Bills Introduced to Legalize Sports Betting in Ohio
Betting on sports in Ohio is not prohibited by law, but it is illegal for anyone to offer bets on sports within the state. This includes online bookmakers and sportsbooks, and you won’t find any currently operating in the state.
There are a pair of legal bills that were introduced this year that seek to make betting on sports in Ohio legal. House Bill 194 would legalize mobile betting and retail sportsbooks at racetracks and casinos throughout the state of Ohio. HB 194 sets a 10% tax on all sports betting revenue and would allow betting on both professional and collegiate sports. The Ohio Lottery Commission would oversee the sports betting industry.
Senate Bill 111 also calls for both mobile and retail sports betting to be legalized. The Ohio Casino Control Commission would operate the sports betting industry, and wagers on professional and collegiate sports would be legal. SB111 calls for a 6.25% tax on all sports betting revenue.
Where Can I Play Casino Games in Ohio?
Ohio didn’t have any commercial land-based casinos until 2009 when the state gave licenses to four casinos in major cities. There are over 18,000 video gaming machines now located throughout Ohio, but online casinos are not allowed by state law.
The state has been focusing on legalizing online sports betting over the last few years, but there have not been similar discussions involving the legalization of online casinos. All casino betting must be done onsite at brick-and-mortar casinos. There have been no bills introduced to legalize online casino gambling of any kind, so don’t expect any legal casino sites to be available in Ohio anytime soon.
Where Can You Play Poker in Ohio?
Poker is legal in Ohio, but only at the four brick-and-mortar casinos that are regulated. There are two Horseshoe Casinos and two Hollywood Casinos.
Online poker sites have not been authorized in Ohio. Residents of Ohio that wish to play online poker will need to travel to a nearby state or resort to playing free online poker games. There haven’t been any bills introduced in either the House or the Senate to make online poker legal in OH.
Ohio’s Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Laws
The Buckeye State might have strict laws when it comes to online sports betting or online gaming, but they are relaxed when it comes to daily fantasy sports. House Bill 132 legalized fantasy sports betting throughout the state.
The bill also set to establish measures that would protect the consumer and ensured that fair games were taking place. Resources were also made available to DFS players if they had a gambling problem. Governor John Kasich signed HB132 into law on Dec. 17.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission made some additional regulations in 2019 to the daily fantasy sports laws in the state. Proposition-style fantasy betting is now prohibited in Ohio, and auto-drafting a lineup is also prohibited by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
All fantasy sites operating in the state of Ohio must pay a fee of $3,000-$30,000 depending on the number of Ohio customers they have. DFS operators in Ohio are not forced to pay any taxes on revenue.
The Ohio Lottery Offers a Wide Variety of Games
The Ohio Lottery Commission was formed in 1973 after the approval from voters. The first Ohio Lottery game took place in August 1974 and has been in place ever since. In 2019, the Ohio Lottery launched “iLottery,” which offers numerous games such as KENO and EZPlay Games. The “iLottery” also gives customers a chance to purchase scratch off tickets online.
The Ohio state lottery is used to fund education throughout the state. The Ohio Lottery Commission could also be put in charge of the sports betting industry if House Bill 194 passes and becomes law.
Other Facts About Gambling in Ohio
Ohio has been one of the slowest states in the country to expand the gaming industry, but gambling dates back to the 1800s. Horse racing began in tracks in the city of Cleveland, and others eventually popped up across the state. The Grand Circuit was created in the 1870s to oversee the growing horse racing industry.
As a state, Ohio eventually took control of the horse racing industry in 1933, and that’s the only form of gambling that was allowed. The Ohio State Lottery began in 1974 after the Ohio Lottery Commission was formed. Interestingly, state lawmakers also decide to legalize bingo games, raffles, and games played for charity at this time.
Charitable organizations have been operating poker rooms since the 1970s, even though poker was outlawed throughout the state. The final operating charity poker room was shut down in 2013.
There were also sweepstakes machines that were being operated in the Buckeye State. In 2013, state lawmakers also proposed and approved a bill to outlaw sweepstakes machines throughout the state.
Legal Gambling Options in Ohio Are Limited
Even though online gambling in Ohio is limited at this time, there has been some recent progress to legalize online sports betting. Daily fantasy sports operators in Ohio will continue to offer betting opportunities until the entire sports betting industry is open and available to Ohio residents.