Sports betting is coming to Ohio, both in person and through online betting apps. Governor Mike Dewine made it official last December signing House Bill 29. Residents of the Buckeye State are excited to join in legal, regulated gambling and Ohio sports betting as many other states have done.
Of course, citizens who want to engage in sports betting still have questions. When will sports betting launch and which operators will be available? We’ll cover all of that here as well as the types of Ohio betting app promo codes you might find.
Potential Launch Date for Ohio Sports Betting
Let’s start with the question that is probably most on the minds of Ohioans: when will sports betting launch? According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, sports betting will go live in the state on New Year’s Day 2023 at 12:01 a.m. ET.
It is in the interest of every Ohio resident to have sports betting available as early as possible, and lawmakers are certainly aware of that. Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), a cosponsor of the bill, acknowledged this fact on the day of the signing, saying, “We want to get this up and running as soon as possible, but we’re building a whole new industry. We’re hoping it can be done sooner.”
Gov. Dewine agrees on launching sports betting in Oho as soon as feasible: “I’ve instructed our administration as soon as everything is ready we should move forward with it, we don’t want to hold it up, we want to follow what the law says and make this available to people but it’s going to take some time for everything to be worked out before this can really start.”
Ohio Sports Betting Locations
Ohioans will have many options on where to place their wagers once sports betting is live. Up to 25 licenses can be awarded to casinos/racinos and sports teams, and each licensee can pair with two operators (e.g. DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, etc.). Therefore, up to 50 sportsbooks could be operating in Ohio when sports betting goes live. However, Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission (which will regulate sportsbooks), expects around 15.
The law also allows bars, restaurants, and stores to offer sports betting kiosks, which is not possible in every state where sports betting is legal. Therefore, the Buckeye State appears poised to be a preeminent destination for sports betting enthusiasts.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is currently going through the approval process for the applications that submitted operator licenses for all Ohio online sportsbooks, retail sportsbooks and operators of betting terminals. BetMGM, Crown Ohio Gaming (DraftKings), FanDuel, and PointsBet each applied for mobile management service provider licenses. JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistledown Racino also applied for both online and retail sportsbook licenses.
The first batch of sports betting licenses approved for Type A and Type B licenses by the OCCC included the Cinncinati Reds and Cleveland Browns.
At least 200 businesses, including bars, golf courses, bowling alleys, and grocery stores, were awarded kiosk licenses by the OCCC on Aug. 17, with more kiosks expected to be licensed in the near future.
Up to 40 Type A licenses, which includes mobile sportsbooks, will be granted in Ohio. A complete list of the online sports betting apps and other operators who applied for a Type A license during the first round of applications can be found with the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Sports Betting In Ohio Updates
- September 21, 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved the Cincinnati Bengals, FC Cincinnati and the Belterra Park casino for sports betting licenses. The OCCC gave conditional approval to 13 platforms total on Sept. 21 for sports betting licenses including BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel.
- September 7, 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved over 300 sports gambling host licenses, including to the Cleveland Browns, Columbus Crew, and Cincinnati Reds.
- August 3, 2022: The Ohio Casino Control Commission announces during its monthly meeting that sports betting in Ohio will go live at 12:01 a.m. ET on New Year’s Day 2023.
- July 19, 2022: Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) applied for a Mobile Management Services Provider license on July 19, according to the latest Ohio Casino Control Commission’s list of sports wagering license applicants.
- July 13, 2022: The Cincinnati Bengals and Betfred announced a multi-year partnership to make Betfred the team’s official sports betting partner.
- June 22, 2022: Ohio sports betting will be live in the state by January 1, 2023.
- March 17, 2022: Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg revealed its $2.4 million expansion of Barstool Sportsbook.
- February 24, 2022: BetRivers, owned by Rush Street Interactive, could be coming to Ohio after it secures market access in the state.
- January 10, 2022: Governor Mike DeWine announced that sports betting operations could be operational before 2023, according to a report from News5 Cleveland.
- December 22, 2021: Governor Mike Dewine officially signs House Bill 29 into law, paving the way for sports betting in Ohio.
- October 7, 2021: State Senator Kirk Schuring, chairman of the Select Committee on Gaming, announced that sports betting in Ohio is expected to become legal by Halloween 2021, and that bettors could expect a launch by the end of April 2022.
- October 6, 2021: Fubo Gaming (of FuboTV) partnered with the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure sports betting market access.
- September 29, 2021: It became official. Despite hope that Ohio online sportsbooks would launch before the 2022 Super Bowl LVI, State Senator Niraj Antani, a major Ohio sports betting advocate and member of the Select Committee on Gaming, said in an interview that it’s not going to happen.
- May 2021 – September 2021: Dozens of amendments were made to the bill as well as pushback from anti-gambling groups. The combination caused a delay of about four months, which isn’t bad compared to some other states.
- May 6, 2021: Ohio’s Select Committee on Gaming released a preliminary sports betting bill that included Class A and B licenses (online betting apps and full-scale sportsbooks, respectively).
- March 1, 2021: Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio sports betting is inevitable, giving sports bettors confidence that it would launch by the end of the year.
Legal Online Sportsbooks In Ohio
At the moment, there aren’t any legal online sportsbooks in Ohio or any retail sportsbooks. But given the ongoing market access deals and existing partnerships across the rest of the country, we have a pretty good idea which online sportsbooks are coming to Ohio:
|Ohio Sportsbook||Likely Retail Location||Welcome Bonus||Quality of Bonus|
|DraftKings||N/A||$50 free bet + 20% deposit bonus up to $1,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|BetMGM||MGM Northfield Park||Risk-free bet up to $1,000 using bonus code PLAYSPORTS||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Caesars||Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs||First bet insurance up to $1,250 using promo code SBBONUSFULL||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|BetRivers||N/A||100% deposit bonus up to $500 using bonus code BONUSPLAY||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|FanDuel||N/A||No sweat first bet up to $1,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unibet||N/A||Risk-free bet up to $500 using code BETBONUS||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|PointsBet||N/A||2 Second Chance Free Bets up to $2,000 using bonus code 2000BET||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|WynnBET||N/A||Bet $10, Win $100||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|FOX Bet||N/A||Risk-free bet up to $50||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Hollywood Casino Columbus; |
Hollywood Casino Toledo;
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway;
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course
|Risk-free bet up to $1,000; $10 signup bonus||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Fubo Gaming||Cleveland Cavaliers||$1,000 Risk Free Bet + 1 Month Free FuboTV with bonus code SHARPBET||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Hard Rock||Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati||Risk-free bet up to $100||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|MaximBet||N/A||100% deposit match up to $1,000 total||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|theScore Bet||N/A||100% match up to $1000 & $500 free bet||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
Best Ohio Sportsbooks
Here are the best options you can expect to arrive in the Ohio market by January 2023:
- DraftKings: The best overall choice
- BetMGM: Best for new sports bettors
- Caesars: Best for its in-depth rewards program
- BetRivers: Best for casual sports bettors
- FanDuel: Best app
- Unibet – Best for ease of use
- PointsBet: Best for exotic bets
- WynnBET: Best for Wynn Vegas bettors
Physical Ohio Casinos
Several Ohio retail gaming establishments have applied for Type A and Type B licenses with the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Here are the Ohio casinos that could offer in-person sports betting wagering once the industry launches in the state.
Hollywood Casinos Owned/Operated by PENN Entertainment
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Racing Course, 777 Hollywood Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, 777 Hollywood Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515
- Hollywood Casino Columbus, Georgesville Road and W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43228
- Hollywood Casino Toledo, 1968 Miami Street, Toledo, Ohio
Other Ohio Casinos
- JACK Cleveland Casino, 100 Public Square Cleveland, OH 44113
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, 1000 Broadway St.Cincinnati, OH 45202
- JACK Thistledown Racino, 21501 Emery Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44128
- Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs, 6000 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207
- MGM Northfield Park, 10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield, OH 44067
- Miami Valley Gaming, 6000 OH-63, Lebanon, OH 45036
Ohio Sports Betting Market Access Deals And Partnerships
Rush Street Interactive, which owns the online sportsbooks BetRivers and SugarHouse, penned a strategic market access partnership with Penn National Gaming, which owns Barstool Sportsbook and operates four Ohio casinos. That means BetRivers or SugarHouse (or both) will launch as online sportsbooks in the state, and it could also mean a retail Rivers Sportsbook at a Penn National property.
But Penn National Gaming also made Ohio market access deals with:
- Stars Group (FOX Bet)
Unibet, owned by Kindred Group, also reportedly gained market access through Hollywood Casino, which is operated by Penn National Gaming. Why is Penn giving so many competitors market access? Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming, said that the company is happy to provide access “in exchange for a combination of upfront cash and equity, one-time market access fees and ongoing revenue sharing.”
MaximBet, which is currently only available in Colorado, announced that it secured Ohio market access, as the second Mobile Management Services Provider for JACK Cleveland Casino. The same is true for WynnBET, which also announced market access to Ohio and is listed as the Mobile Management Services Provider for JACK Thistledown Racing.
Ohio Sports Team Betting Partners
Several major Ohio teams including the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cleveland Browns already have partnerships with some of the top sportsbooks.
- Cincinnati Reds – BetMGM
- Cincinnati Bengals – Betfred
- Cleveland Browns – Bally Bet
- Cleveland Cavaliers – Fubo Gaming
- Cleveland Guardians – bet365
- Columbus Blue Jackets – Fanatics
- Columbus Crew – Tipico.
- FC Cincinnati – SuperBook
For all the rest, the brands are well-known for entering new legal sports betting markets, so their presence is highly likely. A good example is FanDuel, which has a partnership with Boyd Gaming, which owns Belterra Park.
Ohio Sports Betting Bonuses September 2022
- Promo: $50 free bet and 20% deposit match up to $1,000
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: Some of the best market depth and variety in the industry
DraftKings has it all: an excellent mobile app, fantastic betting markets, ongoing promotions like odds boosts, and a mobile-only betting pool you can access on mobile devices exclusively. Beyond that, it offers a $50 free bet for a minimum deposit, along with a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1,000 of site credit. Terms and conditions apply.
- Bonus: $1,000 risk free bet
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: Fantastic presentation of live stream betting for all users
The BetMGM sportsbook comes with an excellent user interface, a slick mobile app, and top-tier live streaming and in-play betting. You can watch all of your games and place wagers in the middle of the action smoothly and simultaneously without having to use multiple devices at once. The opening bonus is also excellent, as it’s a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. You have to bet $10 minimum to qualify, and a refunded wager of $50 or more is returned as free bets that must be wagered an additional time before cashout.
- Promo: $1,250 first bet insurance
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: The rewards program is second to none
Caesars recently expanded, taking over William Hill and bringing a new high-quality mobile app to a variety of states. This mobile app comes with an excellent interface, smooth operation, and great betting markets, particularly for NFL games and Super Bowl odds. It also has a very generous welcome bonus: up to $1,250 in first bet insurance. If your first bet loses, you will get your wager back in the form of one free bet credit.
Place a bet worth at least $10 to qualify for this excellent promotion. Be sure to use your free bet credit before it expires within 14 days.
- Bonus: 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $500 with just 1x wagering requirements
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: Has great promotions for odds boosts and through its rewards program
BetRivers offers excellent betting markets, live streaming, and in-play betting, and a solid rewards program that provides you with points you can redeem for prizes the more you use the app. It also offers special wagering opportunities for NFL games, and especially the Super Bowl. All new account holders can take advantage of a 100% deposit match up to $500 with incredible terms: odds must be -200 or longer, and the wagering requirement is just 1x the deposit and bonus.
- Promo: $1,000 no sweat first bet
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: One of the best mobile apps in the industry
FanDuel is a market leader for several key reasons, including the quality of its mobile app, its diverse array of betting markets, and excellent live streaming interface. This mobile app also comes with a no sweat first bet offer up to $1,000. If the bet loses, it’s returned as free bets that can be used on almost any market and in pretty much any combination of bets. Additional terms and conditions apply (including minimum odds).
- Best for an excellent $500 risk-free bet opportunity available to anyone who makes a new account
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: One of the easiest mobile sportsbooks to check out
Unibet is quickly gaining notoriety in the US, and it’s long been one of the top sports betting brands in the UK. It has a wide choice of sports betting markets to pick from, as well as prominently featured live betting sections on its website and mobile apps. This sports betting platform is very easy to use, making it great for new players, and it offers a risk-free bet promotion worth up to $500 for all new account holders. You have to play through the credit one time before you can withdraw it as cash.
- Promo: 2 Second Chance Free Bets up to $2,000
- App Available On: iOS/Android/Desktop
- Why We Like It: Exclusive PointsBetting wager for sports betting enthusiasts
PointsBet has carved out a unique niche for itself in the sports betting market thanks to its titular PointsBetting system, which offers special wagering opportunities, unlike anything you can find elsewhere. Aside from this, the mobile app is well-developed and has excellent betting markets, plus player-friendly odds. The welcome bonus is 2 Second Chance Free Bets up to $2,000. Up to $500 is for a fixed-odds bet, like a standard moneyline or points spread. Another $1,500 is available for a PointsBetting wager, which triggers multipliers based on the accuracy of a totals bet.
What Other Legal Sportsbooks Are Coming To Ohio?
Here is the full list of online sportsbooks that have been granted conditional approval by Ohio Casino Control Commission as of Sept. 21, 2022 to go live on Jan 1:
- Underdog Sports
Online Sportsbook Bonuses Available In Ohio
While it’s true that the full list of online sportsbooks to launch in Ohio is still some ways away from being finalized, we can break down some of the most common opening bonuses you’ll see once the industry begins. These opening bonuses are common and popular for several key reasons, which we’ve detailed below.
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses in Ohio will likely follow the model used by DraftKings. Also called free bets, no deposit bonuses don’t require any investment from a player and simply reward them for making a new account. Then the player can use the no deposit credit to make some initial wagers without having to put any money down first. Thus, these bonuses are great for trying out a new app if you aren’t sure if you’ll like it in the long term.
First Bet Insurance
First bet insurance is exactly what it says: a guarantee that your first bet can’t lose. This does not mean that you will get your money back for sure, however.
Here’s how it works: You make your first bet on the platform. If you win, fantastic; collect your winnings!
If you lose your first bet, you receive your wager back in the form of site credits. So, you have to bet again rather than simply withdraw the wager. However, you do get two chances at your first win!
Deposit Match Bonuses
Deposit match bonuses are also popular, as they can increase or even double your wagering cash based on the size of your first deposit. DraftKings provides a good example, with a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1,000.
Say that you deposit $500. In that case, DraftKings will give you $100 of site credit to add to your initial betting total (credited in $1 increments for every $25 wagered). This is a great way to maximize your betting cash right off the bat, particularly if you’re a long-term bettor.
However, these bonuses usually come with certain terms and conditions. In the above case, you have to wager any credit you get from DraftKings 5 times in total (known as a playthrough requirement) before you can withdraw any associated winnings.
There are better versions of these bonuses, however. For instance, BetRivers has a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $500. Even though the maximum is worth less than DraftKings’ offer, it’s a match at a rate of 100% and you only have to play through site credit you receive one time before you can put it in your bank account.
Most online Ohio sportsbooks will offer risk-free bets. Risk-free bets cover your first wager only, and each sportsbook refunds a lost wager differently. For example, BetMGM returns it as free bets, each worth 20% of the wager. FanDuel refunds it as site credits that must be bet (in almost any combination) one time before withdrawal. And WynnBET refunds it as a single free bet of equal value.
If you end up winning the risk-free bet instead, you simply receive your winnings and wager. Basically, you received peace of mind and little more.
However, some sportsbooks will do a “wager match,” which credits your account with a bet equal to your first wager whether it wins or loses. That’s relatively rare, but not as rare as a no-deposit bonus.
What Sports Can You Bet On In Ohio?
At the moment, you can’t bet on any sports in Ohio legally. But Ohio’s future online sportsbooks will let you wager on a very wide range of sporting activities or leagues.
Betting On US Pro Sports In Ohio
Ohio is home to several major US professional sports franchises, including the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, both of which are NFL teams. The NBA is also well represented with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as is the MLB with the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds. All of these teams will likely have betting lines and special wagers assigned to them, as well as special promotions depending on the sportsbook you use.
All US professional sport you can think of will be approved for wagering in Ohio, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and more.
College Sports Betting In Ohio
Despite objections from several individuals within higher education, collegiate betting will be allowed in Ohio’s sportsbooks. However, Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, has said that the commission could change these rules if needed “for the purpose of integrity and managing risk.”
As of right now, betting on college sports is expected in Ohio, with no restrictions.
What International Sports Can You Bet On In Ohio?
Ohio’s future sportsbooks will allow you to bet on international sports, including rugby, Australian rules football, cricket, Korean baseball, and more.
Can You Bet On Esports In Ohio?
Esports wagering will be possible at FanDuel, DraftKings, and similar sportsbooks should they receive licensure from the Ohio government. However, these betting markets will likely not be as developed as the markets for other sports.
What Else Can You Bet On In Ohio?
Once Ohio launches sports betting, you’ll probably be able to place bets on horse races, NASCAR races, MMA fights, and beyond.
Do Sportsbooks In Ohio Limit How Much I Can Bet?
Not at this time, and there’s no sign that any future retail or online sportsbook in Ohio will limit your wagering potential. It’ll all depend on the betting lines available and any rules that your chosen sportsbook decides to enforce.
What Do I Need To Create An Online Sportsbook Account In Ohio?
- Ohio’s state government will probably not require in-person registration to create a sportsbook account
- All you’ll need to do is download the sportsbook of your choice, then gather some pieces of personal information like your Social Security number and date of birth
- After installing your chosen sportsbook, you can click the “register” button and start creating your account by providing the above-mentioned information
- Your sportsbook operator’s customer service team will review your information to confirm your identity
- Once they have done so, you’ll be able to fund your account and start betting
Legal Online Sportsbooks Versus Illegal Online Sportsbooks In Ohio
Illegal or offshore sportsbooks are never a good idea, even if it may be several months yet before online sportsbooks are legalized in Ohio.
Illegal sportsbooks usually don’t have great odds to begin with, so any betting lines you find will not offer great opportunities for profit. Even worse, most offshore sportsbooks don’t have good digital security, like SSL certification.
As a result, any personal information you provide, or any funds you give an offshore site, are potentially vulnerable to hackers or other digital criminals. Furthermore, if an offshore sportsbook itself decides to scam you, there’s little you can do.
Illegal betting sites aren’t based in the US and are not under the jurisdiction of any state or federal government. Therefore, your bankroll could be totally drained and you would have no real means of legal recourse.
In the end, it’s a better idea to simply wait for legalization to occur than to test your luck with an offshore or illegal betting site.
Ohio Online Sportsbook Bonuses FAQs
No, not until January 1, 2023. Regulators need some time before sports betting can launch in Ohio.
Once sports wagering is legalized, you’ll need to be 21 or older to bet on sports.
Yes, definitely. Any online sportsbooks to launch in the Buckeye State will offer at least one new account holder bonus to draw in new players and make them stand out from their competitors. These will take the forms of the opening bonuses described earlier on this page.
Yes it will. Even better, Ohio college sports betting looks like it will be offered without restrictions.
Yes. However, you’ll only be able to claim an opening bonus one time for each individual sportsbook you download. Furthermore, you should avoid making multiple new accounts on the same sportsbook to avoid being accused of bonus abuse.
10%. Excitingly, almost all of that tax revenue (an estimated $33M within a few years) will be used for education.
One area of contention for sportsbook operators right now is that the tax rate is set to be enforced daily, not monthly like in other states. However, the legislature could change this rule.
Not likely. Instead, Ohio’s sports betting industry will probably let you register for an online sports betting account remotely.