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Know the Difference Between Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting

Published: July 10, 2023

Fantasy sports and sports betting might seem similar to many people. But in Ohio, it’s important to know that fantasy sports and sports betting are actually classified differently when it comes to gambling, and Ohio gambling regulators have been working to keep it that way. 

Fantasy sports, which you can participate in at 18 years old in Ohio, are regarded under the law as a game of skill. Fantasy sports participants assemble a roster of players, which takes knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of players and their teams, and then play against other players to compete for prizes that can include real-life cash. 

Sports betting, on the other hand, is off-limits for Ohioans until they turn 21.

Because of these important differences, fantasy sports and sports betting operators normally keep fantasy and sports betting separate. But with the recent surge of sports betting in the state, some fantasy operators have started offering games that are remarkably similar to sports betting. 

One operator, for instance, offered fantasy players the opportunity to stake money on whether Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow would throw a certain number of touchdowns in a game, according to Legal Sports Report. That kind of wager is common in sports betting but illegal for fantasy sports. 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has been cracking down on those types of fantasy games that mimic sports betting. The Commission has sent out cease and desist notices and will continue to do so while taking other measures to make sure that everyone knows the definite difference between fantasy sports and sports betting. 

Regardless of whether you or someone you know plays fantasy sports or bets on sports, it’s important to do so responsibly by setting limits on the amount of time or money spent gambling. Learn about more responsible gambling tips at  

And if you or someone you know needs help, never hesitate to make the call to the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline. Calls are free and confidential and can be made 24/7. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741.

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