Ohio was long known as a gambling wasteland with not much to show for a long time. As of 2009, the Buckeye State put a swift end to all of that by allowing casinos onto state ground. Today, Ohio is home to 11 brick and mortar casinos. Players get the full range of slots, table games, and poker tables at Ohio’s 4 commercial casinos and 7 race track casinos. Other than the state’s big casino action, Ohio’s politicians are open about their support for online gambling and sports betting. These should become realities in Ohio very soon. For now, players can take their pick of land-based casinos, race track betting, state lottery, charitable gaming, and social casinos.
Ohio Legal Gambling History
Ohio’s hammer came cracking down on gambling early on in the state’s history, strictly outlawing and enforcing it as far back as 1790.
Mirroring that of other states in the region, horse track betting became legalized in 1933. The welcoming in of pari-mutuel betting (and later, electronic lottery games) only made the industry boom and firmly cemented race tracks as major parts of Ohio gambling even today.
Things were quiet on the legal gambling front for some time. Up until the 1970s when Ohio established a state lottery in 1973 and began to permit charitable gambling in 1975.
In 2009, an amendment allowed for 4 state casinos to procure their licensing. Today, you will find plenty of slots and table games throughout the state.
Ohio is like many other states in that it doesn’t prosecute people for placing wagers. It’s not illegal “to bet”, only to “take unlicensed bets”. This means that Ohioans have free range on what they’d like to play. If it’s not being offered in the state currently, then players have the right to access off-shore sites without fear of prosecution.
Ohio Gambling Legal Status
Land-based casino gambling is legal in Ohio at the states 4 commercial casinos and 7 race track casinos, or racinos. For now, there are no online forms of gambling permitted in the state. However, you’ll find that some cool offerings for social casino gaming made available by the state’s physical casinos such as table games, roulette, blackjack, poker, and slots.
Players must be 21 and up to play at Ohio casinos.
Sports betting and online gambling aren’t legal in Ohio as of now. But with the strong voice of politicians and committees supporting the two, it will only be a matter of time. It’s even being projected for 2020.
In Ohio, charitable gaming is legal and the age to play is only 16. The state offers a lottery. Players must be at least 18.
Race track betting is extremely popular in Ohio. The legal age to place wagers down at the track is 18.
Ohio Land-Based Casinos
Ohio is home to 4 commercial casinos and 7 race track casinos. The state has no tribal casinos, so it wasn’t up until 2009 where state law allowed for casino gambling. Since then, the state has seen a thriving casino industry and brought more life to their already flourishing race tracks.
Players at Ohio casinos can help themselves to the full-range, table games, blackjack, roulette, poker, and a variety of slots.
Ohio’s commercial and race track casinos are the following:
- Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment Center
- Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway Dayton
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course
- Jack Cincinnati Casino
- Jack Cleveland Casino
- Miami Valley Gaming
- Scioto Downs Racino
- Jack Thistledown Racino
Ohio Legal Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports
Sports betting is currently illegal in Ohio. This should all change soon. When? It’s unsure. But after the 2018 election, Governor Mike Dewine was quoted as saying, “sports betting is coming to Ohio”. Other state lawmakers have put forth proposals as well. At this point, it’s simply a matter of smoothing out the legalities and deciding on how it will be regulated. Once that is agreed on, we should be seeing the arrival of sportsbooks into Ohio. You can be sure Draftkings and FanDuel will be in Ohio when things go legal.
Daily fantasy sports is illegal for now. It wouldn’t be too off-base to think if we saw sports betting come to Ohio that fantasy sports would come with it.
Ohio Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What can I legally gamble on in the state of Ohio?
The following forms of gambling are legal in Ohio:
- Commercial casino gaming
- Race track casino gaming
- Race track betting including pari-mutuels and off-track betting
- State lottery
- Charitable gaming
Players must be 21 and up to play at Ohio state casinos and at least 18 to take part in state lottery and track betting. The legal age for charitable gaming in Ohio is 16.