Legal gambling in Ohio dates back to the 1930s. The state has long been gambling-friendly, and is also one of the first states to offer legal online gambling options. We will look at the state of online gambling in Ohio, including the outlook for Ohio online casinos. We will also briefly overview the upcoming legal sports betting market.
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Legal Online Gambling in Ohio
Ohio is a gambling-friendly state, with numerous live gambling options and even a few online gambling options. The state has a long history of supporting gambling, with the first form of legal gambling dating back to 1933. Despite the long history of gambling in the state, there are still many laws on the books pertaining to gambling.
The Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2915 addresses many forms of gambling, but not all gambling. In short, bookmaking is illegal, as is operating games of chance for profit except as a licensed entity. Furthermore, Ohio is one state where it is unlawful to play online casino games or poker for a significant source of income. As such, that would make professional gambling illegal in the state.
In Ohio, online casino games are illegal, as many of the current laws apply to them. However, the state does not criminalize the act of playing at online casinos. However, we would urge caution if you plan to make online gambling a significant form of income, as it would constitute professional gambling.
There are legal forms of online gambling in Ohio. For example, the Ohio Lottery allows for online gaming. Furthermore, certain forms of online bingo and raffles are permitted through charitable organizations. However, the biggest change in online gambling in Ohio will occur by the start of 2023.
HB 29 was a landmark bill passed by the Ohio Legislature in 2021. The bill legalizes both retail sportsbooks and online sportsbooks. Once the market launches, sports betting will be legal at brick-and-mortar casinos, bars and restaurants, and via online sportsbooks.
The legal sports betting market is required to launch by January 1, 2023, and regulators are on pace to meet the launch date. However, Ohio online casino regulation is still a ways off in the future. Once the sports betting market launches, we can expect to see other forms of online gambling in Ohio addressed.
The legal gambling age in Ohio is based on the game. For bingo games, anyone 16 or older can participate. For the state lottery, Keno, and horse racing, you can start playing at 18. For all other forms of gambling, you must be 21 or older.
Forms of Legal Gambling in Ohio
There are at least ten forms of legal gambling in Ohio. Dating back to 1933, Ohio citizens and state lawmakers have regularly addressed the matter of gambling expansion. Below is a list of legal gambling options in Ohio.
Best Brick-and-Mortar Casinos in Ohio
Jack Cleveland Casino
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Hard Rock Casino
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Hollywood Casino Columbus
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Future Changes to Gambling Regulations in Ohio
2021 was a banner year for online gambling in Ohio. Sports betting was legalized, and by the start of 2023, both retail and online sports betting will be available. This has been a lengthy process, and regulators are working diligently toward the January 1, 2023 launch date.
As such, we have heard little about Ohio online casino regulation. This is normal for a state that has recently gone through gambling expansion. However, there is another consideration that has slowed the growth of online gambling nationwide.
The mid-term elections are this year. Every seat in the US House of Representatives is up for grabs, as are 33 seats in the US Senate. Furthermore, 34 states will elect a Governor this year. This is a banner year for politicians, and unfortunately, topics like online gambling tend to take a backseat.
Online gambling is still a challenging topic for many lawmakers. In some regions of the country, gambling is still considered taboo. At best, it is a distraction that politicians like to avoid. That is why many legislatures have not even pursued online gambling bills this year. Ohio lawmakers are likely taking the same stance.
However, things go back to normal after the midterm elections. Politicians can then move forward on any planned legislation, including Ohio online casino gambling. Don’t be surprised to see Senator Schuring champion an online casino bill starting next year.
Also, once sports betting launches, the chances of regulating Ohio online casino gambling increases. That is because online casino gambling is considered a complementary partner to sports betting. Once successful sports betting markets launch, casinos and lawmakers look for ways to increase revenues. This can come through online casino gambling.
The quicker OH sports betting becomes successful, the faster we should see the timeline accelerate to legalize online casino gambling.
How You Can Help Online Casino Legalization Efforts
Ohio citizens support online gambling - just look at the popularity of the lottery and sports betting. Many players still gamble online despite the lack of regulation. Regulated online casino games will benefit everyone by providing a safe environment for casino gamblers. Further, it will bring jobs to the region and give the state another tax revenue stream.
There are ways that you can help further the cause of online casino regulation. It starts by contacting your state legislators. Talk with your Representatives and State Senators about supporting online gambling expansion. Stress the positives that legal online gambling can bring to the state. Highlight the successes in the legal gaming industry.
Contact others that support legal online gambling and urge them to act. Create and sign petitions that support online gambling, and attend any town halls or meetings held on the matter in the future. The more you voice your support, the more lawmakers will listen.
Finally, the best way to support legal online casino gambling is to support other forms of gambling that are already legal. If you plan to bet on sports in Ohio, make sure to sign up and play through online sportsbooks. For those who play the lottery, try and play online instead of going to a retail location. The more traffic that online gambling options bring, the more lawmakers and regulators will see the need for online casino games.
With sports betting now legal and launching soon, Ohio is in a great place to continue its gambling expansion. Online casinos complement sports betting, and can help to bolster the existing live gambling market. Look at New Jersey and its successes with online casinos. The same can happen in Ohio. Online casino gambling in Ohio will certainly occur at some point in the future, but action now may help to accelerate that timeline.
Online Gambling Ohio FAQ
Can you gamble online in Ohio?
You can gamble online in Ohio, though there are only certain forms of online gambling that are specifically legal. The Ohio lottery, as well as charitable bingos and raffles, can be played online. In 2023, online sportsbooks will also become legal to play at. However, while there is no specific law as to the legality of playing at online casinos, Ohio does not criminalize the act of doing so.
What gambling is legal in Ohio?
Forms of gambling that are legal in Ohio include the state lottery, horse racing, bingo, raffles, keno, fantasy sports, skill-based amusement games, and playing at live casinos. Legislation has passed to legalize both online and retail sports betting, but the market will likely not launch until the beginning of 2023.
Is BetOnline legal in Ohio?
BetOnline, as well as other offshore online casinos, are not currently legal to play at in Ohio. However, nothing in Ohio law criminalizes the act of playing at online casinos. The exception to this is doing so for a significant source of income, which is specified as being illegal. With the recent legalization of sports betting, Ohio's online casino laws are likely to change in the future.