Is Sports Betting Legal in Ohio? | Definitive Guide

Is Sports Betting Legal In Ohio?

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2 years ago
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Cleveland Browns coaches on the sideline during game against the Miami Dolphins

In December 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 29 into law, legalizing sports betting in the state. Somewhat confusingly, the bill was ostensibly concerned with permits for veterans instead of sports betting, with the latter only included as an amendment. 

The passing of the bill laid the foundation for the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission has used 2022 to establish the framework and associated legislation to launch sports betting in the state.

The Commission recently announced that on January 1, 2023, sports betting will officially be launched in the Buckeye State. For what remains of 2022, the stakeholders will be affirming the regulatory framework ahead of the January deadline to ensure that everything is above board when legal sports betting gets underway. 

The History of Sports Betting in Ohio

As is the case with most states, the journey to legalize sports betting in Ohio began soon after the Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). 

PASPA was judicially overturned in 2018 following years of campaigning, specifically by the state of New Jersey. The Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was “unconstitutional” as parts of the bill commandeered power from the states. 

As soon as the law was overturned, New Jersey became the first state in America to legalize sports betting, and several others followed soon after. The Supreme Court ruling gives states the right to vote on their own sports betting legislation. 

In Ohio, initial attempts to legalize sports betting were made in 2019 and 2020, but no bill was able to be passed throughout the respective legislative sessions. The legalization of sports betting in Ohio gained momentum with Senator Kirk Schurling’s new 2021 bill, and before the year was out, Governor DeWine finally passed a variant of this bill, officially legalizing sports betting in the Buckeye State. 

Who will Regulate Sports Betting in Ohio?

As per the terms of the legislation, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is responsible for regulating the sports betting market in Ohio. Since the bill was passed in 2021, the Commission has been responsible for laying the framework for the establishment of sports betting in the state. 

What’s more, the Commission is also responsible for issuing and revoking licenses and will ensure that all license holders adhere to the strict policies and procedures that govern legal sports betting across the board. 

The Commission has been in situ since 2011 and is responsible for licensing and regulating all brick-and-mortar casinos in the Buckeye State.

How to Legally Bet on Sports in Ohio?

From January 2023, punters will be permitted to bet on all professional and collegiate sports in Ohio. The bill stipulates that 25 Type A licenses will be issued in Ohio, which are reserved for companies currently operating within the state. 

There will also be forty Type B licenses issued in Ohio, and these will only be issued to sportsbooks in counties with a population of at least 50,000 people. Additionally, a number of Type C licenses will be issued to restaurants, bars, and other establishments, rounding off the brick-and-mortar betting options. 

As such, you will be permitted to place sports bets at a range of casinos, betting shops, and bars/restaurants in Ohio from January 1, 2023. Of course, online sports betting will also come into effect on the same date. 

We expect at least 25 online sportsbooks to operate in Ohio from the start of January 2023, with several more arriving later in the year. Therefore, you will be able to bet in-person and online in Ohio from the start of next year. 

How to Get Started With a Legal Ohio-based Sportsbook

As the Ohio Casino Control Commission continues to award licenses to a sportsbook in Ohio, it’s time to start thinking about how to create an online account so you can bet from home when watching your favorite teams. Here’s how to get started with your chosen sportsbook: 

Review welcome bonuses

Every online sportsbook will offer you a welcome bonus for joining. For instance, this could be a risk-free bet or a matched deposit bonus. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each offer before deciding where to sign up. 

Meet the eligibility requirements

From January 1, 2023, sports betting in Ohio will be legal for everyone over the age of 21. You will need to upload your ID to register an account with a sportsbook. 

Deposit funds 

You’re now all set to add funds to your account. Choose from a range of deposit options, including debit & credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets, to add funds to your account. 

Place your bets

With money in your account, it’s time to place your first bets. You can place moneyline, totals, prop, and futures bets on your favorite sports and get stuck into the action from the word go. 

Withdraw your winnings

If your selections come in, all that’s left to do is withdraw your winnings from the sportsbook! Just be mindful that withdrawals take a little longer to process than deposits.

Ohio Teams you can Legally Bet On

When sports betting comes into effect at the start of next year, you will be able to bet on a host of sports, leagues, and teams from all over the world. But the Buckeye State is home to several elite sports teams that you can back, including: 

Cincinnati Bengals

Although the Bengals aren’t the most decorated NFL team, their appearance in the 2021 Super Bowl marked a changing of the tide. The dynamic duo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase excite fans and could propel the Bengals one step further this season. 

You can bet on many NFL markets, from the moneyline to individual prop bets. So, be sure to back the Bengals when sports betting is launched in Ohio next year. 

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are one of the oldest teams in the NFL and have a long and proud tradition. That being said, they’re one of only four teams never to have appeared in the Super Bowl - a hoodoo they will be hoping to break soon. 

With uncertainty surrounding the future of QB Deshaun Watson after a recent six-game suspension, the Browns might have their work cut out again on the field this season.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are Ohio’s premier baseball team, having won the World Series on five occasions. But with their most recent title coming back in 1990, fans are hoping that the glory days will return to the Reds in the near future. 

They secured a playoff slot in 2020 for the first time in seven years, signifying that the good days could soon return. 

Cleveland Guardians

Although the Guardians have only won the World Series twice, they picked up back-to-back Central Division titles between 2016-18 and are a baseball force to be reckoned with. 

Fans of the Guardians will be hoping that they emerge from the Reds’ shadow and earn the mantle as the Buckeye State’s most successful baseball team.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are arguably the only Ohio team with a truly global following, and it’s majorly down to one man - LeBron James. 

After spending the first seven years of his career with the Cavs, LeBron returned in 2014, winning the NBA Championship the following year. A legend of the game, his legacy is now intertwined with that of the Cavs.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Although the Blue Jackets are one of the newest NHL teams, they’ve made a big impact on the ice since 2000. 

Now is an exciting time to back the Blue Jackets, as they hope to bring that elusive Stanley Cup to the Buckeye State for the first time.

Recap: Is Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?

To answer the question - is legal sports betting legal in Ohio? - it’s accurate to say that it has been legal since December 2021, but sportsbooks won’t launch in the state until January 2023. 

So, for the remaining months of 2022, you can prepare yourself for the launch of the sports betting market by reading up on the different sports bets you can place, as well as learning about the various terms associated with sports betting. 

You will then be ready to create an account and place your first bets when January 1, 2023, finally comes around.

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