A Guide to Gambling and Sports Betting in Ohio

Residents of the Buckeye State have one more reason to be hopeful about next year. The state will legalize online sports betting starting on January 1st, 2024. It’s great news for Ohioan gamblers, who had to go to land-based sportsbooks, kiosks, stadiums, and racing tracks to place their bets. If you want to bet on sports from Ohio, here’s what you need to know.

The Evolution of Gambling Laws in Ohio


Ohio’s first gambling-related law was passed back in the 30s when the Ohio General Assembly approved horse race betting. Only in the 70s the first lottery was legalized. Half a century later, a lot has changed, and the state changed from its traditional anti-gambling stance to a friendly environment for casinos and sportsbooks. The first anti-gambling law in the state was passed in 1851, and a permanent ban was added to the Constitution.

The most relevant changes occurred recently, and Ohioans had only lotteries and charity bingos to bet on for many years. Land-based casinos were legalized in the state only in 2012. Sports betting was legalized in 2024, but the new law will only come into force in 2024. The legal age for engaging in gambling in the state is 21. The new bill legalizes both online and land-based sports betting via kiosks and online sportsbooks.

With the new law, type C retailers, like lottery terminals and kiosks, will also be adapted to offer sports bets. These kiosks can either be clerk-operated or self-service and will offer four types of bets: Moneyline, over/under, parlays, and point spreads, all of which will have low wagering limits. You can already find available Ohio sports betting promos online here https://ohiostatebetting.com/bonus-codes/.

Below, we’ll show you how those bets work.


Source: theathletic.com

Moneyline is the most straightforward kind of betting. Here, bettors choose who’ll win the game. Bets on the favorite sides are the least profitable ones. Because of its simplicity, it’s also one of the most common options for beginners and occasional bettors.


You can also find this kind of bet listed as “totals.” In this bet, bookmakers propose the total score of the game, which is the score of both sides combined. Then, bettors must choose whether the final result will be over or under that score.


Here, bettors make a combination of bets on different events. These wagers are also called “legs.” The more legs are included in the bet, the riskier it is, and also, the higher the potential winnings. There are online calculators to help bettors have a better idea of their winning potential.

Point Spreads


Point spread bets are like Moneyline bets, but the favorite must win by a minimum difference, which is called “beat the spread.” It’s also possible to beat the spread by betting on the underdog, provided it loses within the spread.

Types of Gambling

Ohio has four Vegas-like land-based casinos and also plenty of bingo halls. The gambling revenue in Ohio in 2024 was $2.31 billion, a figure that’s likely to increase in 2024 with the legalization of online and land-based sports betting. There are currently five types of gambling legalized in Ohio, as explained below.


The lottery was the first type of gambling legalized in Ohio in 1973. For a long time, it was the only gambling option for Ohioans. The lottery proceeds are directed to the state’s educational budget, making up about 5% of it. There are about 10,000 retail kiosks and shops around where Ohioans can buy tickets and place their bets.


Land-based casinos were approved in 2009, and each of the four biggest cities got one: Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and Cincinnati. However, only two casinos are allowed to offer poker and other table games, while the rest can offer slots and video poker. This situation isn’t likely to change for the foreseeable future.

Social Gambling

Ohioans can enjoy social gambling as long as they observe a few rules. The games must take place in closed and private spaces, behind locked doors and closed windows. Additionally, all members involved should have a “legitimate social relationship,” a connection further than the desire to play.

Above all, the person or group of persons hosting the game can’t have any sort of profit or special consideration for doing so. According to those rules, sports pools among coworkers in the office or private poker games are allowed, for instance.

Charitable Gambling

Charitable gambling includes fundraising bingos, lotteries, pull-tab games, and other gambling events, like casino nights. However, it’s only considered charitable gambling if 100% of the proceeds are directed to a charitable or non-profit institution.

Online Gambling

Gambling laws can be pretty confusing in the United States, and Ohio is no exception. So far, online gambling wasn’t clearly banned but wasn’t legalized either. It means that Ohioans are allowed to gamble online as long as they do so on websites that are based outside of the country.

How to Find the Best Online Casino


Since it’s already possible to enjoy online gambling in the terms described above, it’s essential to learn how to find the best options. Top-notch online casinos always have valid licenses and certificates, a wide range of gaming options, payment methods, and comprehensive customer service. It’s illegal for any online casino to operate without a license, so that must be the first information that should be verified.

Here are some of the most respected online licensing institutions worldwide:

  • UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Curacao Gaming Control Board
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission

How to Find the Best Online Sportsbook

Source: mensjournal.com

The best sportsbooks always have a wide range of sports and betting markets. Additionally, they offer enticing bonuses and promotions, like free bets and deposit match bonuses. Don’t forget to compare the odds for your favorite sports and if there’s live betting available. Check for licenses, business certificates, and other signs of trustworthiness, such as the availability of customer services and positive reviews on authoritative websites.

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