issues, the hurdles for sports betting, the state market for sports betting, the available sportsbooks, the future of sports betting in the state, and a timeline of events. The guide will also show you how to open a sportsbook account, so you can start to wager on your favorite sports!
The legal situation on Ohio sports betting
Sports betting became legal in December 2021 and will launch on January 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) will be tasked with licensing and overseeing sports betting in the state, and they spent the first half of 2022 working on the rules for sports wagering.
HB29 passed with overwhelming approval in the Ohio legislature with a vote of 31-1 in the Senate and 72-12 in the House. There are three types of sports betting licenses in Ohio, which are:
- Type A – There are 25 of these licenses reserved for the casinos in the state, who will have to partner with an online sportsbook, and the professional sports teams in the state.
- Type B – This type of license is reserved for retail sportsbooks. There are 40 of these types of licenses available; the biggest counties cannot have more than five of them, and counties with less than 50,000 residents cannot have one.
- Type C – This type of license has the most on offer, as they are available to bars and restaurants and places that serve alcohol and betting kiosks can be available there. Also, locales that sell Ohio Lottery tickets can have a sports betting kiosk through a Type C license.
Type A licenses from the major online sportsbooks will cost $3 million for five years with a re-up of $3 million for an additional five years if the book is granted two licenses, the second one will cost $10 million for five years.
What have been the hurdles for legal sports betting in Ohio
Ohio has dragged its feet when it comes to legalizing sports betting. Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill to legalize it on December 23, 2021, and with the launch set for January 1, 2023, 374 days will have passed. Ok, so what’s the holdup? Ohio has an issue of lagging when it comes to launching legalization programs, and a perfect example of this is the issue of legalizing medical marijuana. A bill was signed by the state Governor in 2016, and the first marijuana shop did not open in the state until 2019.
In terms of the 374 days that will pass before sports betting is legal in the state, you can see that it is a long time in terms of other states, such as:
- Iowa – 89 days
- Indiana – 116 days
- West Virginia – 177 days
- Pennsylvania – 185 days
- New York -264 days
Only Tennessee took longer to launch sports betting at 489 days. However, Tennessee was starting at the ground floor regarding gambling, as they did not have retail casinos, while Ohio has had them since 2009.
Another hurdle was the usual state government bureaucracy. The sports betting money will be significant, as it is projected that the annual handle in Ohio for sports betting will be several billion dollars. Some players who have all vied for a piece of the pie are the Ohio Lottery Commission, the Ohio Department of Development, and the Common Sense Initiative.
What is the Sports Betting Market in Ohio
To say the Ohio sports betting market is a big one would be a major understatement. Not only is it the seventh most populous state in the U.S., but there are many teams from the major sports leagues such as:
- Cleveland Browns (NFL)
- Cincinnati Bengals (NFL)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
- Cleveland Guardians (MLB)
- Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
- Columbus Blue Jackets (MLS)
- Columbus Crew (MLS)
- Cincinnati FC (MLS)
The pro leagues are widely represented in the state and have some major college programs, including Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Xavier, Toledo, Miami of Ohio, Kent State, and Bowling Green.
What will be the tax situation in Ohio
The sports betting tax rate in Ohio is 10% of gross revenue. That will be significant for the state’s tax coffers, with an estimated handle of several billion dollars per year. One-half a percent of the sports betting licensing fees will be used to fund various Ohio veteran services. Most of the revenue from sports betting taxes will go to fund Ohio education.
What sportsbooks will likely be available in Ohio
With such a robust betting market, you can expect nearly all of the big boys in the sportsbook market to be available in Ohio. Several of the bigger books have already submitted a request for a license, such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and Barstool Sports. The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Cavaliers have partnered with sportsbooks to allow sports betting at their respective stadiums.
Forecasts about the future of online gambling in Ohio
The forecast is bright for the future of online gambling in Ohio. This is mainly because of the estimated billions that will be taken in annually for sports bets in the state. Many big names have already entered the market, applying for a sports betting license. The pro teams in the state are also expected to submit a license and a few already have.
Not only will online sports betting likely flourish, but retail sports betting will follow suit with the land-based casinos and racinos in the state. The land-based casinos that are sure to offer sports betting are:
- Jack Cleveland Casino
- Jack Thistledown Racino
- Hollywood Columbus Casino
- Scioto Downs Racino
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Hollywood Gaming At Mahoning Valley Race Course
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- MGM Northfield Park
- Miami Valley Gaming
Timeline of main events in Ohio
- July 2022 – Cincinnati Bengals and Betfred announce partnership
- June 2022 – BetMGM and PointsBet apply for sports betting license
- June 2022 – Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announces January 1, 2023, will be the launch date for sports betting
- December 2021 – Both legislative chambers passed bill HB29
- December 2021 – Governor Mike DeWine signs HB29 into law
- May 2018 – The Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made sports betting legal on a state-by-state basis
How do I start betting online in Ohio when it is legal?
Signing up for a sportsbook account in Ohio will be a quick and easy process, much like in other states. You will be able to sign up for an account online, and the first thing you must do is choose a licensed sportsbook in Ohio. Then you can register for an account where you will come up with a username and password. Then the sportsbook will have to verify your identity and will ask you to submit such info as your:
- Full name
- Social Security Number
- Personal verification information (i.e. recent tax statement or utility bill)
Once you correctly submit all the information required, you will receive a confirmation email. Typically, in that email will be a link back to the sportsbook, and then you can make a deposit, opt into a bonus if you would like, and start to wager on your favorite sports.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) will regulate and oversee all sports betting in the state.
For the most part. If a sportsbook in Ohio has the same brand as in another state, such as BetMGM Ohio and BetMGM Michigan, the odds will be exactly the same. If the brand is different, such as BetMGM Ohio and DraftKings Michigan, the odds may be different, but not by much.
In June 2022, the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that sports betting would launch in the state on January 1, 2023.
There will be some differences, but the Ohio Casino Control Commission is still working out some of the regulations. For example, it is not yet known if they will allow for college betting on in-state teams such as Ohio State. One of the main differences is that since Ohio has such a big betting market, more sportsbooks will be available than in other states.
You will need to be at least 21 years of age to wager on sports in the Buckeye State.
Yes, you can be sure retail betting will be available at the land-based casinos, as several have already submitted sports betting licenses.
Yes. You can access your Ohio online sportsbook account from out of state, but you must be in it to make wagers. However, you can check odds out of state, make deposits and withdrawals, and contact customer service.
No. You do not need to be an Ohio resident to wager at Ohio online sportsbooks, but you must be located within state lines.