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Ohio Sports Betting

It has taken longer than anyone had expected (or hoped), but Ohio will be entering the legal sports betting market with a gigantic splash.

The first day of 2023 will ring in more than the new year in the Buckeye State – it will see the legalization of sports wagering in one of the most sports-mad states in the U.S. And with more than 60 combined Class A and Class B licenses up for grabs, Ohio might very well be the most competitive sports betting arena in America before long.

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Caesars Review Logo
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  • Pro: Largest retail sportsbook in America.
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Caesars Review

Caesars is proving to be one of the most aggressively expanding brands in sports betting. Unfortunately, like all major U.S. sportsbooks, they are quick to limit you if you go on a tear and their odds boost promos offer low maximum bet limits.

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  • Pro: Voted Casino Operator of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
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BetMGM Review

BetMGM is one of the top-rated sportsbooks in the U.S. offering some of the best live betting odds in the industry. They’re also the largest iGaming operator across the U.S.

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  • Pro: Seamless transition from DFS to sportsbook with one wallet.
  • Con: Odds boosts and promos generally have low max bet limits.
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FanDuel Review

FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North America’s most popular sports, and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting.

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  • Pro: Lots of promos and odds boosts.
  • Con: Indirect and unhelpful customer service.
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DraftKings Review

DraftKings had a solid reputation as the leading DFS provider in the country, so the shift to legal sports betting felt natural. They offer one of the most voluminous collections of ongoing promos and odds boosts in the industry as they cater to the beginner crowd. However, their reputation has dwindled as outspoken CEO Jason Robins leads the charge of the anti-profitable bettor mentality that runs rampant amongst sportsbooks that are quick to limit winning players.

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PointsBet Review Logo Online since: 2015
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  • Pro: 100% independent.
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PointsBet Review

PointsBet’s innovative nature shows that they don’t want to just be another book you place typical bets. Unfortunately, they are quick to limit bettors on a hot streak and limit the number of promos you’re able to take advantage of, making it necessary for you to shop at other books regularly.

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  • Pro: Interactive bets with their known personalities.
  • Con: Below-average odds.
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Barstool Sportsbook Review

Barstool Sportsbook’s controversial practices have made them one of the most polarizing companies in sports media. In addition, their fun-over-function business model offers little profitability for bettors who quickly find themselves limited after a hot streak.

Bonus iconKnown for: $1,000 Risk-free Bet

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  • Pro: Above-average betting limits.
  • Con: Boosts and parlays offered are either high-risk or low-value plays.
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WynnBET Review

Wynn has been steeped in the legal gambling scene in Vegas for as long as anyone out there. In other occurrences where you have an operator with a rich history and influence in retail casino operations and resorts, the focus can predominantly be on slots and table games. The online sportsbook can be a casualty of convenience. We were pleasantly surprised to find that isn’t the case with the WynnBET app. 

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  • Pro: Established global sports betting brand.
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Unibet Review

Unibet offers its customers an excellent online betting experience. Our Unibet review feels that the company's experience as a global brand shines through with a streamlined, easy-to-use gaming platform.

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  • Pro: Large offering of alternative lines and props.
  • Con: Will limit bettors on a heater.
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BetRivers Review

Unless you live near a physical casino/sportsbook to potentially take advantage of some rewards programs, there is no reason to use BetRivers as your primary sportsbook.

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  • Pro: End-to-end tech through its ownership of Bet.Works.
  • Con: Low sign-up bonus.
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Bally Bet Review

Bally Bet’s bare-bones operation and limited features don’t warrant much consideration as a part of your regular sportsbook rotation unless you find holes in their lines. Still, it’s a company to be bullish about going forward.

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SI Sportsbook Review Logo
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  • Pro: BetFeed ranks most popular incoming bets.
  • Con: Non-existent customer service.
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SI Sportsbook Review

The Sports Illustrated Sportsbook is very much in its infancy, which is noticeable upon browsing the betting site or app, as the design is mediocre to go along with below-average betting odds. However, their relationship with 888 Holdings should allow them to evolve as they continue to grow in this hyper-competitive space.

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Hard Rock Sportsbook Review Logo
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  • Pro: If the house is a rockin' don't bother knockin'
  • Con: Limited betting menu.
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Hard Rock Sportsbook Review

Hard Rock sportsbook is an excellent choice for super casual bettors. It is simplistic and offers some of the best sign-up bonuses for new users looking to try sports betting for the first time or those betting for light entertainment.

Bonus iconKnown for: Promos vary by state.

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Ohio Betting Apps

Ohio is not only gearing up for a full legal sports betting launch Jan. 1, 2023 – it’s going full-bore, with up to 25 Class A licenses (with each licensee having two “skins” each) and 40 Class B licenses (devoted solely to retail sportsbooks). Class C licenses will allow for kiosks in venues with liquor licenses – so say hello to some bar bets.

 

When Ohio does join the ever-growing list of states with legal sports betting in ‘23, you can expect all the major players in the U.S. sports betting space to be in the mix, with FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars among them. And we’ll be there with our list of the top online sportsbooks to consider.

Ohio Promos and Bonuses

The addition of mobile sports betting in OH will mean bonuses and offers galore for anyone making wagers within state lines. We encourage everyone to maximize their bonus and offer exposure, since many of these first-time inducements result in real cash landing in sports bettors’ accounts, with little playthrough required (for the most part).

Ohio Sports Betting Quick Facts

Launch Date       Jan. 1, 2023
# of Betting Sites       TBD (up to 24)
Online Sports Betting       ✅ Yes (coming soon)
Retail Sports Betting       ✅ Yes (coming soon)
Online Casino       ❌ No
Retail Casino       ✅ Yes
College Sports Betting       ✅ Yes (coming soon)
2022 Population (est.)       11.8 million
Tax Rate       33 percent

Ohio Legal Sports Betting History

Here’s a look at Ohio’s sports betting history:

2020: HB 194 Falls Short

More than two years after the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, Representatives Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly co-sponsored Bill HB 194, which would allow for sports betting in Ohio.

The bill, which gave regulatory powers to the Ohio Lottery Commission, passed the House in May but did not get past the Senate.

2021: Ohio Gets Its Sports Betting Bill

Ohio started to see progress in its quest for legalized sports betting when Senator Kirk Schuring introduced Bill SB 176. It passed through the Senate by a near-unanimous margin – but instead of moving forward as a standalone bill, it was included as part of Bill HB 29, which was also rubber-stamped by the Senate.

Legislators worked on fine-tuning the bill ahead of the fall session, and those revisions went on into December. It was sent to the Legislative Service Commission on Dec. 1 as one of the final steps in the process, and was finally approved one week later; Governor Mike DeWine then signed it into law on Dec. 22.

2022: Lawmakers Set a Date

Now that Ohioans had the “what”, all that was left was the “when”. Well, that and the “who” – and it didn’t take long for the latter question to be answered. DraftKings secured market access in mid-February, just 10 days after Fubo Sportsbook entered into a partnership with the Cavaliers. On Feb. 24, the Cavs joined forces with Caesars.

Finally, on June 1, after months of waiting, sports bettors got the final answer they were looking for. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that sports betting would launch across the state on Jan. 1, 2023.

Responsible Gaming in Ohio

Like most states, Ohio has put safeguards in place to ensure that bettors have a way out of any potential trouble spots. 

Ohio for Responsible Gambling offers players help by directing them to any of four state-sponsored resources aimed at curbing gambling addiction. Players can enter a voluntary exclusion program via the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Visit the Ohio for Responsible Gaming site.

Sports Leagues to Bet On

It will come as no surprise to see a rather extensive list of major professional and amateur sports expected to be available to Ohio bettors – a list that includes (but is not limited to):

  • NFL
  • NCAA Football
  • NBA
  • NCAA Basketball
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • Golf
  • Auto Racing
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • MMA
  • Esports

That doesn’t leave much off the table, but there are two major markets in which wagering in Ohio is prohibited:

  • Politics
  • Entertainment (including major awards ceremonies)

Ohio Teams to Bet On

When discussing American sports hotbeds, Ohio is at the top of any conversation.

With six major professional sports teams, one of America’s largest collegiate fan bases and the mecca of pro football within its borders, Ohio has a rich sports history on par with just about any other state in the U.S. Imagine, then, what will happen when millions of sports-mad Ohioans can legally wager on their favorite teams.

Here’s a look at the sports betting partnership situations with the six major professional  franchises that play their home games in Ohio:

Cleveland Browns Betting

Whether they’re winning or losing, the Browns always seem to make headlines. And that serves Bally Bet well; the renowned sportsbook operator was the first to sign a partnership agreement with the NFL franchise, a deal that includes a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium ahead of Bally Bet’s official online sportsbook launch.

Cincinnati Bengals Betting

All is quiet at Paul Brown Stadium – at least, for the moment. But you can expect nearly every sportsbook looking to gain access to the Ohio market to be interested in a deal with the 2021-22 AFC champions. Look for an arrangement similar to the one Bally Bet has with the Browns, where the successful sportsbook will employ plenty of branding and signage around the stadium.

Cleveland Guardians Betting

The Guardians haven’t aligned with a sportsbook partner, but it’s just a matter of time before a partnership comes to fruition. While it’s unclear whether the Guardians will be looking for a simple branding partnership or an opportunity to offer an on-site betting venue, it’s inevitable that some betting connection will find its way to Progressive Field.

Cincinnati Reds Betting

The Reds are in the same boat as their American League rivals, without a sportsbook partner but in good position to align with at least one operator. Will the Great American Ballpark follow the lead of venues like Nationals Park and install its own sportsbook? That isn’t clear – but like the Guardians, sportsbook agreements are coming.

Cleveland Cavaliers Betting

Of all the Ohio-based pro sports teams, the Cavaliers are the most popular among early sportsbook suitors. Caesars Sportsbook has reached an agreement that will see it open a retail sportsbook on street level at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Fubo Gaming and Betway have also signed partnership deals with the Cavs.

Columbus Blue Jackets Betting

The Blue Jackets likely won’t have to wait much longer to join forces with one of the top sports betting operators in the market. Look for multiple partners to descend upon Nationwide Arena with gaming and signage deals – and who knows? Perhaps we’ll even see a branded sportsbook lounge once legalization is in place.

How to Bet in Ohio

Choose your sportsbook

When sports betting is legalized in Ohio, you can consult our top list for the best sports betting options available to you. Our interactive list will allow you to sort sportsbooks based on a number of criteria, including banking options, bonuses and quality of customer service.

If you’re looking for more information before making your choice, be sure to check out our detailed, unbiased reviews for each of the top sportsbooks in Ohio once sports betting is legalized. This is especially important if you want to understand how each book’s bonus offers work.

Register online

Registration requirements will vary slightly by sportsbook, but most follow the same protocols. Be sure to have your personal information (name, address, phone number) and credit card details (number, expiry date, CVV) handy.

Deposit and claim your bonus

Once you’re comfortable with how your sportsbook’s new signup bonus works, it will be time to make your initial deposit and claim that sweet bonus. The majority of first-time offers for Ohio residents should come in one of two forms:

  • Risk-free bets: This offer guarantees you a refund on your first wager if it is graded as a loss. The sportsbook will refund your initial bet amount (up to a specific limit) either as cash or as site credit.

  • Deposit match: This offer sees the sportsbook match your initial deposit dollar-for-dollar, though there are two caveats. The deposit match will come with a maximum limit, and in the majority of cases you will be required to “play through” your initial deposit by a certain multiple in order to earn the bonus.

Select and finalize your bet

Congratulations! You’re ready to place a wager. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the app interface before diving in. Most mobile operators make it easy for new sports bettors to navigate, but it’s still a good idea to know where everything is.

From there, you can place any type of wager you like; the most popular bet types are the moneyline, spread or total. You can also dive into team or player props, or even kick things off with a futures bet.

Once you have the desired wager(s) in your betting card, take one last look to ensure you’ve made the selections you want. If everything is good, simply click the “Bet” button – and you’re off!

Ohio Sports Betting FAQ

Can I legally wager on sports in the state of Ohio?

Not yet – but soon. Sports wagering in Ohio will become legal on Jan. 1, 2023. 

Will I be permitted to bet in Ohio even if I don’t live there?

You will be able to create an account, deposit, make bets and withdraw using any regulated mobile sports betting app in Ohio, as long as you are within state borders.

Will I be able to bet on esports in Ohio?

Esports is included in the state’s sports betting bill and will be legal.

How big is the Ohio sports betting market?

Ohio is the seventh-largest state in the U.S. in terms of population at 11.7 million people (2022 estimate). On Jan. 1, 2023, it will rank fourth among states that offer legal sports wagering, behind only New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois

How much tax will online sportsbooks pay in Ohio?

Operators in Ohio will fork over 10 percent of their gross gaming revenue in tax.

Which sportsbooks will be the first to operate in Ohio?

It’s clear, even months out from the launch date, that most of the industry’s heavy hitters will be active in Ohio from Day 1. FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, Barstool and BetRivers are among the sportsbooks expected to be in operation from the get-go, with a handful of others likely joining them.