- Ohio Sports Betting remains illegal with the exception of offshore sports betting.
- Changes to the law may occur this year.
- There is hope that lawmakers will work together and get sports betting legalized.
Welcome to your Ohio Sports Betting Guide! We provide you with the current gambling environment, discuss the difficulties of legalizing sports betting in Ohio, what will it take to become legalized and where to play in the mean time.
If you are looking to join in on the sports betting action then read on!
Top 3 Ohio Sportsbook Online
Leading the way in turnover for 2019 is casino revenue – taking up the monster portion of all forms of gambling. Of the casino revenue, over 60% is generated from slot machines with the remainder from table games.
The state lottery is doing extremely well with Instants, Keno, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Mega Millions all making it into the top 10 of revenue contributors.
Horse racing remains a popular form of betting in the state generating $190m, which is quite substantial.
Coming in at the bottom, we see a total of $34 million wagered at Online offshore sports betting sites.
|Gambling Type||2019 $m (USD)|
|Horse Race Betting||190|
|Sports Betting – Online Offshore||34|
US Sports Gambling Legality
Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years. Ohio sports betting turnover for 2019 was $34 million, wagered via online sport betting sites. These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open accept US players.
Is this illegal?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – Ohio is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are two aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.
Ohio State Sports Gambling Laws
2019 showed a lot of promise but fizzled out when it was clear the House and the Senate could not resolve their differences.
In the left corner of the boxing ring, the Senate stands by their bill OH SB111. The bill would give rise to the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulating the sports betting industry. It would include 11 casinos and racinos permitted to offer sport bets, but exclude independent retailers such as bars and clubs. Taxed at 10% with funds directed to the states educational programs and gambling addiction programs.
In the right corner we have the House, who have out forward the bill OH HB194. The bill would give authority to the Ohio Lottery Commission to regulate the sports betting industry but have the Ohio Casino Control Commission be the enforcer. The House bill would allow for casino, racinos and independent retailers. Taxed at 6.5% and funds to be directed to the states general fund.
This two combatants have been fighting it out for the past year, but very much shadow boxing each other. Nothing is eventuating and it seems to be the same for 2020.
Which is a shame because Ohio is now sandwiched between three states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Indiana – that already legalized sports betting and offer mobile services. And this means if a sports bettor really wants to bet, they will simply travel interstate or play at an offshore sports betting site online.
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the trusted big brand names.
How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?
It is illegal to run a sports book or place a sports bet within the borders of Ohio. Other than placing a sports bet at an offshore online sports book the only other option is to travel interstate to Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Indiana where sports betting has been legalized.
Ohio Sports Bars
721 Bolivar Rd, Cleveland, Ohio
This is the best sports bar in Cleveland, Ohio. If Bill Murray comes here to perform an impromptu, then you know this place can be trusted to be good.
Only a short stroll to the Progressive Field where the Indians play, or to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (previously known as Quicken Loans Arena), the home court for the Cavaliers, Monsters and Gladiators, it makes Victory super convenient for those pre and post game celebrations.
The walls hold massive TVs and there’s a fantastic patio very close the the out-going or in-going fans to the games. One of the best, if not the best, sports bar in town.
834 Huron Rd E, Cleveland, Ohio
If you can’t get into the Victory, then come to the Clevelander. Almost as good as the Victory, but lacks that little bit and is a little bit smaller. Still a lot of fun to be had here. They have a beautiful Cleveland Cav’s little hoops arcade machine, a LeBron James signed singlet hanging off the wall, and approximately 8 tv screens hanging from the ceiling. A lot of fans come here before an Indians game.
The food and drinks are great, large variety of cocktails and local beer is on offer. Not too pricey, reasonable to be fair. This sports bar is great for true Cleveland fans.
Ohio Sport Team Bets
Ohio is fortunate to have so many professional teams. Sports betting on the Cleveland Cav’s and the Indians is very very popular. Two of the most supported professional teams in Ohio.
Sports Betting Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Gone are the good ol’ days of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love bringing home the bacon and being competitive in a “weak” Eastern Conference. Today Cav’s languish at the bottom of the table. They are in “rebuild” mode with potential player revolt a daily event. A disgruntled Andre Drummond has joined the team from the Detroit Pistons with both Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson wanting to be traded.
NFL – Ohio has two NFL teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
MLB – Ohio has two Major League Baseball teams, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds.
NHL – Ohio has one NHL ice hockey teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets.