Ohio Free Bets

Ohio is well on the way to legalizing sports betting in the state, with two bills currently in the house and senate. Below we'll list all the legal sportsbook and fantasy offers you can claim now in Ohio.
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The Ohio gambling landscape has changed massively in recent years. A decade ago, OH’s legal gambling options included off-track pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, the state lottery, and land-based charitable bingo games.

Nowadays, you can gamble in four land-based casinos and seven racinos across the state. Thanks to Bill HB29, signed by Governor Mike DeWine, legal online sports betting will launch in the Buckeye State on January 1, 2023. Read this guide written by our betting experts to discover everything you need about sports betting in Ohio, including legal sportsbooks, the state’s best local teams for betting, and the latest legislation.

Regulator The Ohio Casino Control Commission Launch Date 1 January 2023
Tax Rate 10% of gross gaming revenue Registration Up to 40 retail sportsbooks, 25 sportsbook apps

While the passing of HB29 legalized online sports betting in Ohio, bettors in the state will have to wait until its official launch date to place wagers online. When launched, betting sites licensed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission will go live, allowing anyone over 21 and physically present in the state to gamble legally from anywhere in Ohio.

Some operators are already live in OH, with DraftKings and FanDuel offering Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games to players. When sports betting is live, many of the top US sportsbook operators are expected to launch in Ohio. So OH players can prepare for exciting sports betting on major league sports, more niche sports like tennis and golf, and a wide variety of features such as live streaming. Many sportsbooks also provide generous bonuses you can use to boost betting.

 

Ohio Sports Betting Pre-Live Offers

The Ohio sports betting market is set to be one of the biggest and most competitive sports betting markets in the United States. For potential sports bettors in Ohio, this is great news. We'd expect sportsbooks in Ohio to release a vast array of lucrative Ohio sports betting promos ahead of the launch as 'pre-live' campaigns.

When the New York sports betting market launched, sportsbooks such as Fanduel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM offered new users in the state $100s completely free before the market was even live. New users simply had to register their interest in the operator and their free funds were released once the state went live.

Make sure to keep a keen eye on the Ohio sports betting offers above so that you don't miss out on any Ohio sports betting pre-live offers. We'd expect there to be $1000s free to claim.

 

Expected Sports Betting Operators in Ohio

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is now accepting applications for sports betting licenses, with BetMGM and PointsBet among the first applicants. There are up to 25 licenses available for sportsbooks, so while no betting sites have been confirmed yet, we expect most of the top operators to launch in Ohio. Here are our expert picks for the most likely sportsbooks to go live in OH and each operator’s most likely partner.

Name Partner
DraftKings TBC
Caesars Scioto Downs Racino
FanDuel Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment Center
BetMGM MGM Northfield Park
PointsBet TBC
Hard Rock Sportsbook Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Tipico Columbus Crew
Bet PARX PGA Tour Memorial Tournament
Barstool Sportsbook Hollywood Casino Columbus
Fubo Sportsbook Cleveland Cavaliers
Jack Entertainment Kambi

Our experts also expect Ohio sports betting applications from BetRivers, Bet365, FOX Bet, Bally Bet, and WynnBet, amongst others.

 

Best Ohio Sportsbook Apps

It is yet to be confirmed exactly which sportsbooks will receive a license to operate in Ohio. Yet, our previous experience in other states leads us to believe that the following operators will be the first to launch in the Buckeye State. Based on the sportsbook’s offerings in legal states, we’ve prepared an overview of each leading sportsbook, meaning you’ll know what to expect when Ohio sports betting goes live.

DraftKings

DraftKings has been operating in Ohio for several years as a DFS operator, but it has no clear operating partner in Ohio at the moment. However, given its market presence and success in the 17 states where its online sportsbook is available, potential partners will be clamoring to work with DraftKings.

Our review team found the DraftKings desktop site easy to use, with access to dozens of sports markets. You can also redeem a variety of bonuses, including its generous welcome bonuses. The DraftKings app is one of the best in the US and boasts exclusive features like live streaming on sports like tennis and soccer.

FanDuel

Similar to DraftKings, FanDuel has pivoted from being one of the biggest DFS providers to one of the largest gambling operators in the US. Backed by Flutter Entertainment, a global gambling giant operating brands like Paddy Power and Betfair, FanDuel is considered one of the biggest and best sportsbooks in the country. FanDuel already has a partnership lined up with Belterra Park, and its betting site will likely be available on the first day of launch.

The FanDuel app is also fantastic, with a very easy-to-use interface and a slick user experience. FanDuel has the widest range of same-game parlay options, which we found a very nice feature. Besides its various bonuses and offers, FanDuel players can access its free-to-play games. The sportsbook has partnerships with the MLB, NFL, and NBA to provide exclusive odds and promotions.

Caesars

Caesars already has a presence in Ohio as the owner of Scioto Downs Racing, which will be its partner for the Ohio Casino Control Commission license. Considering how Caesars has jumped to launch in other states, with the betting site available in 16 states, the sportsbook will likely launch in Ohio.

One of the best parts of Caesars Sportsbook is the Caesars Rewards program, which allows you to earn points with every bet you place. You can use these points to redeem real-life rewards like stays at Caesars Resorts and other prizes. All this comes along with the site’s comprehensive range of sports markets and other promotions.

BetMGM

BetMGM already has roots in Ohio, with the MGM group owning MGM Northfield Park. This racino will be BetMGM’s sports betting application partner. BetMGM is another sportsbook with a loyalty program, MGM Rewards. You can place bets and earn MGM Rewards to redeem at MGM Northfield Park, including free drinks.

BetMGM offers weekly free bets, a wide range of live-streamed events, and a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options. Customer service is available 24/7, as expected from one of the most trusted names in the market.

PointsBet

PointsBet does not currently have a local partner in Ohio. But this hasn’t stopped the popular sportsbook from applying for a license in the Buckeye State. PointsBet partnered with Penn National in the past to gain access to Ohio in 2019. Whether this partnership is used is yet to be seen.

PointsBet is an Australian-born sportsbook that made an impact in the US market thanks to its innovative Points Betting feature. This feature allows you to place an over/under wager and rewards you more by how correct you are. However, you also lose money for how wrong you are. This unique way of betting comes alongside a sportsbook with various sports markets, promotions, and support options. PointsBet also partners with NBC to provide exclusive content.

 

Legislation Timeline

The first major step to legalizing gambling in Ohio came in 2009. Ohio voters narrowly passed the Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution, Amendment 3. This amendment allowed the four largest cities in Ohio (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo) to launch a casino. All four cities had a casino operating from 2012. Ohio started accepting sports betting with the rise in popularity of DFS games.

while DFS games operated in the state previously, Governor John Kasich signed HB132 in 2016 to give legal oversight of DFS games to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. HB132 promised legal protection to DFS operators on the basis these sites met standards for player safety. These regulations have since become commonplace around the US for sports betting licenses.

Arguably the most important step forward for the legalization of sports betting in Ohio came on 14th May 2018. In 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed as law. PASPA all but outlawed sports betting across America, except for Nevada. PASPA was overturned in 2018, with the Supreme Court determining that PASPA conflicted with the Tenth Amendment. This landmark ruling left each individual state to determine whether sports betting should be legalized.

Following a few quiet years, HB29 passed in December 2021, signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. HB29 highlights that 25 sportsbook apps and up to 40 retail sportsbooks can operate in the state. After the signing of HB29, the Ohio Casino Control Commission determined that the launch date for sports betting in Ohio would be 1 January 2023.

HB29 allows for three types of sportsbook licenses.

  • • Type A licenses are for online sports betting operators, and up to 25 Type-A licenses can be awarded. 11 casino/racinos and ten professional sports franchises are expected to partner with online sportsbooks for a Type A license.

  • • Type B licenses are for physical sportsbooks. Up to 40 Type B licenses can be awarded. Type A holders, by default, receive a Type B license, so many casinos and professional sports stadiums in Ohio will have a physical sportsbook on location.

  • • Type C licenses are for existing liquor license holders (Class D) in Ohio. There is no limit to the amount of Type C licenses that Ohio can issue. Type C licenses will offer limited sports betting from lottery kiosks.

 

Ohio Sports Teams

Ohio has a long and storied history with all major league sports, and Ohioans are amongst the most passionate US sports fans. Alongside numerous successful college sports programs, Ohio boasts the following major league sports teams.

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds are the most successful professional sports team to hail from Ohio, with the MLB team winning five World Series titles and nine National League pennants. The franchise has been in a lean spell recently, with the last of its World Series titles coming in 1990.

Cleveland Guardians

The Reds’ in-state rival, the MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, also have a storied history. However, the franchise hasn’t won a World Series since 1948 and only has two championships overall. Ball games are played at the beautiful Progressive Field, considered one of the best ballparks in MLB.

Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew is one of the founding members of Major League Soccer, and they have won the MLS Cup twice, in 2008 and 2020.

FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati is an expansion franchise of Major League Soccer, participating in its first season in 2019. Games are played at downtown Cincinnati’s brand new, purpose-built TQL Stadium.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers joined the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1970. But, recent Cavs history has been dominated by one man – Lebron James. James was drafted in 2003 and took the Cavs to 5 conference titles during his two spells there. After a successful move to the Miami Heat, James came back to Cleveland and, in 2016, delivered Cleveland’s first major sports title since 1964.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals joined the American Football Conference of the NFL in 1970 and have shown spells of brilliance mixed with long, lean periods. The future looks bright for the Bengals, with its first Super Bowl appearance for 33 years in 2021 and a roster full of talent.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are one of the oldest and most revered football franchises. The Cleveland Browns have found success a struggle since rejoining the NFL in 1999, with no winning season during the 2010s.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets joined the NHL as an expansion franchise in 2000 and have achieved some success, making one Stanley Cup appearance and several playoff appearances. However, no Blue Jackets team has managed to bring the Stanley Cup back to Ohio.

 

Ohio Land-Based Sportsbooks

We do not yet know where the land-based sportsbooks will be located in Ohio until the licensing process has been completed. However, we do know any sportsbook granted a Type A license for online sports betting will automatically receive a Type B license for retail sportsbooks. So, you can expect a retail sportsbook at the 11 casino partners and ten sports franchise partners of Type A license holders.

In addition, HB29 allows for up to 40 physical sportsbooks in Ohio under a Type B license.

 

FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

Yes, sports betting is now legal in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine signed HB29, and sports betting will officially launch on January 1, 2023.

Can I bet on college football in Ohio?

Most types of college football betting will likely be legal in Ohio. The Ohio Casino Control Commission hasn’t finalized its regulations for college sports betting and is taking on consideration from the state’s college sports bodies. Proposed restrictions include only allowing betting on football and basketball, as well as no props bets.

Can I play daily fantasy sports in Ohio?

Of course, you can! Daily Fantasy Sports were legalized in 2016 when Governor John Kasich signed HB132. You can access DFS games for major league sports like the NFL and NBA across the Buckeye State.

Can you bet on horse racing in Ohio?

Absolutely! You can visit one of the seven racinos or a variety of off-track betting locations to place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing. In the future, horse racing may become easier with sportsbooks offering online horse race betting.

Can I play online casinos in Ohio?

No, there are no legal online casinos available in Ohio. However, there are several land-based casinos you can visit to play your favorite casino games. Alternatively, you can use a social casino to play these games for free without risking your bankroll.

When can you gamble on sports in Ohio?

Once online sports betting launches, you can place bets on sports from anywhere within the borders of Ohio. You just need to be over the legal gambling age and allow your geolocation services. You can also visit retail sportsbooks when they launch.

Can I use DraftKings in Ohio?

At the moment, you can use DraftKings in Ohio legally to play Daily Fantasy Sports. DraftKings will likely have a presence in the sportsbook market when sports betting goes live in Ohio in January 2023.

Can I use FanDuel in Ohio?

FanDuel is available in Ohio for Daily Fantasy Sports. When legalized sports betting launches in Ohio, FanDuel will likely become one of the first operators to go live.

Can I use BetMGM in Ohio?

You will likely be able to use BetMGM from January 1, 2023. The sportsbook applied for a Type A license on the first day it was able to and already has a partnership lined up with MGM Northfield Park.

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