Welcome to the Ohio Gambling Guide. Ohio state has a great variety of gambling options. It has a long history of gambling, as can be seen with the legislative changes and regulations throughout the past years.
- Online gambling is becoming extremely popular, even though the state laws are unclear regarding legality. The online casino, sports betting sites and bingo are available through offshore regulated and licensed casinos. State laws do not explicitly prohibit players from playing online gambling games, however, they are clear that no operator shall be based onshore.
- There is a handful of excellent land based casinos on offer. These are located at various strategic points in Ohio as required by the law.
- Electronic gaming in the form of Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) is permitted in the State and can be found at several licensed race tracks.
- Bingo, along with many other US States, is lawful under Charitable gaming laws. Accordingly there are many bingo halls that are operated by non for profit organizations throughout the state. Law elements of online bingo share the same ambiguity as that of online casino activity. And therefore, bingo sites are offshore licensed and regulated.
- Sports betting remains illegal at the time of writing, with hope that it will be regulated, licensed and operational by 2022. Sport bets can be placed at offshore sports betting sites.
Online gambling can be broken down into five distinct activities – casino, sports betting, bingo, poker games and horse race betting.
All five forms of gambling, in reality fall under different sections of Ohio State Law. But the common denominator of these forms is the distribution of online, in which the laws do not specifically address. With no direction of legal status of online gambling, it is implied that the laws governing land based may also be applied for online.
As a result, no onshore operator is permitted to operate an online site, and therefore no onshore sites are available to Ohio residents. Online sites can be found which are offshore licensed and regulated in their respective jurisdictions.
Best 5 Ohio Online Casinos
|El Royale Casino
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|Vegas Casino Online
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|Red Dog Casino
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Online casinos are quickly growing in popularity with the current land based environment impacted by the events of the pandemic. Caution is being exercised by many Players, not only for their safety but for others as well. Accordingly, you will be able to find many Online Casinos that accept Ohio players. The Ohio Online Casinos are all based offshore, are licensed and regulated. With these measures in place, Ohio players can be comforted that the majority of online casinos are safe to play at, but to be sure, we strongly recommend choosing from our top 5 Ohio Online Casino list.
Our top online casinos for Ohio (as listed above), all use the latest SSL internet technology, and offer secure payment methods that are common, trusted and processed by reputable financial institutions. These include: VISA, MasterCard, Bitcoin (BTC), Instant Gift Cards. Some also accept American Express and Neteller and Skrill (though extremely rare).
Casino Bonuses are extremely important in selecting an online casino. We have therefore displayed some of the best casino bonuses that can be found whilst balancing other important criteria such as safety and security as previously mentioned. However, for ease of reference, we have listed them according to the size of bonus.
Ohio Live Casinos
Live Casinos are the most popular form of online gambling for Ohio Players at the moment. The benefits and convenience far surpass those of playing at a land based casino. In today’s environment where health and safety is paramount, it’s a no brainer that Live Casinos is being favored.
Alongside safety, Live Casinos have various innovative features which bring more action and excitement than one could previously imagine.
Live Casino Features
Unlimited Bet Behind – you could never do this at a real land based casinos, but online you can! If you observe a player who is on a hot streak, or one you think is going to win, you can bet behind them (with them). Irrespective of how many other Players already have, you can always place a Bet Behind – their is no limitation. You can Bet Behind as many times as you like, as often as you like. Bet Behinds is a fantastic feature which allow for more action, when you need it!
HD Streaming – crystal clear, state of the art streaming to your playing device is no longer a dream. It is here and now and available to you at Live Casinos. As a subset of this feature, you get to see various camera angles to enhance the interactive gaming action. (Just like WSOP). Of course, the quality of Live Casino streaming will require you to have reliable internet connection speeds. Generally, for Ohio Players, we would have sufficient bandwidth to enable quality HD streaming.
Instant Chat Messaging – who isn’t familiar with using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger? Instant Chat Messaging is a natural fit for Live Casinos, which allows Players to communicate with each other and with the Dealer. It’s a great feature that utilises social media internet innovation.
Live Casino Blackjack Advance Play – are you tired of waiting for your turn, only for the obvious to be said? Well at Live Casinos for blackjack, you can now submit your decision in advance of your turn. The concept is very simple. As an example, if you already know you will “sit” because you have two tens, then you can click “sit” immediately without waiting for your turn. This churns the rotation of the blackjack rounds much faster than a land based blackjack game. You now have more action and excitement than ever before.
In June 2018, the Federal laws governing sports betting that prevented States from independently legislating were overturned by the Supreme Court, and began a catalyst of sports betting law reformation throughout the US. Ohio continues to proceed through the Senate and House to gain approval of legalizing sports betting.
In the meantime, the current laws remain unclear regarding online sports betting for Ohio bettors. The land based laws clearly stipulate that no onshore sportsbook whether online or through physical windows and terminals is allowed, and therefore all sports betting sites are all established as offshore.
The events of 2020 has completely stalled the online sports betting industry. Therefore many of the online sports betting sites have closed. In an endeavor to kick start the betting action, we have found that BetOnline.ag offers the best odds, bonuses and safety and security for Ohio bettors.
Bovada has a long standing history of both online casino and sports betting, and therefore we rank Bovada second on our list for top sports betting sites.
Read more: Ohio Sports Betting
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a relatively new comer to the gaming industry. It promotes the fun of bettors creating fictitious teams (fantasy team) based on real players and seeing which would win on real player performance.
This form of gambling came to be born due to the advancement of technology. The sheer volume of data required to operate a game could not be previously performed manually with pen and paper. However in today’s world with automated sports player data sets, speed of calculation of odds, winners and prize pools, the scalability exists and is now available to the world.
DFS has been disputed to be a game of skill, which therefore disassociates the legality from traditional sports betting (which is considered a game of luck). In the State of Ohio, laws continue to remain ambiguous. There is no explicit prohibition of onshore DFS operators and therefore companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel accept Ohio Players.
For some astute readers, you may have noticed that we do not promote any ads or links to DFS providers. Though we recognize that there is an increasingly popularity of DFS, the game itself is actually not openly fair to players. Unfortunately DFS winners are dominated by “Players” which use advanced data modelling. They then take advantage of competing in prize pools which target new players who believe that everyone is playing for “fun”. New players will therefore consistently lose, without being aware that they cannot win against experts who are at times collaborating among themselves. As a result, we do not promote DFS onshore or offshore providers on this site.
Read more: How to play DFS
Top 3 Ohio Online Bingo Sites
Ohio Bingo Legality
Ohio bingo laws are enshrined under Charitable gaming statutes. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address or permit online bingo by local operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Ohio players are also based offshore (as per online casinos and sports betting sites).
Our top 3 online bingo sites all accept players from Ohio. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!
Ohio Casinos Overview
There are four land based casinos strategically placed in the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo:
- Hard Rock Cincinnati (Formerly known as Jack Horseshoe Cincinnati)
- Jack Horseshoe Cleveland
- Hollywood Columbus
- Hollywood Toledo
The four casinos are relatively large and provide a playing experience which can be compared with Vegas (although they are geographically dispersed unlike the Vegas strip). If you are a fan of table games, then head to the Jack casino or Hard Rock, whilst if you are a slots fan head over to the Hollywood casinos.
We display the approximate revenue numbers in the below tables, which can give you an idea as to how popular each casino is for their gaming.
|Hard Rock Cincinnati
|Hard Rock Cincinnati
Hard Rock Cincinnati [Reopened]
1000 Broadway Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
The Hard Rock was previously part of the Jack’s Entertainment Group. Since changing ownership, it has reopened late June 2020 amidst the fight against Covid-19. They have created an especially safe environment and their professionalism is highly commended.
Upon entering the parking, you must drive up to the 4th level to park. They have removed the valet parking service, as a means of protecting employees.
After parking, there are clearly marked signs on the floor which will guide you to the nearest elevator. An employee will greet you and hand out masks which are free of charge (The wearing of masks is mandatory). You may need to be patient and wait, because the number of visitors in the elevator is limited to four only.
Having caught the elevator, your ID and temperature will be checked.
Most of the slot machines and gaming tables remain in the same positions as before the shutdown. Transparent plastic barriers have been installed between dealers and visitors, that can make talking a little difficult, but nothing to seriously complain about.
Stationed throughout the casino are many hand sanitizers. You will never be more than a few feet away from one.
Overall the gaming experience is still excellent, with much fun to be had.
Hollywood Casino Columbus [Reopened]
Mon – Fri Closed 3am to 7am
200 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43228
At the time of writing (08/10/2020) Hollywood Casino has reopened, but with 50% limited capacity. All live performances remain suspended indefinitely with dining confined to only three restaurants.
Mask wearing is mandatory at all times on the premises when you are playing at the table games, and highly encouraged at other areas.
Staff members are subjected to regular temperature and health checks, with slot machines and video poker machines regularly cleansed. Conveniently located throughout the premises are hand sanitizing stations.
Hollywood Casino Toledo [Reopened 24×7]
1968 Miami St. Toledo, Ohio 43605
Hollwood Casino Toledo, alongside Columbus, has re-opened with a limited maximum capacity of 50%. The same regulations apply which include:
All patrons are encouraged to wear masks on the premises, and is mandatory when playing table games.
Slot machines are set apart with social distancing measures in force.
All patron will be subjected to a temperature check before entering the premise.
All staff will be required to wear masks at all times, and will be subject to a health check each day before they work.
Conveniently placed hand santizing stations are available for players and staff to regularly use.
Signs are displayed to remind patrons of social distancing measures and hand santizing.
JACK Cleveland [Reopened 24×7]
100 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Reconfigured to allow for social distancing, you will find that slot machines are further spaced apart, and table games with reduce seating.
All table game players will be required to wear masks, if you do not have one, the casino will provide one free of charge to you. Staff will be required to wear masks at all time, irrespective of whether they are dealing at the table games or not.
Valet parking is still suspended, as well as live performances and the buffet.
Signage and markings have been installed to remind players of social distancing measures.
Slot Machine Ownership
The gambling laws of Ohio Revised Code defines slot machines as:
“any mechanical, electrical, or other device or machine which, upon insertion of a coin, token, ticket, or similar object, or upon payment of any consideration, is available to play or operate….”
Private ownership of slot machines in Ohio is without age limitation unlike various other US States which require the slot machine to be 25 years
- State Legislation authorizes four casinos at different geographical locations within Ohio
- There are seven racetrack casinos within the market, with commercially operated VLT’s
- Ohio State Lottery is authorized to offer both instant and online lottery products.
- Bingo activity is authorized for charitable gaming;
- State law does not expressly prohibit online gambling but does prohibit onshore online operators from operating within the market
Legal Minimum Gambling Age
- 18 for lottery, pari-mutuel and bingo (live and online) products
- 21 for casino and slots machine betting
Tax rates are regulated and collected by the Ohio Casino Control Commission for Casino activity, whilst racing tax proceeds are under the responsibility of the Ohio State Racing Commission.
- Casino activity is taxed at 33% of gross gaming revenue.
- Racinos are taxed at 33.5% gross gaming revenue.
Regulation and Governance
- Ohio Constitution
- Ohio Revised Code
Ohio Gambling Market Developments
The State legalized casinos in November 2009, authorizing four casinos to be built across Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Tolo. The four casinos were opened between May 2012 and March 2013.
Slots machines at racetracks were lobbied for in 2009, but were withdrawn from the 2010 November ballot, due to both the legalization of casinos and the proposed number of slots machines planned to be introduced to the market (17k), which was considered by regulatory authorities, to be too high.
Scientific Games signed a two-year contract with the state lottery to provide instant games, marketing and interactive services.
Senator Bill Coley, introduced SB356, to define daily fantasy sports and other games that charge a rake, as “schemes of chance” which would make them illegal under the state’s current gambling laws. The bill authorizes the operation of such games on a not-for-profit basis provided 100% of the entry fee pool is returned to the participants as prizes.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission considered a number of regulations to combat the operation of illegal gaming machines. Skill based gaming machines are permitted in the state provided they do not offer cash prizes. If enacted, the regulations would require the Casino Control Commission to license and monitor all gaming machine operators and shut down those who offer machines that award cash prizes.
Senator Bill Seitz introduced a bill to the Senate to repeal a ban on casino employees gambling at casinos in the State. SB265 sought to amend section 3772.99 of the Revised Code to allow employees of casinos to gamble at any casino that is not affiliated with the facility where they are employed.
The Senate unanimously approved SB265 without amendment. The bill progressed to the House for consideration.
Senators Dave Burke and Cliff Hite introduced a bill to authorize and regulate daily fantasy sports. SB375 sets out a regulatory framework for the industry and would entrust the Casino Control Commission with the licensing and regulation of operators.
HB132 was introduced to classify daily fantasy sports as a game of skill and therefore remove it from the state’s definition of illegal gambling. The bill sets out a regulatory framework to govern the industry and directs the Casino Control Commission to license operators and oversee the activity. Annual license fees are set at $30k.
The House added a clause to the state 2017 – 18 budget to permit race tracks to operate video poker games. The proposal would expand the current products permitted at race tracks by allowing video poker to be installed onto the track’s existing gaming machines.
The budget requires approval by the Senate and Governor if it is to take effect.
Daily fantasy sports regulation bill HB132, was passed by both chambers of the legislature following its final readings. The bill progressed to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
Senator Joe Schiavoni announced plans to introduce a bill to regulate and legalize sports betting across the state after the SCOTUS decision struck down PASPA.
Senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien introduced SB316 and House Representative David Greenspan introduced corresponding bill HB714 to state the intent to develop and enact legislation to legalize sports betting across the state. No details regarding the potential regulative environment were included in either bills at this stage.
The State Lottery launched a mobile-enabled lottery card which allows customers to credit online accounts and purchase draw game tickets via their mobile.
Senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien introduced legislation to authorize and regulate sports betting. SB111 would allow the state’s casinos and racinos to offer land based and online sports betting and proposed a 6.25% tax on gross win.
Representatives Dave Greenspan and Brigid Kelly introduced legislation to authorize and regulate sports betting. HB194 would legalize the activity in the state and establish the Sports Gaming Advisory Board to develop regulations to govern the industry. The bill proposed a 10% tax on gross win.
The Casino Control Commission gave its final approval to regulations to govern daily fantasy sports games in the state and announced it would begin the licensing process on 3 September 2019. The Commission stated that operators already active in the state must submit applications before 3 October 2019 in order to continue uninterrupted.
Ohio’s House Finance Committee resumed hearings on bill SB194 that would regulate online and retail sports betting under the supervision of the Ohio Lottery Commission.
The House approved sports betting bill SB194 which would authorize and regulate online and retail sports betting. The bill progressed to the Senate for approval.