Gambling in Ohio now offers a range of liberal betting regulations. Ohio was one of those states that for many years had very conservative gambling laws, but suddenly everything changed with the legalization of casinos. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) legalization laws have now been passed and even a sports betting legalization bill is under consideration by Ohio’s reformist State Legislature as U.S. sports betting laws change across the nation.

Ohio’s relatively liberal gambling laws offers a choice of gaming options, including horse racing live and online, a state lottery, live poker, DFS and charitable gambling. Along with its proposed sports betting laws changes, Ohio’s State Legislature may even consider legalizing further online gambling options.

Ohio Casino Gambling

There are currently 11 Ohio establishments comprising the state’s recently legalized (i.e. 2009) thriving casino industry. Four of the commercial casinos are resorts (one in each of the state’s four largest cities – Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Columbus), while the other seven are Ohio ‘racinos’ located at the racetracks. Many boast huge slots halls (there are almost 20 000 slots machines at the state’s casinos) and a raft of table games (more than 300) are offered to the state’s casino players. Minimum bets are as low as $0.01 and up to mid-range maximum bet of $500.

Online Casinos in Ohio

Ohio’s superb land-based casino industry is a blessing for players in the Buckeye State, online gambling laws are practically non-existent. (However, as noted above, everything could change rapidly in the 12 to 18 months with the possible advent of legal sports betting – stay tuned for details as they come to hand).

Online players in Ohio are advised to limit online gambling activities to LEGAL online gambling games (i.e. Currently – DFS, Games of Skill and Horse and Greyhound Racing).

Online players in the State of Ohio should not be tempted into using U.S. based online casinos, or off-shore sites, until the State lawmakers in Ohio pass broad sweeping online gambling reforms and introduce something akin to New Jersey online gambling sites.

Poker in Ohio

Social or home poker games are allowed under Ohio’s gambling law (Ohio State Code 2915 (A) (2)) as long as no-one profits from conducting the games or hosting the games at their residences. See below for information on Ohio’s Poker Rooms.

Poker Rooms

Live Poker can be played in Ohio at any Poker Rooms in any one of the state’s 4 licensed commercial casinos and you’ll find more than 120 live poker tables available across all 4 venues. The following games are all available at Ohio’s casinos; Limit Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud, Mixed Games and Razz.

Online Poker Laws

Online poker is now legal across the United States but only if each respective state passes legislation to regulate and license the operators. Ohio has not yet passed any such legislation, which means there are no legal options at this time in the Buckeye State. (See above section ‘Online Casinos in Ohio’ for further clarification of online gambling laws in the State).

Benefits of Gambling to Ohio

  • Ohio’s casinos and racinos generate more than a half a billion dollars in gaming tax revenues each year.
  • Ohio’s 11 casino sites support 20,000 jobs and generate $3.6 billion in economic impact.
  • Ohio gaming provides $804 million in wages annually in the service industries supporting the gambling sector.
  • Among some of the leading beneficiaries, gambling in Ohio supports and funds reading programs for pre-school children, road safety and improvement, radio systems for emergency responders, and public and fire safety programs.

80% of gambling industry employees in Ohio report that working in the industry has provided them with an opportunity to start at the ground floor and work their way.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Ohio

1933; Horse Racing Betting legalized in Ohio.
1973; Ohio State Lottery begins.
1975; Charitable Gambling kickstarted in Ohio.
2009; Ohio State Legislature legalizes casino gambling in Ohio following a referendum. 4 casinos are opened in each of Ohio’s largest cities.
2011; Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) made legal at Ohio’s racetracks under Chapter 3770 of the Ohio State Code transforming the tracks into ‘racinos’.
2017; Ohio Bill HB 132 passes as DFS becomes legal in the State.
2020: Sports Betting pass initial stages of legalization process, however, debate is ongoing.

Visit our page on Ohio’s Top online sport betting sites for our list of reviews and the states laws.