Ohio sports betting will launch Jan. 1, 2023, at 12:01 a.m. for both retail and online sportsbooks. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced the timeline on Aug. 3, and things have been moving fast ever since.
According to the Ohio sports betting law HB 29, sports teams, racinos, and casinos will be preferred for online sports betting licenses. Each will get one license, with the possibility for a second if the applicant can prove it will improve Ohio financially. The law also calls for converting lottery kiosks to allow for limited sports betting at grocery stores, bars, and restaurants.
Most of the biggest sportsbook companies have already secured access to the market or will do so soon. Here’s what we know about the plans to launch online sports betting in Ohio on New Year’s Day 2023. FanDuel is offering new users and early sign-up bonus of $100 in free bets on launch day.
What’s happening in Ohio sports betting right now
- October 3, 2022 – Five sportsbooks are up for licensure at Wednesday’s Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting: bet365, Betfred, Caesars, PointsBet and SuperBook.
- September 21, 2022 – All 10 proprietor applications were approved at Thursday’s Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting. Another 311 Type C host applications for kiosks at lottery retailers were approved as well.
- September 20, 2022 – There are 10 sports gaming proprietors up for licensure at the Sept. 21 Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting.
- September 19, 2022 – There is about two weeks left before the Oct. 5 deadline for applicants to all have all application paperwork turned in. Missing that deadline means missing a Jan. 1 launch.
- September 7, 2022 – The first eight approved sports gaming proprietors at the Ohio Casino Control Commission meeting. Applicants who do not have all of their paperwork submitted by Oct. 5 will not be considered for a Jan. 1 launch, Executive Director Matt Schuler said.
- September 6, 2022 – Ten sports gaming proprietors will be up for licensure by the Ohio Casino Control Commission at Wednesday’s meeting.
- August 26, 2022 – Nearly 800 retailers have applied for their Type C host license that will allow each licensee two sports betting kiosks as of this morning, according to the state’s eLicensing system.
- August 22, 2022 – WynnBET is on a first-skin agreement to launch sports betting in Ohio but it did not submit its application during the first-skin window. That means the brand is not guaranteed for a Jan. 1 launch.
- August 16, 2022 – The Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected to give a final update on all of the applicants that are guaranteed to go live on Jan. 1 pending their successful application after its Wednesday meeting. Applications will still be accepted but there is no longer a guarantee to launch with everyone else.
- August 11, 2022 – Hall of Fame Village confirmed a 10-year online sports betting agreement with Betr, a yet-to-be-released micro-betting platform powered by Simplebet.
- August 8, 2022 – Once again, no new second-skin operators applied in Ohio. The application deadline for those operators to be guaranteed a Jan. 1 launch date is Aug. 15.
- August 3, 2022 – Ohio sportsbooks can accept bets at midnight on January 1, Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler said.
- August 1, 2022 – There were no new second skin operators to apply as of July 29, according to the update from the Ohio CCC. Operators still have through August 15 to apply for a second-skin license and be guaranteed a Jan. 1 launch.
Is sports betting legal in Ohio?
Yes, sports betting soon will be legal in Ohio. No sportsbooks have launched yet in the state. A sports betting bill, HB 29, passed both chambers of the Ohio Legislature in December 2021 and was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine on Dec. 22. The market will launch in January 2023.
When will sports betting launch in Ohio?
Ohio sports betting is set to launch Jan. 1, 2023, at 12:01 a.m., a universal launch date that includes online and retail betting. The date was announced by the OCCC in June. However, HB 29 designates that date as the deadline for the Ohio Casino Control Commission to launch sports betting in the state. OCCC deputy executive director Rick Anthony told PlayOhio that the commission plans to spend all of 2022 preparing to manage the new industry.
Ohio sportsbook apps
There could be as many as 25 online sportsbooks in Ohio from the outset. The casinos and sports teams with those licenses can apply for a second skin if they can demonstrate to the OCCC that the second skin will benefit Ohio on an incremental basis.
Applications were due July 15 if any site wanted to launch on Jan. 1. Any application that comes in after that date is not guaranteed the same launch timeline. Several companies have submitted applications already. Here is a summary of the application status and partnerships for incoming Ohio sports betting apps:
|Online Sportsbook||Ohio Partner||Application Status|
|Bally Bet||Cleveland Browns||Submitted|
|Barstool||Hollywood Casino Columbus||Submitted|
|Betly||Miami Valley Gaming & Racing||Submitted|
|BetMGM||MGM Northfield Park||Submitted|
|BetPARX||Muirfield Village Golf Course||Submitted|
|BetRivers||Hollywood Casino Columbus||Submitted|
|DraftKings||Hollywood Casino Toledo||Submitted|
|Fanatics||Columbus Blue Jackets||Submitted|
|Hard Rock||Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati||Submitted|
|Instabet/Betr||Pro Football Hall of Fame Village||Submitted|
|MaximBet||JACK Cleveland Casino||Submitted|
|Out the Gate||Spire Institute||Submitted|
|PlayUp||JACK Cleveland Casino||Submitted|
|PointsBet||Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley||Submitted|
|Prophet Exchange (Stake Trade)||Columbus Blue Jackets||Submitted|
|WynnBet||JACK Thistledown Racino||Submitted|
Licensing is required for Type A (online management), Type B (retail management) and Type C (kiosks). Mobile sportsbook companies are also required to apply for a separate license to launch in the state.
Here is a closer look at some of the top sportsbook apps coming to Ohio:
FanDuel is a known commodity in the Buckeye State because of its DFS operations. Now, it is hoping to debut as both an online and retail operator in Ohio. FanDuel submitted an application for a mobile provider license but has not announced an Ohio partnership as yet. However, its longstanding market-access partnership with Boyd Gaming (owner of Belterra Park) is likely its ticket to the Ohio market.
BetMGM Sportsbook is the sportsbook app representing MGM Resorts, one of the world’s largest gaming companies. MGM already has a presence in Ohio through its ownership of the MGM Northfield Park. BetMGM submitted requests to the Ohio Casino Control Commission for an online and retail license in June 2022.
DraftKings has already served Ohio for several years as a daily fantasy sports provider. It is now set to add sports betting in the Buckeye State. DraftKings recently applied for a mobile license in the state.
PointsBet Sportsbook is an Australian sports betting operator that has made a splash in the US in the past few years. PointsBet has an access agreement with Penn National Gaming, which owns several casino properties in Ohio. PointsBet has an application on file with the Ohio Casino Control Commission to be licensed as a mobile management services provider.
Caesars Sportsbook represents the hotel and casino company of the same name. Part of the company’s massive portfolio includes Ohio’s Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs. In addition, Caesars has a retail partnership in place with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Caesars also recently debuted a horse betting app in Ohio. Caesars applied for a retail or mobile license on the July 15 deadline.
Barstool Sports Ohio
Barstool Sports is the sportsbook app representing casino company Penn National Gaming. Penn National owns the Hollywood Casino brand, which counts four Ohio locations among its properties. Penn National has had an application for a mobile sports betting license on file with the OCCC since June 2022. Because Penn National owns four casinos/racinos in the state, they can partner with up to three other online sportsbooks beyond just Barstool.
How to sign up at an Ohio sportsbook
No matter the sportsbook app you ultimately choose to use in Ohio, the procedure for getting started is going to be remarkably similar and fairly quick. In fact, signing up goes through the same steps everywhere. Here’s what to do:
- Download and install the app on your mobile device.
- Register for an account.
- Fund your account.
- Make your first wager.
Bonuses and promotions definitions
Once Ohio launches online sports betting, bettors likely will quickly discover that they can take advantage of bonuses and promotions. Although the offers will always change, they typically fall into one of the categories listed below, and it’s helpful to know how to recognize the offers and what they mean for you.
- No deposit: A no deposit bonus, also known as a welcome bonus, is usually applied to new players as a reward for their registrations. They involve the placement of site credits into players’ accounts in order to give the app a try.
- Deposit: With deposit bonuses, the app matches a portion of your deposit amount with extra money. The percentage matched varies, as does the limit of bonus dollars you can acquire.
- Risk-free bets: A risk-free bet offer is much like insurance. You place a wager, and if you win, you collect your winnings as usual. If you lose, then the app replaces the value of your wager with site credits or a voucher. You must still re-bet the credits a set amount of times to get your cash back.
- Rewards programs: Rewards or loyalty programs award you points for each dollar that you wager on the app. These points serve one or two functions, depending on the program. No matter the app, your point total will place you on a reward system. Your points may also be redeemable in specialized stores, which offer bonus bets and branded swag that you cannot purchase with cash.
- Odds boosts: Odds boosts involve the manual inflation of selected bet payouts beyond what their odds would suggest. The boosts are designed to generate action on particular wagers and increase the potential payout.
As mentioned, some of these offers will yield site credits or bet vouchers that require you to play before you can withdraw the funds. This requirement is called a playthrough or wagering requirement. It is a multiple of the amount of bonus dollars you receive. Make sure to read through the terms and conditions of any bonus offer before you accept the promotion.
Recent Ohio online sports betting news
Ohio sports betting law
Ohio is now a legal sports betting state after the passage of HB 29.
The language of the law creates the potential for dozens of sportsbooks to set up shop in Ohio. There are several different types of sports betting licenses that companies may pursue, and Ohioans are soon to see legal options pop up close to them, wherever they might be. Here’s the structure for the licenses that companies can pursue:
- Type A — There are 25 slots allotted for this type of license. They are reserved for companies operating inside of Ohio or Type B licensees in the state. Although the language of a license’s eligibility is vague, it is understood that the intended licensees are the state’s casinos and major professional sports organizations. Other businesses in Ohio are more likely to use a Type C license if they want to offer sports betting. Type A licenses permit only one online skin, but the state’s casinos and qualified sports organizations can apply for a second skin if they can demonstrate an economic need for one.
- Type B — Type B licenses are reserved for physical sportsbooks inside Ohio. There are 40 licenses that the OCCC may issue. The number of licenses that may be issued is determined, in part, by the population of the county in which it would reside. Even the largest counties in Ohio may have no more than five retail locations, and counties with fewer than 50,000 residents aren’t permitted to host a sportsbook.
- Type C — Type C licenses are set to be the most numerous in the state, as they are reserved for Class D liquor licensees in the state. In other words, bars, restaurants, and other locations that serve alcohol might soon be locations for sports betting kiosks. Any retailer that sells Ohio Lottery tickets may apply.
Online sportsbook operators that are likely to partner with Type A licensees must apply for a mobile management services provider license in order to be eligible for such a partnership.
Legal betting options in Ohio
There are illegal offshore sports betting apps that accept bets from people in Ohio. Without holding a license from any US jurisdiction, these offshore websites can’t be counted on to pay out winnings.
The only safe and protected way to bet on sports in the US is to do so with a licensed operator.
Most popular sports to bet on in Ohio
Championships might be few and far between, but Ohio has a long history in professional sports and at least one team in every major league. Fandom in the state is divided between Cincinnati in the southwest and Cleveland in the northeast.
NFL betting in Ohio
The Cleveland Browns played in the league championship game their first 10 years in existence. Yet, the Browns have never won a Super Bowl, which started in 1967.
The last of their four NFL championships was in 1964. Worse, what was previously the Cleveland Browns won two Super Bowls after moving to Baltimore and becoming the Ravens in 1995. The Cleveland Browns started anew in 1999 and have only made the playoffs once since. Despite the struggles, the Dawg Pound remains rabid.
If it makes Browns’ fans feel any better, the cross-state Cincinnati Bengals have never won a Super Bowl. The Bengals were the worst team in the league in 2019, but that got them the top pick in the draft and reason to be optimistic about the future with Heisman-winning QB Joe Burrow at the helm.
NBA betting in Ohio
LeBron James put his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers on the map, winning them the NBA title in 2016. Since King James left, the Cavaliers are a team in transition looking to hit on another top draft pick to build around in the near future.
MLB betting in Ohio
There’s more than 200 years of combined Major League Baseball history in Ohio, which could be considered the birthplace of professional baseball. The Cincinnati Red Stockings became baseball’s first all-professional team in 1869, a year in which they went a perfect 57-0.
A Cincinnati Reds team was a charter member of the National League in 1876. However, that team was kicked out of the league four years later for refusing to agree not to sell beer at games. The modern Cincinnati Reds were formed in 1881 and have won five World Series titles, the latest in 1990.
Fans of the Cleveland Indians don’t feel the least bit bad for their cross-state counterparts. The Indians haven’t won a World series in 72 years. They flirted with breaking the streak for a three-year stretch from 2016 to 2018.
NHL betting in Ohio
Columbus technically has the largest population of any city in Ohio, but the only major professional team it has is the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. The newcomer to Ohio professional sports, founded in 2000, has yet to kiss the Stanley Cup but did finally win its first playoff series in 2019.
NCAA betting in Ohio
While fandom around the state is divided into regions in the professional sports, most of Ohio can come together to root for Ohio State in NCAA football. One of the most prestigious programs in the country, the Buckeyes have won eight national championships since their founding in 1890, including taking the first College Football Playoff National Championship in 2014.
The Cincinnati Bearcats also have made some noise in football of late, coming off consecutive 11-win seasons.
The state of Ohio hasn’t had as much success in NCAA basketball. The Buckeyes do have 11 Final Four appearances and an NCAA Tournament Title back in 1960. And the Bearcats have an active streak of nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Not to be outdone, the Xavier Musketeers make the tournament pretty much every year, though they have yet to make a Final Four. The Dayton Flyers and Miami Redhawks play occasional Cinderella come March Madness.
Ohio and Daily Fantasy Sports
Interestingly given the Ohio sports betting debate, the Ohio Casino Control Commission was granted oversight of DFS.
With the legal clarification, major DFS sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo!, and Fantasy Draft operated in Ohio.
Ohio sports betting timeline
In the wake of DeWine’s signature on HB 29, the Ohio Casino Control Commission spends the first half of 2022 preparing its rules for administering sports betting in the Buckeye State. It releases several different sets of rules for public comment and adjusts the language in the proposals according to feedback from stakeholders. In addition, the licensing applications are subject to the same type of public comment.
In early May, the OCCC announces that it will accept license applications for most types of sports betting licenses during a month-long window in June 2022 and July 2022. The remaining licenses will gain access to the process in their own window, a month-long opportunity immediately following the first window and stretching into August 2022.
The commission confirms on the first day of June that sports betting will begin in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023, as previously suggested. Two weeks later, the OCCC begins to receive the first of the sports betting license applications. The first companies to apply for licensure are BetMGM and PointsBet, but they are quickly joined by other interested parties. The Cincinnati Bengals become the first Ohio sports franchise to apply for its own license in July 2022.
With new legislators, like State Sen. Kirk Schuring, taking up the cause of passing an OH sports betting bill, the process essentially started over again in Ohio.
Schuring introduced his own sports betting bill, SB 176, in May 2021. The bill passed through the Senate after about a month of discussion, but its momentum stalled when it reached the House.
Schuring realized that the chance of a hearing for SB 176 in the House before the summer 2021 recess was very low, so he took the guts of the bill and grafted them onto an unrelated measure, HB 29, that had a better opportunity to move forward.
After several months of debate, HB 29 passed through the House and Senate with several amendments in place to allow sports betting. Although several of the particulars of the bill changed from Schuring’s initial vision, the basic shape of SB 176 was signed by DeWine in late December.
After multiple delays, the House Finance Committee finally advanced an Ohio sports betting bill on its ninth hearing. The House promptly passed the bill a day later, prior to its summer recess.
Rep. Dave Greenspan said that he planned to reach out to Senate sponsor Sen. John Eklund to discuss the differences between their bills over the summer with the hope of coming into the fall session in September ready to pass the legislation.
In addition to oversight, the key differences between the bills are the tax rate (House 10%, Senate 6.25%), that the House bill allows veterans’ and fraternal organizations to have sports betting while the Senate bill limits it to state casinos and racinos, and that all proceeds from sports betting go to education in the House version while the Senate places the revenue in the general fund.
Unfortunately, neither bill nor the legislative terms of Greenspan and Eklund survived beyond the 2020 legislative session. The two lame duck lawmakers attempted to pass the bill through the Senate in the waning days after the November 2020 election, but could not get enough votes together.
Eklund and Greenspan introduced their bills, then spent most of the year arguing in the press on the merits of each regulator and building a coalition of support.
H 194 got support from the Legislative Service Commission and key Sen. William Coley, who served as president of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States. But S 111 got most important supporter of all in Gov. Mike DeWine, the guy who needs to sign off on the legislation.
The House Finance Committee held eight hearings on the bill, where really the only thing figured out was that the bill would not include an official league data mandate. The Senate held one hearing, content to wait until the House bill comes over.
Ohio sports betting FAQ
Who oversees legal sports betting in Ohio?
The Ohio Casino Control Commission oversees all gambling in the state and as such will also manage and regulate the incoming legal sports betting market.
Will mobile OH sports betting be allowed?
Yes. The 2021 law calls for legal online sports betting with remote registration. Online sports betting in Ohio is set to begin on Jan. 1, 2023.
Who can bet on sports in Ohio?
Anyone over the age of 21 and inside Ohio may place a wager on sports. You may be required to furnish proof of your age during the registration process. Additionally, you will be compelled to verify your location within the state lines through each app’s geolocation verification software.
Where can I bet on sports in Ohio?
Nowhere just yet. However, all of Ohio’s casinos, racinos, racetracks, and major sports arenas are either actively planning to offer onsite sports betting or are eligible to do so. In addition, there are more than a dozen sports betting companies that have already indicated some level of interest in an Ohio launch. So the short answer is that you’ll be able to bet on sports throughout Ohio and will have many options for doing so.
Can I bet on college sports in Ohio?
Yes. Whether you plan to bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cincinnati Bearcats, or one of the other major collegiate teams in the Buckeye State, you’ll be able to do so at all sportsbooks in Ohio.
Is horse racing legal in Ohio?
Yes, horse betting is legal in Ohio. The Ohio State Racing Commission was created in 1933 after the legislature approved parimutuel wagering on horse racing. Horses race throughout the year in Ohio, with thoroughbred racing at tracks in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Youngstown. Quarter horse races and harness racing also takes place in Ohio. Seven of the 11 casinos in Ohio are racinos on the site of tracks with live horse racing.
There are some sports betting websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?
No. Any website that says it takes wagers from anywhere in the United States is operating illegally. These sites offer no protection to people who bet with them. All US sportsbooks are licensed at the state level.