Ohio Sports Betting

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Last Updated on: 14.05.2023

Ohio may be new to the sports betting party, but the state has quickly gone about making up for lost time. Home to a whole host of professional franchises, it’s no surprise that local punters went crazy over Ohio sports betting once it was legalized in the state.

From taxation to betting promotions, this guide will explore everything there is to know about Ohio sports betting.

Where to Place Sports Bets in Ohio?

Draftkings logo
  • One of first operators to go live in Ohio
  • Up to $1,200 welcome offer bonus
  • Available in 21 states

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Betmgm logo
  • Enjoyed successful state launch
  • Extensive sportsbook covering 27 sports
  • Up to $1,000 in paid back bonuses welcome offer

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Fanduel logo
  • Huge fantasy sports market
  • Bookmaker opened at Belterra Park Racino in Cincinnati
  • $150 in bonus bets new customer offer

Full T&Cs apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Sports bettors in Ohio have a multitude of options in terms of bookmakers, but above are our top three sportsbooks available in the state.

Ohio is one of the most recent states to legalize sports betting. The Ohio sports betting law, HB 29, was passed by state legislature in December 2021 and signed by Governor Mike DeWine, but online sportsbooks and physical betting locations didn’t open in the state until 1 January 2023.

The law’s supporters at the time of its passing said that the legalization of sports betting and expansion of the gambling industry would produce millions in new tax revenues for the state that would support education and pay for addiction services1.

Sports Betting Revenue & Taxation in Ohio

Ohio charges sports betting operators a 10% tax rate on their winnings after all bets are paid. Such a rate is similar to other states that have legalized gambling — except from New York, which charges 51% for brick-and-mortar establishments; and Pennsylvania, which boasts a tax rate of 36%.

However, Governor DeWine is keen to double Ohio’s rate from 10% to 20%2. The national average is 19%.

When it comes to licensing fees, these vary depending on the license obtained. For example, Type A licenses (online wagering) cost $150,000, while Type B licenses (brick-and-mortar) $20,000.

Present & Future of Sports Betting in Ohio

Well, it’s been a pretty hectic start since Ohio’s major sports betting launch at the start of 2023.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) reported that the state earned a record-breaking $208.9m3 in taxable sports wagering revenue in January. While a big month was expected considering the simultaneous launch of betting apps and physical retailers, such huge figures came as a surprise. The state’s January handle topped $1.1bn, resulting in Ohio becoming the fifth state to record a monthly handle of over $1bn.

At the end of March, the OCCC reported that the handle for February hit more than $600m, netting $82m in revenue. While these were sharp declines from their record-setting opening month, it was very much expected given the financial heights the state hit in January.

Comparison of Top Sportsbooks

1. DraftKings

DraftKings Ohio Screenshot
(Source: DraftKings)

A behemoth of the American sports betting industry, DraftKings is the most ubiquitous bookmaker in the US. Punters in 21 states can use this bookie, which was formed in 2012 primarily for the use of fantasy sports. It was one of the first operators to go live in Ohio, openings its doors on 1 January 2023.

DraftKings has since evolved into a premier bookmaker, and it’s one which is hard to fault. Their odds are superb, with the quality of their website unrivalled. Placing bets is simple, while the markets they offer are extensive. 17 sports make up their sportsbook, and we discovered that cricket, which is slowly gaining traction in the States, is covered in impressive depth by DraftKings, who also provide great coverage of the NFL and NBA.

Fantasy lovers can still utilize DraftKings to full effect, while vintage pools bettors can also enjoy this bookmaker’s offering.

While their promotions are usually original and exciting with an array of sports being covered, they could do more for existing customers. New customers in Ohio can unlock up to $1,000 in deposit bonuses, a $50 bonus for signing-up, and another $150 bonus as part of the bookie’s Bet $5, Get $150 welcome offer.

2. BetMGM

BetMGM Ohio Screenshot
(Source: BetMGM)

Another widely available betting site, BetMGM can be accessed in Ohio after operations started to open up at the beginning of 2023. This bookie enjoyed a successful launch in the state thanks to its standing with MGM Northfield Park, located just outside of Cleveland.

BetMGM’s website is slickly designed and super easy to use. Placing bets is an efficient process and a user-friendly interface allows you to access all the different components of BetMGM with ease. They provide competitive odds, and their sportsbook is one of the broadest we’ve seen among American bookmakers.

BetMGM covers a mammoth 27 sports in total, but this can depend on the state. Thus, for those that enjoy betting on less popular sports, this bookmaker might be the one for you!

The bookie’s excellent customer service and robust FAQs section complement the user-friendly experience provided by the website design. On the promotions front, BetMGM slacks somewhat compared to its competitors, but their welcome offer is laden with value.

New customers are given a risk-free first bet, and they could earn up to $1,000 in free bets.

3. FanDuel

FanDuel Ohio Screenshot
(Source: FanDuel)

FanDuel went live in Ohio on 1 January 2023, with the bookmaker opening a sportsbook at Belterra Park Racino in Cincinnati — a property run by Boyd Gaming.

Like DraftKings, FanDuel started out as a venerated fantasy sports platform and has similarly evolved into a respected bookmaker. FanDuel is regarded as one of the leading US bookmakers, and, for us, they have to be considered alongside DraftKings and BetMGM as the very best.

FanDuel is available in 15 states and remains an excellent provider of all things fantasy football. On the gambling front, we appreciate the endless list of innovative promotions offered by the site. Overall, this bookmaker is a fun one to use.

Bet boosts, win bonuses, and parlay specials are almost always supplied by this bookie, and their welcome offer is also excellent — offering new customers a no-sweat first bet worth up to $1,000!

Moreover, their site is easy to access and navigate, and all the dull financial processes are quick and simple. You’ll never have any issues depositing or withdrawing with FanDuel.

Best Sports Betting Apps in Ohio

#1. DraftKings
The US’ most popular sportsbook also boasts an impressive mobile app which can be downloaded by anybody residing in the 21 states where DraftKings is available.

The app is particularly popular for fantasy sports, and punters can easily access all of its components due to its user-friendly interface. This premier bookmaker also launched its dedicated horse racing app — DK Horse — ahead of the Kentucky Derby on 6 May, but it’s not yet available to download in Ohio.

#2. BetMGM
BetMGM’s mobile app sits among the very best available to US punters. It possesses everything you’d want from a betting app as it’s laden with features and extremely easy to use. Markets are updated by the second, which aids the live betting process, but some have complained about the app’s lag time on occasions. While not a major issue, slow loading times can be incredibly frustrating for bettors.
#3. FanDuel
There’s very little difference between FanDuel’s mobile app and website. All banking, betting, and personal options are available, as well as the bookmaker’s sportsbook promotions. It’s just on a smaller screen, so there are some structural differences. The app is available to download on both iOS and Android, and has proven to be a very popular way of betting among US punters.

Ohio Sports Betting Promotions

Here are some of the most common sports betting promotions offered by bookmakers licensed in Ohio:

  • Deposit Match Bonus

These new customer offers are key to enticing fresh punters to a particular sportsbook. A deposit match bonus involves the bookmaker matching a new customer’s first deposit (often up to a certain amount). So, if a new user makes a first deposit of $50, the bookmaker will match that and reward the punter $50 in bonuses.

This bonus typically manifests as bet credits, which can be used on the site’s sportsbook and subsequently turned into real cash should any of your bets win.

Some sportsbooks will also offer a first bet match promotion, which is a similar premise; but instead of matching a user’s first deposit, they’ll match their first bet stake.

  • No Deposit Bonus

A no deposit bonus is brilliant as punters do not have to deposit any funds into their account in order to receive the reward on offer. You’ll qualify for the bonus by merely registering with the sportsbook, which means punters will likely have to enter a promo code to receive their bonus.

This promotion comes with many perks for the new customer as they’ve got an opportunity to win without risking anything. You can also use your free bets as a way of testing out the sportsbook to see whether it fits your betting needs.

  • Enhanced Parlays

Everybody loves putting on a parlay, right? Such bets are among the most popular among sports punters, especially novices.

A parlay bet is when a better makes multiple wagers and combines them to create one big bet. They’re a great way to win big money, but they’re mightily difficult to pull off.

Enhanced parlays, or parlay boosts, is a juiced-up version of your standard combo bet. Sportsbooks will boost the odds of your parlays to increase potential payouts. These boosts are usually proportional to the number of selections in your parlay. The more selections, the bigger the boost.

This only adds to the entertainment of parlay betting, with punters not having to do anything different to earn a boosted parlay. However, some bookmakers might make these enhanced parlays sport- or event- specific.

  • Money Back Betting Offers

This is typically a new customer offer in which the bookmaker refunds your first bet — usually via free bets — should it not win.

However, some sportsbooks will also offer money back offers for various sports such as soccer. For example, punters could receive a refund if they place a goals-related bet on a soccer match which ends in a stalemate.

The offer essentially gives punters a risk-free bet, but there’s still some risk as bookmakers will rarely refund customers with real cash. To make the most of this promotion, you’ve got to use the free bets you receive wisely.

  • Boosted Bets

While common among sportsbook, such promotions are a handy way of punters garnering greater value for their bets. Some bookmakers may randomly boost odds; however, for the most part, punters will be able to see which markets have been boosted before the event begins.

The perks of boosted odds are obvious, but they could also tempt punters into staking more. To combat this, some bookmakers limit how much you can bet on a boosted market.

  • Parlay Insurance

As fun as parlays can be, they can also be incredibly frustrating. It only takes one erroneous selection for your entire bet — no matter how big it be — to lose. Thus, bookmakers have tried to get rid of such frustration by introducing parlay insurance. Now, this offer isn’t as common as enhanced parlays, which are borderline ubiquitous, so it’s worth doing some research into which sportsbooks offer it.

The insurance gifts punters a full or partial refund should just one leg of their parley let them down. This refund will often manifest as a free bet as opposed to real cash.

  • Existing Customer Betting Offers

VIP/loyalty programs are imperative to retaining the interest of punters, especially high rollers who want to be rewarded for their betting from the bookmaker itself. The very best sportsbooks offer generous rewards that transcend mere free bets and free spins, with some even offering their customers the chance to win the most incredible real-life experiences.

  • Special Events Promotions

Bookmakers will always put on a show when a major sporting event rolls around. Whether it’s the Super Bowl or March Madness, you can bet your bottom dollar that special promotions dedicated to such events are provided.

Popular Types of Bets

Here are some of the most popular types of bets that Ohio bettors make on a variety of sports.

  • Money Line Bets

This is as simple as it gets. If you make a money line bet, you’re betting on that team to win the contest. So, if you place a money line bet on the Cleveland Browns to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns must win the contest for your bet to win. Your bet loses if the Bengals win or if they tie.

  • Points Spread

Because of the lack of value typically associated with money line betting, punters will often turn to spread betting.

The point spread is the number of points that a team must win by for the bet to pay out. The favourite will have a ‘-‘ next to their points spread, while the underdog will have a ‘+’.

So, let’s say the spread is: Cleveland Browns (-5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+5). This means that, if you backed the Browns, they must win by more than five points for your bet to be successful.

  • Over/Under Betting

If you don’t fancy betting on the outcome of a game, over/under (totals) betting is a popular alternative.

In this case, you’re betting on how many points will be scored in a game. The bookmaker will set a line, and you have to choose whether more or fewer points will be scored than that line.

For example, if the bookie sets the line for NFL match-up between the Bengals and Browns at 51.5, 52 or more points will have to be scored for the over bet to win. Anything less and the under wins.

  • Parlays

Parlay bets have us all dreaming of a vacation to Cancun. One day, a big one will come off. Parlays are what the Brits like to call an ‘accumulator’ or ‘acca’. It’s one big bet which relies on multiple bets (called ‘legs’) winning.

Even if you have a mammoth eight-leg parlay and only one ‘leg’ lets you down, your bet is still a loser. However, while they’re very challenging to pull off, the low stakes/high reward nature of such bets makes them incredibly popular. You could earn a fortune should the gambling Gods align.

  • Prop Bets

A proposition or ‘prop’ bet is another bet type that doesn’t focus on the outcome of a sporting event. They focus on the player’s performance, with markets for such bets surging as of late. For example, you might want to bet on how many yards Joe Burrow will throw, or how many rushing yards Nick Chubb will accumulate in a particular game.

There are other types of prop bets, including game props, where you’re wagering on something specific to happen in the game. For example, you might back a particular team to score over a certain number of points in the first quarter.

  • Futures Bets

With futures bets, you’re thinking long term and are betting on the future outcome of a sporting event.

Such bets include Super Bowl winner, League MVP, and the total number of wins a team achieves in the regular season. You can also bet on seasonal stats like how many yards Joe Burrow will throw in the regular season, or how many yards Nick Chubb will rush for.

Where To Bet on Local Ohio Teams

There are multiple sports teams based in Ohio’s three most populous cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati, and state capital Columbus.

The Browns and Bengals are two significant NFL franchises, while the Cavaliers enjoyed a prolonged period of relevance thanks to LeBron James. The Reds, meanwhile, have five World Series crowns to their name. New franchises, such as FC Cincinnati in MLS and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL are looking to make inroads in their respective sports leagues.

At a collegiate level, the Ohio State Buckeyes sit among the most successful football teams and continue to churn out NFL-level talent on a yearly basis.

Cincinnati BengalsFootball1967Win Super Bowl LVIII +1000
Cleveland BrownsFootball1946Win Super Bowl LVIII +2800
Cleveland CavaliersBasketball1970Win NBA Finals N/A
Cleveland GuardiansBaseball1894Win National Championship N/A
Cincinnati RedsBaseball1881Win National Championship N/A
Columbus CrewSoccer1994Win MLS Cup +2900
FC CincinnatiSoccer2015Win MLS Cup +1000
Columbus Blue JacketsIce hockey1997Win Stanley Cup N/A
Cincinnati BearcatsCollege football/basketball1885Win National Championship N/A
Ohio State BuckeyesCollege football1890Win National Championship N/A

Important Sports Events in Ohio 2023

Here’s a list of significant sporting events that Ohio sports fans will take a keen interest in this year and might fancy betting on:

  • 15th April — 2023 NBA playoffs start
  • 2nd September — Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bearcats’ NCAA regular season starts
  • 9th September — Ohio State Buckeyes’ home opener vs Youngstown State
  • 8th September — NFL regular season starts
  • October 2023 — NHL regular season starts
  • Mid-October — 2023/24 NBA regular season starts
  • 25th October — MLS playoffs start
  • 25th November — Ohio State @ Michigan — ‘The Game’

You must be 21 or over to place a bet in Ohio. While the state’s gambling laws are pretty lenient, there are several prop bets that punters cannot bet on. For example, Ohio-based bettors cannot bet on coin flips or the statistical actions of officials and coaches, such as the number of timeouts called. Events where more than 50% of the athletes are under 18 are also prohibited.

Ohio Sports Betting Timeline

Let’s take a look at the recent history of sports betting in Ohio:

  • 2019 — Bills introduced, much of year is spent by senators and representatives building support for legalization of sports betting following the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
  • 2019 — House Finance Committee holds eight hearings on the bill.
  • 2020 — House Finance Committee passes the bill, but it doesn’t go through the Senate.
  • May 2021 — State Senator Kirk Schuring introduces new sports betting bill (SB 176) which doesn’t go through the House.
  • 2021 — Schuring focuses efforts on passing HB 29.
  • December 2021 — Governor DeWine signs off on bill.
  • 1st June 2022 — OCCC confirms that sports betting in Ohio will begin on 1st January 2023.
  • 1st January 2023 — Legal sports betting officially launches in the state.

States Where It Is Legal To Bet on Sports

Changes to federal law has facilitated the legalization of sports gambling in 33 states to some degree, and Ohio is currently one of those.

StateSports betting legal in personSports betting legal online
New MexicoYES 
North CarolinaYES 
North DakotaYES 
New HampshireYESYES
New JerseyYESYES
Rhode IslandYESYES
South DakotaYES 
Rhode IslandYESYES
Tennessee YES
West VirginiaYESYES
Wyoming YES

Ohio Sports Betting – FAQs

Sports betting was legalized in Ohio in December 2021, with online sportsbooks and physical betting locations opening their doors on 1 January 2023.
At the time of writing, there are 17 online sportsbooks that have launched in the state.
DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel are the best sportsbooks available in Ohio.
Punters can bet on college events, including in-state teams.
There are multiple popular sports franchises based in Ohio’s three most popular cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. You’ve got the Bengals and Browns (NFL), Cavaliers (NBA), Reds and Guardians (MLB), Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati (MLS), as well as the Blue Jackets (NHL).

ThePuntersPage Final Say

Ohio has already set records since opening its doors to sports betting at the start of the 2023. This is a massive sporting state, and the availability of sportsbooks combined with the number of local sports teams means the opportunities are endless for Ohio sports bettors!


1 The Lantern. (2023). Legalized sports gambling arrives in Ohio, experts say Ohio State students at the most risk for addiction. [online] Available at: https://www.thelantern.com/2023/02/legalized-sports-gambling-arrives-in-ohio-experts-say-ohio-state-students-at-the-most-risk-for-addiction/#:~:text=A%20state%20law%2C%20which%20took [Accessed 27 Apr. 2023].

2 News 5 Cleveland WEWS. (2023). Gov. DeWine seeks sports betting changes in budget, including doubling state’s tax on winnings. [online] Available at: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/gov-dewine-seeks-sports-betting-changes-in-budget-including-doubling-states-tax-on-winnings#:~:text=Ohio%20charges%20sports%20betting%20operators [Accessed 27 Apr. 2023].

3 Altruda, C. (2023). Ohio Shatters Monthly Sports Wagering Revenue Record At $208.9 Million. [online] SportsHandle. Available at: https://sportshandle.com/ohio-january-2023-sports-betting-revenue-report/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2023].