The Ohio legislature has been trying to pass legal online sports betting since the federal ban was lifted in 2018.
Until late last year, legal sports betting business had been flowing out of the state, with four of the five states bordering Ohio having already legalized sports betting.
A top ten state in terms of population, with more than 11 million people, the Buckeye state finally got its wish in December of 2022 when the House passed Ohio sports betting bill HB 29, legalizing retail, online, and mobile sports betting. Collegiate sports betting included.
Joining more than half the country in legalizing sports betting, the Ohio sports betting bill allows for the operation of at least 25 sports betting licenses in Ohio. With mobile horse racing and daily fantasy sports already legal in the state, Ohio should have an easy time expanding into online sports betting.
With well-established online sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps refining their processes, legal online sports betting state by state, and competing for customers, there has never been a better time to be a sports bettor. Soon, Ohio will be in on the action.
Ohio State University and Cincinnati Bengals fans will be happy to hear the state plans to go live on the first of 2023, giving sports bettors plenty of time to clean up during the football postseason. The launch date is also in the middle of the NBA season and well before NCAA March Madness.
Below we cover the best Ohio sports betting sites based on sports offered, ways to wager, welcome bonuses, and overall online sports betting experience.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?
Ohio had multiple failed attempts at passing sports betting legislation before Governor Mike DeWine signed an amended version of HB 29 into law last year.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which oversees the daily fantasy sports of sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo!, will supervise all things Ohio sports betting.
The decision to give the Ohio Casino Control Commission was the source of some negotiation, as many in the legislature wanted the Lottery Commission to regulate the sports betting industry, but the consensus is having the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulate sports betting is better for bettors in the state because it will ensure a more open and competitive marketplace.
Ohio professional sports teams have already begun partnering with online sports betting sites, including the MLS’s Columbus Crew (Tipico), MLB’s Cincinnati Reds (WynnBET), NFL’s Cleveland Browns (Bally Bet), and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers (Betway, Caesars, FanDuel, and Fubo). The Cleveland Cavaliers being the first.
One significant difference in the Ohio sports betting bill, compared to other states, is the addition of thousands of sports betting kiosks coming to local establishments, similar to what FanDuel and the Phoenix Suns have going.
Ohio sports betting legislation timeline:
- March 2019 – Senate Bill 111 is introduced.
- December 2020 – Senate couldn’t come to an agreement. SB 111 dies in committee.
- May 2021 – SB 176 is introduced. The sports betting bill requires retail sportsbooks to be stand-alone operations, thus excluding casinos and horse race tracks from taking part.
- June 2021 – Ohio State Senate passes SB 176 by a vote of 31-2 on Jun. 16. The sports betting bill was amended shortly after to include casinos and racinos (31-0). The House fails to bring a vote before sessions end.
- August 2021 – House Bill 29 makes its way to the House.
- December 2021 – HB 29 passes by a vote of 103-13 on Dec. 8. HB 29 was officially signed into law on Dec. 22.
5 Highest-Rated OH Sports Betting Apps August 2022
2 x Risk-Free Bets Up To $2,000
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- Earn Caesars Rewards
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Up To $1,000 Deposit Bonus
- The best sportsbook
- Amazing odds & offers
Up To $1,000 Deposit Bonus
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- Convenient banking
- Massive choice of sports
Up To $1,000 Risk Free Bet
Not all sportsbooks are created equal, and because of their early adoption around the country, DraftKings and FanDuel can offer better odds, more bets, and more ways to wager on them.
Thanks to their daily fantasy sports dominance in Ohio, new bettors may already be familiar with the two sports betting behemoths. Novice bettors and seasoned vets alike will be amazed at the number of options.
After that, it goes BetMGM, Caesars, and then everyone else. With already established retail sportsbook and casino properties around the globe, the pair of sports betting sites have had the easiest time making up ground on DraftKings and FanDuel and separating itself from the rest of the competition. Primarily by offering clean layouts, competitive odds, ongoing promotions, and a decent amount of same-game parlays similar to DraftKings and FanDuel.
Mobile users will find that the sportsbook apps mirror the browser edition for the most part. Some features may be tucked away, but everything should be just a few clicks away.
Welcome bonuses help mitigate much of the risk, giving new Ohio bettors peace of mind while finding their forever sportsbook. It’s not uncommon for bettors to have a few online sports betting accounts in hopes of getting better odds on one of them. Ongoing promos, including profit boosts, will keep bettors well-stocked with free bets.
#1 DraftKings Sportsbook OH
DraftKings also has a longstanding DFS presence in Ohio, and new bettors can expect the same reliable experience with the online sportsbook. DraftKings Sportsbook offers more than two dozen sports, various ways to wager on events, and plenty of profit boosts.
Along with an extensive list of sports betting options, DraftKings features a helpful event information section with everything a prospective bettor may want to see before placing a wager, including stats, write-ups, sports betting trends, and the success of specific prop bets. All without having to leave the browser or app.
The nifty prop bets section can be broken down in various ways to zoom in or out, with options including the last five or ten contests, the entire season, head-to-head, or after a win or loss.
DraftKings gives new users 20 percent back on their first deposit up to $1,000. Bettors must deposit a minimum of $10. Rollover requirements are high, with the online sportsbook releasing $1 for every $25 wagered. Be on the lookout for ongoing promos involving odds boosts on high-profile players and events.
#2 FanDuel OH Sportsbook
Already operating in Ohio as a horse racing (TVG) and daily fantasy sports provider, FanDuel Sportsbook hopes to convert its massive user base into bettors. FanDuel is the highest-rated Ohio sports betting app, beating out DraftKings by 0.1, for a few reasons.
With just 17 sports to pick from, the online sportsbook offers less choice than DraftKings, allowing them to focus on a sleek look and more ways to bet on the same game. Pioneers of the same-game parlay, FanDuel, forced the competition’s hand after seeing how successful the sportsbook has been. Same-game parlays allow bettors to combine multiple prop bets from the same event to raise the odds and risk substantially.
To welcome new bettors, FanDuel offers a risk-free first bet up to $1,000 to anyone who deposits at least $10. If a wager strikes out, the bet will be refunded in the form of free bet credits within three days. Free bets don’t have to be used in one lump sum, but will expire in seven days unless otherwise specified.
Keep an eye out for ongoing risk-free bet opportunities, usually in the form of multi-leg parlays with specific betting odds requirements. For folks looking to bet the ponies, new TVG horse racing users can use promo code RISKFREE300 to secure a risk-free first bet up to $200 on their first deposit. The site can be accessed directly from FanDuel by selecting horse racing in the sidebar or choosing Facebook from the options at the top.
#3 BetMGM Sportsbook OH
One of the largest casino conglomerates in the world, and operator of a resort and casino in Northfield Park, Ohio, MGM is making waves in the sports betting game. BetMGM was the first, along with PointsBet, to apply for sports betting licenses in Ohio.
The BetMGM sportsbook is a bit busy but highly intuitive and gives bettors 23 sports to choose from. Well-defined lines and boxes offset the white space that plagues many online sportsbook layouts. Thanks to icons, sports betting options stand out even further than other sportsbooks. Navigation is made easy with the addition of the most popular sports and account links posted across the top.
To bring Ohio bettors their way, BetMGM is giving new users a risk-free first bet up to $1,000. Be sure to use promo code GAMBLEUSA when creating an account to lock in the bet insurance. Losing wagers will be credited as free bet credits within 24 hours. Users will have seven days to use their free bets.
#4 Caesars Sportsbook OH
Through its mergers with Eldorado Resorts and William Hill, Caesars Sportsbook has become a massive casino company in recent years. Because of the deal, Caesars owns Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs in Franklin County, Ohio.
Caesars has closed the gap in a hurry with a selection of 18 sports, a favorite section for sports you frequent, profit boosts, and all the bells and whistles, albeit limited, a sports bettor could ask for. Despite a bland browser layout, Caesars is able to attract and retain bettors with the help of competitive odds, especially on combat sports.
Caesars’ bet insurance up to $1,500 is tough to beat if a large risk-free first bet is what you’re after. New users must register their Caesars account using promo code GUSA15 to receive the welcome bonus. Any free bet credits will expire in 14 days.
#5 Barstool Sportsbook OH
One of the more prominent gambling companies in the US and owners of the Hollywood Casino brand, which counts four different locations in Ohio, Penn National Gaming also powers the Barstool Sportsbook.
Along with an easy-on-the-eyes layout, similar to BetMGM with options on both the side and across the top, but with less clutter, Barstool features 22 sports, including eSports, which none of the other top Ohio sports betting apps listed can say.
With an extensive entertainment network in place before sports betting, Barstool chooses to spend a minimal amount on advertising its sports betting app. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve skimped on investing in the sportsbook or giving back to bettors.
Barstool’s welcome bonus is on par with the competition, as the Ohio sports betting site offers a risk-free first bet up to $1,000. Any free bet credits require a one-time playthrough which is restricted to lines -200 or longer (i.e., -110, +100, +200). Bettors have 30 days to rollover any free bets.
All Legal Ohio Betting Apps
As soon as the necessary amendments and changes have been made for Ohio sports betting to begin, the following are the brands you will be able to use for your bets. Each has applied for a license and rushes to capitalize on the new market:
Legally Betting on Sports in Ohio
More than half the country has paved the way for legal sports betting in the Buckeye State going smoothly. Especially considering daily fantasy sports and horse racing are already legal in Ohio.
Getting started with any of the top sportsbooks in Ohio is a breeze.
Qualifying players must be 21 years of age and located within the borders of the state of Ohio. A geolocation check will be performed to verify you are where you say you are.
After successfully installing the app, you’ll need to create an account by providing some standard personal information, including your name, date of birth, address, phone number, email, and the first four of your social security number. The process should only take a few minutes to complete.
Download the App
All the top Ohio online sports betting sites have mobile versions for iOS and Android, which can be found in their respective app stores. To download a mobile sportsbook, search the online sports betting app of your choice and follow the installation instructions. Some operators may even choose to go mobile-app only in OH.
Additional account verification may be required, including the ability to provide back and front photos of your ID, a selfie, or email confirmation.
A sports bettor’s first deposit is an opportunity to maximize profits and minimize losses. The sports betting industry has settled on a few standard ways to welcome new users, including a deposit bonus or a risk-free first bet, resulting in free bet credits.
Bonuses for new players
Deposit bonuses are usually the most bang for your buck as they require a small deposit and possibly a nominal first wager to unlock a hundred dollars or more in bet credits. Risk-free bets act as bet insurance if the wager goes south. If the wager loses, money will be refunded within a few days through free bet credits.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions before making any moves. Some bonuses have specific requirements, and free bets often have an expiration date. Credit may be handed out in installments depending on the bet’s size. Free bets will not be included in the payout.
Are Winnings from Betting Apps Taxable in Ohio?
Winning Buckeye State bettors must report all gambling winnings to the IRS regardless of the amount. The state has set a tax rate of 10 percent. It’s often misreported that you don’t owe taxes on winnings less than $600. In actuality, the payer must report all winnings to the IRS when someone has won more than $600 or more than 300 times their initial stake.
Potential Tax Revenue for Ohio
At the pace sports betting is growing, previous estimates of revenue generated can be thrown out the window. Ohio has a similar population to its legal sports betting neighbor Pennsylvania, which did $84 million in November of 2021. Their most considerable one-month sports betting revenue in over three years of legalized sports betting.
Recent one-month tax revenue for Ohio’s neighboring states:
- Pennsylvania Sports Betting – $49 million
- Michigan Sports Betting – $32 million
- Indiana Sports Betting – $30 million
- West Virginia Sports Betting – $4 million
Features of Ohio Betting Apps
The top Ohio sports betting sites will have similar features, welcome bonuses, ongoing promos, intuitive layouts, and banking options. Bettors in Ohio can’t go wrong when choosing one of the sportsbooks listed above.
Sports betting apps in Ohio feature various instant deposit methods, including bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and PayPal. Other banking methods include eCheck, PayNearMe, and Play+. Some sports betting sites have even started accepting Apple Pay and Venmo.
Withdrawal options won’t be as plentiful and may take anywhere from a day to two week. If you plan to use multiple Ohio sports betting apps, something we recommend, PayPal will become your best friend. It seems to have been most widely adopted as a way to get bettors their bankrolls.
Besides sportsbook welcome bonuses, sports betting sites feature ongoing promos to keep bettors engaged, including parlay bet insurance and profit boosts. Parlay insurance is similar to the risk-free first bet but usually has specific requirements which must be met. These criteria include the number of legs combined and the odds needed. Profit boosts can be provided by the sportsbook on high-profile players and events or by your own creation.
Sports Betting Options
The majority of legal sports betting sites offer anywhere from a handful of sports to more than two dozen, with many professional sports leagues within those options and various ways to wager on players and outcomes. Sports betting falls into a few categories: moneylines, point spreads, under/overs for most contests, hundreds of prop bets, futures, live betting, and more.
- Moneyline – The most simple wager to make. Bettors are wagering on the outright winner. A minus sign next to the number will indicate the favorite and a plus sign will signify the underdog. The number represents the payout on a $100 wager.
- Point Spread – The number posted is the perceived margin of victory. For a bet on a favorite to cash, the outcome must go over the number. The inverse is true when betting on underdogs.
- Over/Under – Along with team and game point totals, most prop bets will be in the form of (o) overs and (u) unders. Bettors are wagering on whether the number goes over or under what is posted.
- Prop Bets – The number of ways to wager on an event are growing by the day. Prop bets allow bettors to wager on player and team statistical outcomes within the contest.
- Futures – Available during the season and prior, futures bets are wagers which can be made on things like the league champion, team win totals, and season award winners.
- Live Betting – In-play wagering is a great way to keep up with the action and can be to the bettor’s advantage if they see something before the oddsmakers do. Bets will be limited compared to pregame, and the odds are constantly changing. Be sure to act fast as wagers lock/unlock regularly.
The Buckeye State is home to nine professional sports teams and 12 D-I Universities, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ohio State University. All of which are available to wager on.
Safety & Support
Legal online sportsbooks in the US use industry-standard encryption technology to protect sensitive personal information and ensure secure transactions. For those seeking support, start with the FAQ. Live chats can resolve minor issues, and email for more complicated problems.
Understanding responsible gaming is of the utmost importance, and in online sportsbooks’ best interest, the majority will provide easy-to-find contact information for those looking to get help. Taking a proactive approach, many of the best Ohio sports betting sites also allow users to set time limits, deposit limits, and lockout periods.
Ohio Sports Betting vs Other States
With the Ohio sports betting law allowing for a large number of licenses, mobile sports betting, kiosks, and zero limitations on college sports, there is nothing in HB 29 holding back Ohio from having a successful sports betting launch.
In the next evolution of online sports betting, kiosk locations will include restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, golf courses, hotels, convenience stores, truck stops, and supermarkets. Created for the casual bettor, these stations will be limited to moneylines, spreads, over/unders, and simple parlays. Individual Ohio sports bettors can wager up to $700 a week across all sports betting kiosks.
Ohio Casinos: Partners of the Best OH Betting Apps
Retail sports betting can be found all over the state for those looking to do some sports wagering the old-fashion way.
- FanDuel – Belterra Park (Anderson Township)
- HardRock – HardRock Casino (Cincinnati)
- DraftKings – Hollywood Casino Toledo (Toledo)
- Unibet – Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway (Dayton)
- PointsBet – Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course (Austintown)
- BetMGM – MGM Northfield Park (Northfield)
- Caesars – Scioto Downs Racino (Columbus)
- Barstool – Hollywood Casino Columbus (Columbus)
- JACK – Jack Cleveland Casino (Cleveland)
Is online sports betting legal in Ohio?
Sports betting is legal in Ohio, thanks to sports betting legislation HB 29 passing at the end of 2021. Options for sports wagering will go live on the first of 2023.
Is legal sports betting in Ohio safe?
Legal sports betting is safe and reliable. All Ohio sports betting operators are licensed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission and work with internal and independent auditors to ensure a fair process. All the sportsbooks mentioned above are rated highly.
Are there any sports betting bonuses or promotions?
To keep bettors engaged and bankrolls afloat, Ohio sports betting sites offer welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions, resulting in free bet credits. Requirements may vary. Free bets often have an expiration date.