Ohio Online Casinos

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Online gambling in Ohio is not entirely legal yet, but there are currently gambling options in the Buckeye State.

There are four Ohio casinos and seven racinos. And, in the new year, online sports betting in Ohio will be a thing. With all the movement, there’s hope that Ohio online casinos could happen someday, but we don’t want to make any promises. In the meantime, online sweepstakes games are a live and legal option for Ohioans.

In the meantime, we will have all the information you need to gamble in Ohio.

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Is online gambling legal in Ohio?

Not yet. Online gambling in the US usually relates to casinos, poker and sports betting. The answer is definitively negative in those cases: No real money sites offer those games under Ohio law.

On the other hand, a few online gaming options bear to mention Ohioans and visitors to the Buckeye State. The first things to note are the sweepstakes and social casino sites. These online companies provide access to games you’d typically find on an online casino or poker site. However, thanks to their business models, they are classified as sweepstakes under the law rather than true online casino sites and can operate in most states, including Ohio.

So, for online slots, Ohio residents can explore the offerings at Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots for social casinos or Funzpoints for sweepstakes. For online poker, you can try Global Poker. If table games are your preference, you’ll probably have to shop around on the sites mentioned above, although most allow you to play blackjack online.

Another option that you can try is online horse betting. Betting on horse racing has been legal for states since 2000, when a bill from the US House of Representatives added language to the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 to include wagers placed through “electronic media,” legalese for the internet. From that point, each state had the opportunity to decide whether to allow citizens to play. In Ohio, the best option is TVG.

Finally, it is legal for players 18 or older to play daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Ohio. Thanks to a 2018 law, five companies — DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, StatHero and Fantasy Golf’s OG — are fully licensed to offer DFS games in the Buckeye State and are regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Are online casinos legal in Ohio?

No. There are no legal online casinos in Ohio. Although Ohio law does not specifically ban online casinos from doing business in the state, it doesn’t approve of them.

The only online casino-type options available are the sweepstakes sites mentioned above. Our top pick for an Ohio sweepstakes casino is Chumba Casino or LuckyLand Slots. Chumba and LuckyLand use a unique dual-currency system where you can play for free and win real prizes. Chumba also has a selection of casino table games available for play. The list includes blackjack, roulette and video poker.

Another sweepstakes casino that you might try includes Funzpoints. Funzpoints is almost purely slot sites, although you might find a few options for keno on each. Finally, some slot and table games are available through Global Poker, including jackpot slots, blackjack, roulette, Caribbean stud and casino hold ’em onsite.

Can you play slots online in Ohio?

No. There are no legal online casinos with slot titles available in Ohio.

The only online slot options you can play legally in Ohio are on the sweepstakes sites mentioned above. Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and Funzpoints each have beautifully-rendered slot titles that you can play for free and win real prizes. The games play just like any other slot game and include bonus rounds, free spins and jackpots.

Can you play online poker in Ohio?

No. No law makes online poker legal in Ohio. To be honest, there’s no reason to expect any change on this status any time soon, either.

While online poker has a rabid fanbase, the peer-to-peer game is often the last priority of online gambling companies and state legislatures because it brings in the least revenue. It usually becomes legal as an add-on to an online casino expansion. For Ohio, there’s no reason to assume that online poker will show up prior to online casinos, so the best thing to do is to keep your ears to the ground for any movement on the online casino front.

In the meantime, as you’ve probably guessed, you can use a sweepstakes poker site that provides both poker tournaments and cash games. Global Poker is a sister site to Chumba and LuckyLand and it offers action around-the-clock from almost every state in the country. You can find cash games, tournaments, sit-n-gos for no-limit hold ’em, pot-limit Omaha and Crazy Pineapple.

Will Ohio regulate online gambling in the future?

Possibly. Although online casinos and poker don’t seem to be on the horizon at the moment, there are several other indications that online gambling might become part of Ohio’s landscape relatively soon.

The first thing to note is that Ohio has already demonstrated that it is willing to legalize types of online gambling. The state’s decision to legalize, license and regulate daily fantasy sports, for instance, is a clear signal that there is not an excessive amount of legislative pushback toward gambling online. Similarly, top horse betting sites like the aforementioned TVG and TwinSpires are available for Ohio residents and visitors. So, the notion of online gambling itself does not seem to be offensive to Ohio lawmakers.

Secondly, the House has already passed a sports betting bill that contains language to allow for online sports betting in Ohio. Specifically, Section 3770.31 (C) of HB194 reads as follows: “The commission may adopt rules allowing a sports gaming agent to accept wagers on sporting events online over the internet from persons who are physically present in this state.” So, although this effort died in the Senate, it is clear that the House of Representatives sees a clear need for an online sports betting provision for Ohio.

Finally, Ohio is geographically surrounded by online gambling. Four of the five states that share a border with the Buckeye State have online gambling in significant capacities. Michigan and Pennsylvania are full-service online gambling states. West Virginia has online casinos and sports betting and Indiana online sports betting has been live since 2019. Only Kentucky remains an online gambling holdout. Undoubtedly, Ohio legislators are watching things unfold intently.

So, the bottom line is that there are plenty of reasons to feel hopeful about online gambling coming to Ohio. Online sports betting is the closest to reality, but anything can happen in a legislative session.

What is the legal gambling age in Ohio?

As is often the case, Ohio has different gambling age requirements for the games you can play. For the most part, the legal gambling age in Ohio is 21 or older. You must be at least 21 to gamble at a casino or play a VLT at racinos. Pari-mutuel betting, charitable gaming and the lottery are for those 18 or older.

Legal online gambling vs. offshore sites

You might be a bit confused about some of the things we wrote above. Specifically, it may seem odd that we stated unequivocally that there are no legal online gambling sites in Ohio.

Ohio law simply does not address online gambling in any meaningful form.

Ohio does not license or operate any gambling sites. Unless it’s a sweepstakes site, the new online casinos for us players are based offshore. Their offices and servers are outside the United States. This comes with several risks, however, and we list them below:

  1. Trust: Ultimately, you have no way to know who these companies are, their track record, and if your money is safe. A number of offshore casinos have a history of payment problems.
  2. Unregulated: Sites operating outside the US are also not subject to US law. Although sites claim they are licensed, it’s unclear what type of authority these foreign agencies can exert over the sites.
  3. Safety: Finally, it’s important to remember the type of information you provide to an online gambling site. When you create an account or deposit funds, you’re providing sensitive information. There’s no guarantee that an offshore site will keep that information secure.

The best thing to do is keep your online gambling inside the US and inside Ohio. It’s just not worth the risk in order to play a few hands of your favorite game.

Who will regulate Ohio online gambling?

In all likelihood, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). Obviously, without online gambling underway in Ohio, it’s hard to know exactly which state agency will act as the regulator over the various industries. The DFS law gives the OCCC the authority to regulate, but the failed 2020 sports betting law installed the Ohio Lottery Commission as its regulator. Furthermore, the Ohio Racing Commission has some jurisdiction over the seven racetracks and the off-track betting location in the state.

So, it’s a bit of a muddled mess. However, given that most activities that qualify as online gambling would be closer to casino games than anything else, the best bet for the regulator is the OCCC. Even if those other agencies get involved, there’s no scenario in which the casino control commission would not be a part of the oversight efforts.

Types of legal gambling in Ohio

While poker sites and new online casinos for US players are up in the air, Ohio has several types of legal gambling occurring inside its borders at any time. Ohio residents and visitors can find something to bet around the clock, no matter where they are. However, this wealth of options is a recent development in the Buckeye State. Neither casinos nor the slot machine-like video lottery terminals (VLTs) at racetracks showed up until 2012. Until then, Ohio was a lottery and racetrack state, nothing more.

However, the Buckeye State has come around quite profoundly in the past few years. So, here are all the types of legal gambling available in Ohio:

  • Casino gaming
  • Pari-mutuel betting (horse racing)
  • Lottery
  • Online horse betting
  • Video lottery terminals
  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Charitable games
  • Home poker games

Are there casinos in Ohio?

Yes. Ohio has four full-service casinos and seven racinos inside state lines. The four casinos are strategically placed so that each of Ohio’s four largest cities — Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo – has a location. The racinos do not have the same requirement, but they are mostly clustered around the same population centers.

The casinos themselves can offer almost any type of casino game. However, the racinos are limited to VLTs, which are essentially slot machines. Table games are not permitted at the tracks. Finally, there is a lone off-track betting theater located in Ohio. However, the Cedar Downs OTB in Sandusky is not permitted to offer VLTs or any other type of wagering beyond pari-mutuel betting on simulcast horse races. There are no tribal casinos in Ohio. As such, here is a list of all the different gaming locations in the state:


NameAddressPhone NumberOwner/OperatorLive Poker?(Y/N)
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati1000 Broadway St, Cincinnati, OH 45202(513) 257-2253Hard Rock InternationalY
Hollywood Casino Toledo1968 Miami St, Toledo, OH 43605(419) 661-5200Penn National GamingY
Hollywood Columbus Casino200 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228(614) 308-3333Penn National GamingY
JACK Cleveland Casino100 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113(216) 297-4777JACK EntertainmentY

Racinos & OTBs

NameAddressPhone NumberTypeOwner/Associated Racetrack
Belterra Park Gaming6301 Kellogg Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45230(513) 232-8000RacinoBoyd Gaming
Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs6000 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207(614) 295-4700RacinoCaesars Entertainment
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway3100 Needmore Rd, Dayton, OH 45414(937) 235-7800RacinoPenn National Gaming
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course655 N Canfield Niles Rd, Youngstown, OH 44515(877) 788-3777RacinoPenn National Gaming
JACK Thistledown Racino21501 Emery Rd, North Randall, OH 44128(216) 662-8600RacinoJACK Entertainment
MGM Northfield Park10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield, OH 44067(330) 908-7625RacinoMGM Resorts International
Miami Valley Gaming & Racing6000 OH-63, Lebanon, OH 45036(513) 934-7070RacinoDelaware North/Churchill Downs
Cedar Downs Off Track Betting Theater1935 Cleveland Rd W, Sandusky, OH 44870(419) 627-8573Off-track Betting ParlorMGM Resorts International

Types of games at Ohio casinos

Needless to say, there are plenty of casino games to play at Ohio casinos. Before we talk about all your different options, it’s important to understand that there is only one type of game available at the seven racinos in the state. These properties are only allowed to offer VLTs. So, while you can find the games listed below in Ohio’s true casinos, please don’t go looking for them at the nearest racetrack.

Here are the types of casino games you will find in Ohio:

  • Slots
  • Video poker
  • Blackjack with side bets
  • Roulette
  • Craps/Craps Free Craps with side bets
  • Baccarat/Mini-baccarat/EZ Baccarat
  • 3 Card Poker
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • Face Up Pai Gow Poker
  • High Card Flush/I Luv Suits Poker
  • Criss Cross Poker
  • Crazy 4 Poker
  • DJ Wild
  • Electronic table games/Synergy table games
  • Live poker

Ohio poker laws

Public poker games became legal with the passage of the Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution Amendment in 2009. This constitutional amendment was a ballot measure that asked voters to decide whether to place casinos in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo. Although the law did not mention poker specifically, Chapter 3772 of the Ohio Code (the Casino Control Act) defines casino gaming as the following:

… any type of slot machine or table game wagering, using money, casino credit, or any representative of value, authorized in any of the states of Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as of January 1, 2009.”

So, since poker certainly exists in those states, it became legal for Ohio’s new casinos to offer it, too. The first Ohio casino opened its doors in 2012, and three others followed shortly afterward. All four casinos maintain poker rooms to this day, and they are the best opportunity for poker players to stretch their legs within the state of Ohio.

However, it is also possible to play poker in one’s home with friends, if you like. Thankfully, Ohio law does not consider home poker games to be illegal gambling so long as nobody charges for hosting or running the game. In other words, rake-free games played at home are perfectly fine for Ohioans to play.

Interestingly, Ohio law is specific that the game must take place in the home. According to Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2915.04, “no person, while at a hotel, restaurant, tavern, store, arena, hall, or other place of public accommodation, business, amusement, or resort shall make a bet or play any game of chance or scheme of chance.” In other words, if you’re on a trip to the Buckeye State, you probably should leave the deck of cards at home. Since there’s a poker room in every large city in the state, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a game.

History of gambling in Ohio

If you haven’t been to Ohio in a while, you might be shocked at the number of gambling options that have shown up in recent years. Until 2012, Ohio was in roughly the same place about gambling as states like Texas or pre-2020 Tennessee. In other words, citizens had horse racing and lottery opportunities, but that was about it.

However, Ohio lawmakers have dramatically advanced the state’s gambling profile in the last decade. There are now four full-fledged casinos in the state. In addition, the state’s seven racetracks have been converted into racinos, thanks to the inclusion of video lottery terminals that function, more or less, like slot machines.

Here are some of the most critical moments in Ohio gambling history.


After decades of remaining steadfast about gambling’s illegality, the Ohio General Assembly reverses course and decides to allow pari-mutuel wagering to proceed at the state’s horse racing tracks. The Ohio Racing Commission was born and became the regulator over the nascent industry, a position that the agency retains to this day. At present, the ORC oversees activities at seven different live racing venues in the state.


Three years of legislative efforts pay off as the Ohio Lottery sold its first ticket. In 1971, a push to bring Ohio lottery games to the Buckeye State surfaced due to the work of State Sen. Ron Mottl. Mottl succeeded in getting State Issue 1, the Ohio State Lottery Amendment, onto the 1973 ballot. It passes overwhelmingly, with more than 64% of voters approving the measure. Just over a year later, Buckeye 300 became the first lottery game sold in Ohio.


After decades of quiescence, Ohio gambling positively erupted in 2012. Eleven locations with slot-like games and four full-service casino venues opened in the state.

Three years earlier, voters had narrowly (53%-47%) approved a ballot measure to bring casino gambling to Ohio. The Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution Amendment proposed placing one land-based casino in each of Ohio’s four largest cities. The citizens of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo would now have casino game opportunities mere minutes away. Obviously, legalization does not usually equate to a physical launch, so there was a delay until the newly-created Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) and the various companies could get their respective ducks in a row. Everything came together in May 2012 when the then-Horseshoe Casino opened in Cleveland (it later became the Jack Casino). By March 2013, all four casinos had opened their doors in their respective cities.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Lottery Commission was busy with its massive expansion project. House Bill 386, which had been swirling through the various chambers of the Ohio General Assembly and Gov. John Kasich’s office, received its final approval in May 2012. The bill allows the lottery to place video lottery terminals, or VLTs, at each of Ohio’s seven racetracks. VLTs are technically lottery games, but they are virtually indistinguishable from standard slot machines to most players. VLTs began appearing almost immediately, with the first racino launching in June 2012. All seven tracks would have VLTs by November 2014. More than 11,000 VLTs are spread across seven locations in Ohio.


Ohio added to its gambling profile in March 2018 with the addition of House Bill 132. This law provides for the authorization and legalization of daily fantasy sports play in the Buckeye State. By virtue of the law, the Ohio Casino Control Commission is now charged with creating rules and a scheme to regulate the industry inside state lines. Unfortunately, the OCCC takes more than a year to finalize its plans and the first licenses are not issued until 2020. However, at present, five DFS providers are permitted to offer DFS action to Ohio residents and visitors.


State Reps. Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly are the primary sponsors for House Bill 194. This bill aims “to legalize and regulate sports gaming in this state, to levy a tax on businesses that provide sports gaming, to create a Sports Gaming Advisory Board and to require the State Lottery Commission to make certain lottery games available in Ohio.” In other words, sports betting is coming to Ohio and lottery officials are going to manage it. The bill proves quite popular in the House, passing in May 2020 via an 83-10 vote. Unfortunately, all the bill’s forward momentum came to a screeching halt the following month, and it died without much consideration in the Senate. However, with the Senate Select Committee on Gaming having frequent meetings in 2021, it’s clear that the ball is rolling for sports betting in Ohio.

Responsible gaming in Ohio

Problem gambling is an unfortunate reality that plagues a portion of the gambling public. The good news is that few states have more comprehensive programs to deal with problem gambling than Ohio. There are several state agencies involved, and it is clear that the Ohio Legislature sees gambling addiction as a problem worthy of attention.

  • The first place to go is the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. This organization is a nonprofit organization that provides both educational and referral services for those dealing with gambling addiction in the Buckeye State. You can find numerous resources to help you get in touch with the information and people you need.
  • Another resource you can always use is the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline (800-589-9966). This telephone number will connect you with a referral counselor around the clock. They can refer you for treatment options near your home. Ohio fully funds problem gambling treatment for its residents, so you don’t need to wait or worry about any bills for your therapy.
  • You can also visit Ohio for Responsible Gambling. This program is a state-run initiative that helps to coordinate efforts between the Ohio Lottery, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio State Racing Commission, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS). ODMHAS is the lead agency for the group Ohio for Responsible Gambling website, and the ODMHAS website can also work to get you connected with trained counselors and medical professionals for gambling addiction.

If you would prefer to go a different route, finding one of the many Gamblers Anonymous chapters that meet across the state of Ohio is always possible. Each chapter meets once a week, and you can find others who are in recovery that can give you support, accountability and encouragement to begin your journey and stay on the right path. Family members of problem gamblers can also find support in this manner through GAM-ANON, the sister organization to Gamblers Anonymous.

Ohio voluntary exclusion program

The state of Ohio maintains the Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program for gamblers who need to take more drastic measures to get control of their habits. By asking to be placed into this program, you will be barred from participating in any activities at Ohio casinos, racinos and lottery games for a specified period.

The periods of exclusion are either one year, five years or permanently. In addition, your exclusion will be shared with sister properties in other states owned by the same companies in Ohio. If you attempt to gamble while in the program, you are subject to arrest for trespassing and forfeiture of any winnings or gambling funds you have converted for play. It is a harsh step, to be sure, but for those who cannot stop, it is sometimes the only way.

Problem gambling costs millions of dollars annually and harms addicts and their families. If you are struggling in Ohio, there is no time to waste. Make the call today and get started on the path back to the light.

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