Sports betting is now legal in almost half of the United States, with many fans able to wager on everything from college football to the Super Bowl. But in places like Ohio, people are left waiting while those that live in neighboring states are already placing bets from inside casinos and through their smartphones.
It’s not all bad news though. Ohio is well on the way to legalizing sports betting in the state, with two bills currently in the house and senate. Unfortunately, the slow wheels of legislative bureaucracy mean that Ohioans will have to wait a little longer before they can start betting on the Reds, Indians, Bengals, Browns, Cavaliers, and Blue Jackets.
Want to learn more about sports betting in Ohio? Check out our comprehensive guide for the Buckeye State below.
Like many states, Ohio began its process to legalize sports betting shortly after the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA. In March 2019, Senator John Eklund introduced Ohio SB111 to the state’s upper legislative house that, if passed, would permit the Ohio Casino Control Commission to regulate sports betting and tax sportsbooks.
Just a few weeks later, in April 2019, Ohio HB194 was introduced into the lower house by Representative Dave Greenspan and 15 other house members. Although similar to Senator Eklund’s bill, it would create a new Sports Gaming Advisory Board and give some powers to the Ohio State Lottery Commission.
Nearly 14 months later, on May 28, 2020, the bill was passed by the Ohio State House of Representatives and was then introduced to the state Senate on June 2.
Since then, Ohio State Senators are yet to formally look at the bill, leaving it stuck.
Most of the work for bringing legal sports betting to Ohio has been done, but it’s not clear if or when either of the two bills currently on the desks of lawmakers will make it onto the statute books.
Many had predicted that sports betting Ohio would begin operating before the end of 2020, but that didn’t happen. Late 2021 is still a reasonable target, but as time marches on, the likelihood of Ohioans being able to bet on this year’s NFL season diminishes more and more.
Since Ohio lawmakers are yet to legalize sports betting, we don’t currently know which sportsbooks will be granted licenses to operate in the Buckeye State. However, we can look at what happened in other parts of the country to make predictions of what brands we’re likely to see accepting bets.
FanDuel In Ohio
One front runner for a place in the Ohio sports betting market is FanDuel. The company is one of America’s biggest daily fantasy sports brands and has since become a dominant force in the legal sports betting market.
FanDuel offers a wide selection of betting markets and bet types, decent odds, and a quality mobile app.
DraftKings In Ohio
Like FanDuel, DraftKings is a household name thanks to it holding the number one spot in the daily fantasy sports market. It was one of the first to begin offering legal sports betting after PASPA was struck down in 2018 and has since launched its sportsbook service in most states where it is legal.
Given its track record of being one of the first to move into a new state, we believe DraftKings will be operating in Ohio from day one (or very shortly afterward).
Almost every sportsbook has a welcome offer or set of free bet promotions that new customers can take advantage of when they sign up. This is part of their marketing activities and is a source of competition between sports betting companies.
While we don’t currently know which sportsbooks will launch in Ohio, it seems a pretty safe bet that whichever companies that do begin accepting bets in the state will run similar promotions to what we see elsewhere in the United States.
Since we are predicting that DraftKings and FanDuel will be among the first to begin operating in Ohio, here are the welcome offers you can expect.
DraftKings Ohio Sportsbook Welcome Offer
In most states where the company operates its sportsbook, new DraftKings customers can claim up to $1,000 in risk-free bets when they sign up. Something similar is likely to be available in the Buckeye State.
FanDuel Ohio Sportsbook Welcome Offer
$1,000 of risk-free bets are also on offer from FanDuel. The welcome offer is open to new customers when they sign up in other states, so we expect to see something similar in Ohio.
Once we know more details about which sportsbooks are being given licenses to operate in Ohio, we’ll know more about which ones will offer the best sports betting apps.
However, the legal sports betting market in the United States is incredibly competitive, meaning companies have to work hard to attract and retain their customers. One way they do this is by offering great-quality mobile apps so sports fans can place bets wherever and whenever they want.
In Ohio, we expect bettors to have access to great quality apps from both FanDuel and DraftKings as they already offer a great mobile betting experience elsewhere in the country.
Like in most parts of the country, we expect Ohio to allow bets to be placed on most sports, including all major leagues and competitions here in the USA and elsewhere in the world. You can, therefore, expect the list of sports you can bet on in Ohio to include:
● Auto Racing
● The Olympics
● Aussie Rules
Yes, fantasy sports are legal in Ohio and there are several daily fantasy platforms for Ohioans to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of the best DFS sites and the bonuses they offer at the top of this page, so be sure to check it out before you decide which one to join.
The two biggest DFS sites in Ohio are DraftKings and FanDuel, both offer great mobile apps and a range of different games to suit every experience level.
You can’t currently bet on any sports in Ohio, but we expect this to change soon. Each state sets its own rules around competition at the collegiate level, but when sports betting is legalized in the Buckeye State, it is likely that betting on college sports will also be allowed.
The two bills currently with lawmakers do not have any restrictions on college sports, though this may change before either bill becomes law.
You can’t currently bet on sports anywhere in Ohio, though you can play daily fantasy sports through sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Although sports betting is not currently allowed in Ohio, you can bet on horse racing. You can do this in person at the track or through leading horse race betting sites like TVG and Twinspires.
If you’d like to bet on horse racing in Ohio, check out the list of horse race betting offers at the top of this page.
Just like online sports betting is not yet permitted in Ohio, you currently can’t play online casino games with real money in the state. However, it is possible to enjoy free-to-play versions of these games and we’ve compiled a list of the best options at the top of this page.
Alternatively, you can visit one of the 11 land-based casinos that are based in the state, including the Horseshoe Casinos in both Cincinnati and Cleveland and the Hollywood Casinos in Toledo and Columbus.
We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.