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Ohio Casinos & Gambling

Ohio Regulated Gambling:

Pari-Mutuel Betting 1933

Lottery 1974

Charitable Gaming (Bingo) 1975

Commercial Casinos 2011

Fantasy Sports Contests 2018

Gambling Age in Ohio:

Charitable Gaming (Bingo) 16+

Lottery/Keno 18+

Commercial Casinos/Pari-Mutuel Wagering/VLTs 21+

Ohio Casinos:

Commercial Casinos 5

Racinos 7

Ohio

Online Gambling & Casinos in Ohio

Ohio isn’t a bad place to live if you enjoy gambling. Residents can find pari-mutuel wagering, commercial casinos, charitable gaming, the state lottery, fantasy sports contests, and VLTs. There are 4 commercial casinos plus another 7 racetrack casinos in the state. If you have one in your backyard, then this is definitely not a bad thing. You might also be able to benefit from casinos in bordering states like Michigan (26 casinos), Pennsylvania (13 casinos), or Indiana (14 casinos).

Land-based casinos in Ohio offer Vegas-style slot machines, video poker, and many classic table games. Unfortunately, online gambling and casinos are not yet authorized and regulated in The Buckeye State. Although some Ohioans play at offshore online casinos, these are technically not legal. In fact, all interactive gaming (online sports betting, casinos, and poker rooms) is prohibited.

Although Ohio is slowly amending gambling laws to be more inclusive, there is currently no timeframe for when interactive gaming might be one of them. Until it does, players from Ohio can play offshore at some of the best new casinos online.

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Best New Casinos in Ohio

Some of the best new casinos in Ohio are online and can be found below. These are Bitcoin casinos that also accept US dollars using a credit card like Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Deposits in USD, Bitcoins, or altcoins are instant, so you’ll be playing games for real money in no time.

Players from Ohio can find games from popular providers like Rival Games, Realtime Gaming, ViG, etc. These are optimized for desktops and mobiles/tablets (Android & iOS) on instant play browsers. Some of these casinos even offer downloadable casino apps. Most games are available in demo mode, allowing players to try them first before playing for real money.

All these casinos have welcome offers to new players and regular promotions like reload bonuses, cashback bonuses, tournaments, VIP loyalty programs, Comp Points, and more. Find all the details in our respective casino reviews.

Best Bonuses in Ohio Casinos

Although all online casinos offer casino bonuses, what they entail can be quite different. The best bonuses in Ohio casinos, like the ones below, offer generous amounts of bonus money and free spins. These are usually awarded on the first deposit. However, sometimes these may be awarded over the first few deposits. Some of our casinos also offer no deposit signup bonuses.

Find out about these bonuses in our casino reviews, along with our opinion on the bonus T&Cs and playthrough wagering requirements.

Ohio Gambling Overview

Ohio is a Midwestern state with approximately 11.8 million residents, making it an attractive base for gambling. Most regulated forms of gaming in Ohio are determined at the state level. However, cities and counties may have powers at the local level.

Ohioans can find commercial casinos, racinos (including VLTs), charitable gaming, a state lottery, pari-mutuel betting, and fantasy sports contests. Sports betting is not permitted, although that may change if several proposed Bills are approved. Internet gambling is also not permitted, although that may not be the case for much longer.

State Lottery

The state lottery is operated by the Ohio Lottery Commission, with proceeds going towards education. The Ohio Lottery offers a wide selection of ‘scratch off’ tickets, such as Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5. Furthermore, there are keno and draw games. The Ohio Lottery also participates in multi-state lottery draws such as Powerball and MegaMillions.

Good for Ohioans, finding an authorized retailer isn’t difficult, with over 9,800 across the state!

The operator is also responsible for overseeing the over 11,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) in Ohio, located in the state’s seven racinos.

Fantasy Sports Contests

Licenses to operate fantasy sports contests were granted, for an annual fee, to StatHero, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Golf’s OG, and Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Operators are banned from offering fantasy contests based on college sports or youth sports.

Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming is regulated by the Attorney General of Ohio. Authorized forms include raffles, charitable bingo, games of chance, and other gaming types.

Charitable bingo run by non-profit organizations require one of three licenses:

  • Type I for traditional bingo using a hopper and bingo sheets
  • Type II for instant bingo tickets sold alongside traditional bingo
  • Type III for instant bingo tickets sold apart from traditional bingo

Only qualifying organizations may offer raffles in Ohio: a public school, a chartered nonpublic school, a charitable organization, a veteran’s organization, a sporting organization, and a fraternal organization.

Games of chance, including roulette, craps, and poker, do not require a license from the Ohio Attorney General. It may be possible to offer other events like ‘Night at the Races’ or ‘Monte Carlo Nights’ provided that the activities comply with Chapter 2915 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Pari-Mutuel Racing (Racinos)

Ohio permits on-track horse race betting as well as OTB at 14 satellite facilities. Ohio players can legally make pari-mutuel wagers online. This is the only legal form of online gambling in Ohio.

Racetrack Casinos Address Website
Belterra Park Cincinnati 6301 Kellogg Rd – Cincinnati, OH 45230 belterrapark.com
Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs 6000 S High St. – Columbus, OH 43207 sciotodowns.com
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway 777 Hollywood Blvd – Dayton, OH 45414 hollywooddaytonraceway.com
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course 655 N Canfield Niles Rd – Youngstown, OH 44515 hollywoodmahoningvalley.com
Jack Thistledown Racino 21501 Emery Rd – North Randall, OH 44128 jackentertainment.com
MGM Northfield Park 10777 Northfield Rd – Northfield, OH 44067 mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com
Miami Valley Gaming 6000 OH-63 – Lebanon, OH 45036 miamivalleygaming.com

Land-Based Casinos

Ohio is home to four land-based commercial casinos but no tribal casinos. These casinos are part of hotel resorts, so players can also find restaurants, entertainment, and hotel rooms. Authorized games include slot machines, poker rooms, video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and more.

Commercial Casinos Address Website
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati 1000 Broadway Street – Cincinnati, OH 45202 hardrockcasinocincinnati.com
Hollywood Casino Columbus 200 Georgesville Rd. –  Columbus, OH 43228 hollywoodcolumbus.com
Hollywood Casino Toledo 1968 Miami St, Toledo – OH 43605 hollywoodcasinotoledo.com
Jack Cleveland Casino 100 Public Square – Cleveland, OH 44113 jackentertainment.com

Ohio Gambling History

Horseracing dates back to the 1800s. However, it wasn’t until 1933 that the Ohio State Racing Commission was created, and pari-mutuel wagering was authorized. The activity peaked in 1989 before beginning a slow decline, prompting the introduction of simulcast races in 1996.

In 1973, voters approved the creation of the Ohio Lottery Commission with the sale of the first ticket for “Buckeye 300” in 1974.  Amendment 9, titled The Ohio Charity Bingo Amendment, was introduced on November 4, 1975. It would authorize and regulate charitable bingo.

Fast forward to November 3, 2009 (Amendment 3), when a constitutional amendment was approved to allow four casinos to be introduced in Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Columbus. These were intended to curb Ohio gamblers from visiting casinos in neighboring Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Gov Ted Strickland signed Ohio House Bill 519 into law in June 2010. It ran into opposition from racetrack owners who believed that being prohibited from installing slot machines was harming their business. Because of delays, it wasn’t until May 2012 that the first casino appeared in Cleveland.

The state has had a long history of illegal gambling activity. For example, internet sweepstakes cafes offering cash payouts on casino-style gaming machines online were forced to shut down in October 2013 after regulations were introduced. Some reopened by attempting to rebrand themselves as skill games. In December 2013, an employee of the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and two other persons were indicted for theft of $50,000 in reward cards and money laundering.

House Bill 491 was passed to empower the regulator to police operators who tried to pass off games of chance as skill games. In April 2015, two locations were raided for allegedly operating illegal slot machines with cash prizes. A few months later, six more locations were raided for operating machines that paid out cash.

On April 26, 2017, House Bill 132 to legalize and regulate fantasy sports contests was introduced. It passed the following month and the Senate later that same year. Regulations went into effect on March 3, 2018.

On April 9, 2019, two state representatives introduced a second House Bill 194 to legalize sports wagering and task the Ohio Lottery Commission with regulatory oversight. Senate Bill 176 was introduced by Niraj Antani and Nathan H. Manning on May 6, 2021, and passed on June 16, 2021. It proposed legalizing and regulating sports betting and was referred to the House Committee on June 22, 2021. Additionally, the Bill would authorize e-bingo at charitable organizations and an online lottery platform.

Ohio Gambling FAQ

What is the legal gambling age in Ohio?

The legal gambling age in Ohio depends on the type. Pari-mutuel wagering, VLTs, and casinos are restricted to 21 and over. Charitable gaming and lottery (including keno) are 18 and over. Bingo has a minimum age requirement of 16 and over.

Is sports betting legal in Ohio?

No, at the present time, sports betting is not legal in Ohio. However, Legislative Bills are attempting to legalize the activity in the state.

Is Internet gambling legal in Ohio?

No, Ohio does not permit Internet gambling. However, pari-mutuel wagering online is permitted, as are fantasy sports contests.

Where can I find video lottery terminals in Ohio?

VLTs can be found at the state’s seven commercial racetracks, called racinos.

Does Ohio have any land-based casinos?

Yes, Ohio has four commercial casinos offering Vegas-style slot machines and table games. There are no tribal casinos in the state.

Conclusion

Ohio is a relatively liberal gambling state. Perhaps part of this comes from its proximity to Pennsylvania, which is amongst the most gambling-friendly. Still, a central sticking point is that interactive gaming is not yet authorized or regulated in The Buckeye State. This means that legal online sports betting, casinos, and poker rooms are off the table.

Unfortunately, there has been little indication that this will change in the short run. However, we believe that it is inevitable. After all, Ohio (like many other states) is racing to plug substantial budget deficits. Furthermore, we are genuinely convinced that the best way to protect players is to regulate online gambling and casinos.

Please revisit us soon as we update our Ohio gambling page regularly. In the meantime, you can find our expert-recommended online casinos and bonuses above.

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