Ohio has taken its time with sports betting. Because of this, it’s still not legal in the Buckeye State, but that could be changing.
There is a bill currently making the rounds in Columbus, but residents shouldn’t expect anything to happen in 2020. Despite what lawmakers have said, the holdup in Ohio appears to be declaring which agency will regulate sports betting.
Will it be the Ohio Lottery or the Casino Commission? Until this important decision is made, Ohio sports betting will not be moving forward.
Last updated Nov. 10, 2020
Although bill, HB 194, which aims to legalize sports betting, is making the rounds in Columbus, all legislative movement has gone dark. Following the November elections, a pair of key lawmakers lost re-election perhaps making efforts to legalize sports betting much more challenging.
On top of this election setback, another main holdup appears to be which government agency will run sports betting, the Ohio Lottery, or the Casino Commission.
To be clear, there are no legal sports betting apps in Ohio just yet. However, should the powers that be decide it, there most certainly will be some available one day. The ability to place a wager through your smartphone is instrumental in any state, Ohio included.
If you are interested in trying out an Ohio sports betting app, when they become legal, you’re in luck. Most online sportsbooks offer dedicated versions of their app for both major types of smartphone format — Apple (iOS) and Android.
It is still unknown if customers will be allowed to register for a sports betting account from anywhere in the state, or if they will have to sign up in person at a casino.
This ability for remote registration is not universal across the US. States like Illinois, Iowa and Nevada all have required a bit of legwork to get started online. But remote registration is the preferred method if you ask big-name operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Geolocation is an invisible border around a state with mobile wagering. This is to ensure that when customers are placing bets, they are doing so in the state of Ohio. The minute they travel across the state line, they will no longer be able to place bets.
The software is actually quite effective. It can detect stationary targets fairly accurately. In fact, you are more likely to be rejected falsely by the software as being outside the state than you are to bypass its checks by playing near the state line.
Legal sports betting works in much the same way as it does elsewhere. Ohio sportsbooks, should they be retail, will function identically to sportsbooks you’ve played elsewhere.
From single-match outcomes to parlays and professional props, the Ohio sports betting industry will have these types of bets:
While the official list is still unknown, it’s safe to assume the obvious will be included: no betting on high school sports. Every state that has allowed sports betting so far has had similar language in its laws, and you can basically assume that this prohibition will be in place no matter which states legalize sports betting going forward.
There is a chance Ohio might follow laws in states like New Jersey where you cannot bet on in-state schools. This would be a killer for teams like Ohio State.
The current bill making the rounds in Ohio does include online sports betting, which is a good thing. Mobile wagering is simple and works the same in every state it’s legal in.
Customers complete the following steps on their phone, tablet or desktop computer from anywhere in the state. The process is short and simple.
We will cover the steps briefly below.
By now, most people know how to download apps on their smartphones. You use the same process for online sportsbooks in Ohio. Depending on if Ohio permits remote registration, customers will be able to sign up from anywhere in the state. However, there is a chance this might not be the case. If that happens, customers will have to physically go to the nearest casino (that has sports betting) and sign up in person.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will need to create an account. Each sportsbook will ask for various pieces of personal information. This is to ensure that you are who you say you are.
Information you may have to provide includes:
Next, designate a username and password. The site may ask you to provide answers to selected challenge questions in order to construct an extra layer of security, which is standard procedure.
Finally, there may be an optional box for a bonus code somewhere in the registration area. If our link indicates that there is a code, make sure to enter it here.
Since this is online sports betting, you will need to transfer funds into and out of your account. These funds are what you will use to place bets.
Typical options that you might find for making a deposit into a sportsbook account include:
Should you win a bet, you will be able to withdraw funds from your sports betting account. Online sportsbooks have to offer several methods for withdrawal, too. However, there are fewer methods for withdrawal than there are for deposits. The simple truth is that not all deposit methods can flow both directions.
You should know, however, that some withdrawal methods are only available if you used that method to deposit in the first place. PayPal and Skrill often fall under this restriction, so make sure to investigate withdrawal methods before you deposit.
Possible withdrawal methods on online sportsbooks in Ohio include:
As of now, there are zero sports betting options in Ohio. Why? Because sports betting is not yet legal. However, by looking at other nearby states, we can piece together a good list of operators, bet types and locations that might be available in the state.
There are two NFL teams in Ohio, and you can be 100% sure you will be able to place bets on both teams.
Ohio is also home to a single NBA franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In terms of betting on the NBA, games are similar to NFL games. The scoring yields opportunities for almost any kind of sports bet that you’d want to place.
Much like the with the NFL, Ohio is home to a pair of MLB franchises, the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds.
Betting on baseball games is a bit different from wagering on football or basketball. Baseball games tend to be lower-scoring affairs, so they use a “run line” in place of the typical point spread. The run line always designates the favorite and underdog as 1.5 points apart, and the book adjusts the odds through manipulation of the payout ratio. In many ways, the run line is quite similar to the moneyline bet.
Finally, Ohio sports fans have a single NHL franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets, making Ohio one of the very few states with all four major sports leagues.
Betting on NHL games is quite similar to betting on MLB games. Much like baseball, hockey tends to be a low-scoring affair. Because of this, sportsbooks have a 1.5-point puck line, similar to baseball’s run line. Both types of lines function in the same manner as the other, and vary the payout ratios rather than the amount of the spreads themselves.
The Ohio State Racing Commission was created in 1933 following the approval of pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing.
Thoroughbred racetracks can be found in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Youngstown. Additionally, quarter horse races and harness racing also take place in Ohio. Seven of the 11 casinos in the state are racinos, meaning live racing is available on site.
Since there are 11 land-based casinos in Ohio, that means there could potentially be 11 retail sportsbooks. Online sportsbooks will vary depending on how many “skins” or line-websites/apps will be permitted.
In September 2020, it was announced that Unibet (owned by Kindred) partnered with Penn National Gaming to secure US market access in both Ohio and Illinois. Pending regulatory approval, it allows operator Unibet to pursue licensing after betting is legalized in Ohio.
Potential retail sportsbooks could be located at these casinos:
Given the convenience of online sports betting, there might be more online sportsbook apps than physical casinos.
Possible operators include:
Since sports betting is not legal in the state, there are no official betting laws available. Once a bill is passed and a regulatory body is chosen, check back for a list of official sports betting laws and regulations.
It’s hard to estimate just how big a sports betting market can be, given that sports betting has only been legal for two years outside Nevada. But factoring in a few variables such as population size, number of casinos and major sports teams available, it’s safe to assume Ohio will have a relatively large betting market.
No. Unfortunately, no form of sports betting is yet legal in the state.
Traditional retail sportsbooks operate out of land-based casinos. Ohio has 11 casinos, which means a possibility of 11 retail sportsbooks.
For the moment, there are no sports betting laws in Ohio.
When the time comes, you (most likely) will not necessarily have to live in Ohio to bet online. However, you will have to be located inside the state to be able to place a wager.
Yes — you most likely will be able to bet using your phone. Online sports betting has the potential to be part of the Ohio industry, and operators maintain products that are compatible with Android and iOS devices.
For the most part, the list of bets that will be available in Ohio will likely resemble that of nearly every other state:
As of right now, no, you can’t bet on Ohio teams because sports betting has yet to launch in the state. However, it’s expected that you will be able to place bets on all Ohio’s professional teams. In-state college teams are still up in the air.
The professional sports team list includes:
Most likely. There will be a lot of competition among OH sports betting apps, and a lot of opportunities to grab a welcome bonus.
These take several forms: