Gambling in Ohio
Sports Illegal
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2017
Casino Illegal
Poker Illegal
Lottery Illegal

Guide to Online Gambling in Ohio: The Best Ohio Gambling Sites for 2019

Ohio Daily Fantasy Sports

It was late in December when Ohio Governor John Kasich gave daily fantasy sports fans in the state a Christmas present in the form of legislation. It passed with a sweeping majority, removing all of the uncertainty about the legality of the activity that had previously been rampant. Now, the law states that Ohioans over 18 may participate legally in online daily fantasy sports competitions through licensed operators.

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Gambling Laws in Ohio

There are many forms of legal gambling in Ohio, including daily fantasy sports, a lottery, poker, casino games and betting on horse racing. The gambling laws in Ohio are currently some of the most likely to change, particularly when talking about the sports betting sections. Senator John Eklund seems to be pushing the legislation forward as much as possible in the wake of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) being overturned. Eklund has been outspoken about his rather realistic outlook that, as more and more neighboring states begin to legalize sports betting, Ohioans will cross the borders to place their bets, or continue to bet illegally within the state borders.

If that were to remain the case, he says that there will be little in the way of player protection for Ohioans. Therefore, his thinking is that Ohio should tread the path of properly legislating and regulating the industry, protecting players and getting a cut of the profits for the state at the same time. Legislator also keep an eye out on Pennsylvania gambling, as the neighbouring state is a bit ahead in terms of regulations.

Ohio Sports

As with many other states, Ohio has long offered pari-mutuel betting on horse racing as its primary style of sports betting. That does look like it will soon open up to include many more types of sports betting, with the state’s Governor expecting new legislation to pass in 2019. At the time of writing, there is a placeholder bill in play but there have not been any further moves as yet, so the practice of betting on sports either online or in person in Ohio is still illegal.

Ohio Casinos

Only commercial casinos and racinos – a combination of racetracks and casino games – will be found within the state. These are a relatively new addition, with the Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution Amendment becoming law as recently as 2009. The following decade has seen 11 outlets open, seven of which are of the racino variety. The first Ohio casino to open was the Jack Cleveland Casino in Cuyahoga County, which opened its doors on May 14, 2012, closely followed by the Hollywood Casino Toledo on May 29 of the same year. Though all online casino gambling is illegal in Ohio, the swift introduction of the Amendment could see something similar occur for the internet version. There is currently nothing in the pipeline to suggest such a thing, though.

Ohio Poker

Poker fans will be able to play the game in one of the casinos or at one of the many poker rooms in the state. Most of the rooms and casinos also hold their own tournaments, mostly for Hold’em style games. Those looking to play the game online will be disappointed, however, as online poker is illegal in Ohio. This doesn’t look likely to change any time in the near future either, as there have not been any bills proposed in recent times.

Ohio Lottery

The Ohio Lottery is one of the longest standing forms of gambling in the state, having been legalized in 1973. It’s also one of the only to have made tentative progression towards taking things online, with the introduction of the Lottery Card in 2018. This lets you pre-buy the cards from retail outlets like Krogers, then play the games through your mobile. The state-run organization has reportedly provided $24 billion of its profits to public education in the decades it has been running. The game options include both instant games and draws such as the multi-state Powerball.

History of Gambling in Ohio

There have not been a lot of different changes in the Ohio legal gambling scene, as the state is usually pretty solid about its decisions and sticks to them. Some laws are even passed in surprise moves, like that with the legalization of casinos in 2009. Some other highlights of the timeline are listed below.

Ohio Gambling History
1790 Lotteries are banned in Ohio.
1933 Pari-mutuel horse racing is introduced through a new tax.
1973 The Ohio Lottery is legalized.
1975 Bingo and raffles become legal when held by registered charities.
2009 An amendment allowing commercial casinos and racinos passes.
2012 The first casino opens in Ohio.
2017 Daily fantasy sports are legalized.

Ohio State Facts

Ohio is one of the most populous states in the country, though it is by no means the largest. It has been the home and birthplace of a lot of very successful people from many different fields, though notably often in the context of flight. Airplane inventors, the Wright Brothers, hail from Ohio, as does the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Facts About Ohio
Population 11,689,442
Min. Income/month $1,482
Biggest Offline Gambling Location Hollywood Casino Columbus
Gambling Commissioner
Spoken Languages English, Spanish
Biggest Local Sports Team
Ohio Tax Authority
Link to the State Law https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/
Gambling Winning Tax 4%
State Website Link https://www.ohio.gov/
Famous Local Gamblers Kevin Stammen

Gambling Age in Ohio

There is a bit of inconsistency with the gambling ages in Ohio. Eighteen-year-olds in Ohio are able to partake in both online daily fantasy sports and the lottery, either through purchasing tickets in a retail store or through the mobile lottery card. They do, however, need to be above 21 years of age in order to play table and card games or slots at one of the state’s 11 casinos and racinos. However, at the racetracks, the minimum age for pari-mutuel wagers is 18.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    Residents must be over 18 to participate in the mobile lottery.
  • Alcohol Age
    The legal drinking age in the state of Ohio is 21.
  • Weed Age
    Possession and use of marijuana is prohibited unless perscribed.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

Ohio provides services for its residents who are struggling with gambling addictions through the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO), which is a state affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). There are also funds dedicated to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS). Through these organizations, Ohioans are able to access services such as a gambling helplines, treatment options and literary resources. The state also funds Ohio for Responsible Gambling, an initiative that promotes responsible gambling in collaboration with the Lottery Commission and Racing Commission.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

It looks very likely that Ohio will join the growing number of states with legal sports betting in the near future. At the time of writing, Ohio Senator John Eklund has predicted a change to occur in early 2019, giving his sports betting bill a 50/50 chance of making it through. Though Eklund says he is against mobile sports betting, he has said that he could be convinced of its viability should there be adequate protections in place.

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