Ohio online sports betting laws
Ohio is a state with a big population and an appetite for sport to match. So, the news that sports betting, both retail and online, should be legalized some time in 2021 will go down well in the Buckeye State.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Ohio?
Ohio sports betting is not legal yet – but is looks likely that 2021 will be the year that changes.
Is online sports betting legal in Ohio?
No, there are no Ohio betting sites yet, but legislation is expected be passed in 2021 to make it happen.
The slow but steady process of legalizing Ohio sports betting is hoped to be completed by the end of 2021. The Ohio legislature failed to move either of two sports betting bills that were introduced earlier in 2021 before they adjourned for summer break. However, House Speaker Bob Cupp has promised that it'll be a "top priority" this fall when the state legislature returns to action.
Ohio state governor Mike DeWine has already said that he expects his state to legalize sports betting some time in 2021. It’s not just the lawmakers who are keen to push ahead. Many of the top-level Ohio pro sports teams are also eager to see legal sports betting take place in the state.
Teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and the Columbus Blue Jackets have made it clear the introduction of sports betting could be good for their finances. Most of Ohio’s neighboring states now have legal sports betting. A submission from a group of professional teams said market access for them was “vitally important” to their ability to compete at the top. Indeed, the teams want some way of having access to the sports betting market, possibly through a dedicated mobile app. If and when Ohio sports betting becomes reality, it will be regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The two proposals on deck to legalize sports wagering in Ohio are Senate Bill 176, which passed the Senate with a 30-2 vote on June 16, and House Bill 29, to which the Senate had added some last-minute sports betting changes.
If one of the bills to legalize Ohio sports betting does pass this year, it is likely that retail sportsbooks would be allowed to operate at the state’s four existing casinos. There could also be sports betting facilities at the state’s seven “racinos”, gaming outlets at racetracks in Ohio. However, it should be noted that SB 176, as currently drafted, would give preference to professional sports organizations when deciding which applicants to awards licenses to.
The proposals under consideration also include the authorization of Ohio online sports betting, with statewide digital coverage. Moreover, it’s likely there will be remote registration, so that bettors don’t have to attend a retail facility such as a casino in person to sign up for an Ohio online betting account. One clause that has yet to be finalized is a decision on betting on college sports. Ohio has a huge number of schools with Division 1 NCAA programs, but the Inter-University Council of Ohio has come out strongly against betting on college sports.
Yes, the IRS has always maintained that winnings from any form of gambling represent taxable income. That means it’s important you keep a record of your winnings – and your losses – if and when Ohio sports betting is legalized.
Casinos already take a healthy chunk out of your winnings if they exceed a certain benchmark. Sportsbooks will probably do the same when the time comes; the threshold has yet to be decided but in many other states with legalized sports betting it’s $600. If you keep careful records and report your wins and losses faithfully, you may be able to offset any taxes on your winnings by deducting your losses.
Some of the biggest teams in American sports are based in Ohio. This is a state with a healthy appetite for top-line sport. The fact that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) offerings have been legal in the state since the governor signed DFS legislation into law in December 2017 is a big positive in the eyes of the Buckeye State’s sports fans.
Ohio is home to teams in all the big four major leagues, so DFS football, basketball, baseball, and hockey games will always find an eager audience here. Two MLS teams also play their home games here, as do numerous Division 1 NCAA college sports programs.
Neither the Cincinnati Bengals nor the Cleveland Browns have ever brought the Super Bowl trophy back to Ohio – but that doesn’t stop them enjoying enormous followings in the state. The Ohio State University’s Buckeyes team are also among the nation’s finest. There is always plenty of football to bet on here.
It’s essential that sports betting is carried out in a responsible manner, so it’s encouraging to see there are already several resources to ensure this is done in Ohio. For a small minority of bettors, gambling becomes more than an enjoyable pastime, and it’s important the industry does all it can to help those people:
The Ohio Lottery takes its responsible gambling duties seriously, with details of treatment programs, self-help guides and access to a voluntary exclusion program.
Get Set Before You Bet aims to provide people with the tools and resources they need to be able to gamble responsibly.
Change The Game Ohio focuses on the dangers to young people of not learning about responsible gambling.
The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio is another body raising awareness of the dangers of irresponsible gambling and the toll it can take on individuals and their families.
The National Council on Problem Gambling offers access to local resources but also to a national helpline and text support services.
Ohio for Responsible Gambling is an initiative that promotes just that.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is struck down by the US Supreme Court, opening the door for states to allow sports betting services.
Two bills are introduced to legalize Ohio sports betting – one in the Senate, one in the House. Wrangling between them ensues and prevents any hope of swift legislation.
After many delays, the Ohio sports betting bill is advanced after its ninth hearing. The state runs out of time to pass it before the year ends.
With the legislature, governor, and major pro sports teams all in favor, proponents are confident a sports betting law will be passed by the end of the year.
Ohio sports betting has yet to be legalized, though it is looking increasingly likely that Ohio will pass a law to allow it sometime in 2021. It has yet to be decided which retail outlets will be authorized to run sportsbooks or to affiliate with online operators. However, it is fairly certain that the state’s four current casinos will be at the top of the list of retail locations where sports betting can take place:
|Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati||1000 Broadway Street, Cincinnati OH 45202|
|Jack Cleveland Casino||100 Public Square, Cleveland OH 44113|
|Hollywood Casino Columbus||200 Georgesville Road, Columbus OH 43228|
|Hollywood Casino Toledo||1968 Main Street, Toledo OH 43605|
No, at present there are no legal Ohio betting sites. It looks increasingly likely that legislation will be passed in 2021 legalizing Ohio sports betting – and the indications are that this will include a provision to allow Ohio online sports betting in addition to retail operations. It has been a slow process, but it appears set to reach a conclusion in 2021.
As things stand there are no legal Ohio betting sites. Sports betting has yet to be legalized in the state and, until it does, no sportsbook can have a license to run sports betting services here. However, it looks likely that legalization is set to arrive later in 2021.
No. Bet365 is the biggest online bookmaker in the world, but as things stand it is not authorized to trade in Ohio. However, if Ohio online sports betting is legalized in 2021, it is certain that Bet365 will be a strong contender for an online license to offer services to a state with a large population and a prominent place in the landscape of American sport.
No. Ohio online sports betting has not yet been legalized– so there is no such thing as a legal Ohio betting site. Some operators based offshore offer services to bettors in the US, but these are not licensed or legal in the US. Using these unlicensed sportsbooks carries a high degree of risk. In the case of a dispute, for instance, you will have absolutely no legal recourse.