Skip to content

What to Know About Sports Betting in Ohio

Published: October 24, 2022

It’s official: sports betting will be legal in Ohio. With early 2023 set as the universal start date for all sports betting in the state, many changes in Ohio’s gambling landscape are already taking place. 

To keep this new form of legal gambling responsible, advocates and government officials are formulating regulations and making sure that support is available to those who may need it. But many questions remain. Here are five things to know about the upcoming start of sports betting in Ohio. 

Universal Start Date: Early 2023

Instead of rolling out licenses for individual sportsbooks one by one, Ohio has decided to begin all sports betting on the same date of January 1, 2023 (as of the writing of this blog). Bets placed on or after that date with a licensed sportsbook operator are legal. 

Ohio Legalization Began with House Bill 29

Sports betting was illegal in most states until 2018. That year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law that had effectively banned betting, opening the door to legal sports betting in many states, including Ohio. Casino gambling has been legal in Ohio since 2009, but sports betting was banned until House Bill 29 was passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by the governor in 2021. 

In-Person and Online Bets are Both Legal

Some states allow in-person bets and don’t allow online ones, or the other way around. But Ohio has allowed both online bets via computers and phones and placing bets in-person with licensed sportsbook operators. A limited number of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are expected to open around the state, including at professional sports stadiums. Some types of bets will also be allowed at digital kiosks in bars that hold a liquor license and sell lottery tickets. 

No Changes to Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports have been legal in Ohio since 2017, and fantasy sports are separate from the sports betting legalization process that was started by H.B. 29. Despite being legally separate from sports betting, fantasy sports can still put you at risk for a problem with gambling and should be engaged in responsibly. 

A Continued Commitment to Responsible Gaming

Sports betting has been immensely popular in states that have legalized it before Ohio, and local experts are expecting sports betting to be a large and growing industry in Ohio in the coming years too. But along with that growth comes concern that more people engaging in gambling behavior could also result in an increase in people who have a problem with gambling. Since online betting apps let people place bets quickly and easily, encouraging responsible gambling and betting is more important than ever. 

To learn more about the risks of sports betting, check out Before You Bet’s sport betting Pause Before You Play resource page and community toolkit, which encourages sports bettors to slow down, assess their risk, and know when to stop before placing a bet. 

If you are concerned about your own sports betting or gambling habits or the habits of someone you love, call the Problem Gambling Helpline. Confidential support from trained and understanding specialists is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741. 

Back to News