Ohio Online Gambling
Ohio Quick Info
Population: 11.59 Million
State Motto: With God, All Things Are Possible
Land Casinos: 11
Land Poker Rooms: 8
Legal Gambling Age: 21
Ohio was not always the gambling friendly environment it represents now. The state was slow to introduce and pass legislation that allows state regulated gambling in several different forms. A struggling state budget and lost revenue from citizens visiting neighboring states for gambling entertainment has helped warm up the climate in Ohio for embracing certain forms of gambling entertainment. The Buckeye State now boasts multiple state casinos and racinos, as well as various forms of charitable gambling and pari-mutuel wagering. The state also operates a lottery program to round out its legal betting portfolio.
There have been a lot of changes to the legal landscape concerning gambling in the United States. From a formal clarification on the Federal Wire Act to the emergence of state licensed online gambling initiatives in a handful of states, the gambling industry’s presence and infrastructure has become fluid, with an ebb and flow that results in some very significant changes nationwide. This page of our guide will discuss this ebb and flow as it pertains to Ohio’s gambling industry and the legally betting options afforded to the citizens and visitors of this great state. You will find information pertaining to both offline and online gambling entertainment, with a birds eye view into our assessment of the legal status of gambling in the state.
We are not attorneys and are not making any type of effort to provide professional legal services or advice. What you read on the pages of our website is for informational purposes only, and is not to be confused with professional legal advice. The information contained on the pages of our resource guide does reflect a combined experience in the gambling arena that spans decades, all purposed to understanding and applying relevant information associated with the gambling industry and its participants.
In 2013, the issue of Internet Sweepstakes Cafes was intended to be presented to voters on the 2014 ballot, however the measure lacked the required number of signatures. While the issue continues to be discussed and addressed, Internet Sweepstakes Cafes that have become compliance certified and have met state regulations are permitted to operate in Ohio, with a maximum daily prize payout of ten dollars per day. A list of approved Internet Sweepstakes Cafes in Ohio can be found on the Attorney General’s website page covering Services for Ohio Internet Sweepstakes Cafes.
Is Online Gambling Legal In Ohio?
Other than the issue of Internet cafes, the gambling laws in Ohio are silent on the topic of online gambling. This means that it is not legal for anyone to own or operate an online casino, poker room or sportsbook inside of Ohio’s state borders. On the bright side, the omission of online gambling regulations in the state’s statutes means that citizens are not prevented from legally participating in licensed and regulated online gambling sites that are located outside of the United States. This means that Ohio’s residents are free to engage in licensed online gambling from legitimate offshore businesses that are subject to strict regulatory oversight. You will find recommendations on this page for legally sanctioned gambling sites that accept players from Ohio.
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Will I Get Into Trouble For Gambling Online in Ohio?
There have not been any cases in Ohio in which an individual was arrested, investigated or prosecuted for gambling online from their computer, smartphone or tablet. This is because the state’s gambling laws do not prohibit Ohio’s citizens from engaging in licensed online gambling entertainment that is regulated and based outside of the US. Since there are not any state licensed online gambling options in Ohio at this time, offshore Internet gambling destinations are the only legally sanctioned options that are accessible to players in the state. We cannot say that it would be completely impossible for the state to take action against online gambling, but at this date in time, but it is highly highly unlikely. There are no mechanisms in place by which the state is monitoring Internet usage or activity for capturing information about online gamblers in order to punish players.
Are Online Casinos Legal in Ohio?
State licensed online casinos are not legal yet in Ohio, but there are no provisions in the state’s gambling laws that prevent players in Ohio from enjoying legally regulated online casino gambling from international gambling sites. The key to keeping things legal here is to limit your gambling activities to those brands that are genuinely operating legitimately within the industry. The online casinos recommended in this guide are all legitimately licensed and regulated, and legally sanctioned by a respected governing jurisdiction that has legalized online casinos for their region. Playing real money casinos games online at these types of internet casinos is not a violation of Ohio state laws or US federal gambling laws.
Are Online Poker Sites Legal In Ohio?
Online poker rooms are in the same category as the online casinos are. State regulated options have not yet been legalized, but it is not a crime to engage in online poker gaming at licensed and regulated international poker sites that accept players from Ohio. We have provided information regarding the industry’s leading US friendly online poker sites, as well as one click access to the sites that we have vetted and approved ourselves as legally sanctioned and high quality destinations. All of these sites fulfill the requirements for operating legally within the global online poker industry, and they all offer a premium online poker experience.
Are Online Sportsbooks Legal In Ohio?
Sports betting has a few more intricacies than other gambling venues in the US. Individual states are free to determine their own destinies concerning online casino and poker gambling. However, US based online and offline sportsbook gambling is prohibited within the state of Ohio. Two applicable US federal laws mandate this prohibition: the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Federal Wire Act. These two laws combine to effectively ban US based sports betting in Ohio.
These US federal laws do not eliminate all available options for Ohio sports fans. One thing that these laws do not achieve is to prohibit legally sanctioned offshore sports betting online. As long as you are placing bets at an online sportsbook that is legitimately licensed and regulated, and is located outside of the US, then you will not be violating either of these US federal laws. There is a refined listing of the sportsbook brands that can legally offer their betting services to players in Ohio. We have included these brands on this page, and have personally vetted each of them through a very intense review process to verify their legitimacy, their quality and their value to Ohio sports bettors.
What Is The Legal Gambling Age In Ohio?
The legal minimum gambling age in Ohio is 18 years of age for all forms of regulated gambling in the state with the exception of casino gambling, which requires players to be at least 21 years of age in order to participate.
Will Ohio Regulate State Licensed Online Gambling Anytime Soon?
Ohio has a fairly progressive approach to gambling, and has provided a supportive, pro-gambling environment for the industry to thrive. The state has also been more tolerant of Internet Cafes than other states in the US. We definitely think it is a possibility that Ohio will get on board with state regulated online gambling at some point, though it is not being discussed quite yet from a legislative standpoint. We would not be surprised to see Ohio become one of the states to establish an online gambling initiative over the next few years.
The History Of Ohio's Gambling Laws
The state’s gambling statutes can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2915. A variety of regulatory agencies oversee the various forms of legal gambling in Ohio, including the Ohio Casino Control Commission that oversees the casino industry; the Ohio Lottery Commission that oversees the state’s lottery programs; the Ohio State Racing Commission that provides regulatory oversight for the horse racing industry; and the Attorney General’s office that oversees charitable gambling such as bingo, pull tabs and casino games.
Gambling was prohibited in the state across the board until 1933 when Ohio established its first form of state regulated gambling entertainment through pari-mutuel wagering. The horse racing industry has grown to include multiple racecourses and racinos. It would be forty years later before any expansion to the gambling industry in Ohio took place, with the state’s lottery program and lottery commission being created in 1973. Ohio’s first lottery ticket was sold in 1974, and the state lottery program now offers a variety of games to play, including several lottery draw games, scratch off tickets, interstate lottery draw games, instant play video terminal games, raffle games, and keno. The range of games for the Ohio Lottery is one of the most robust selections available from a state lottery.
Commercial casinos became legal in 2009 after 20 years of legislative attempts at legalizing casino gambling entertainment in the Buckeye State. There are four such casinos operating in the state, all offering Class III games that include electronic machine games, table games and live poker. In addition, in 2012 it became legal for race tracks to offer video lottery terminals which are a type of slot machine. There are 7 of these racinos in the state.
Concerning Daily Fantasy Sports contests, the Ohio Casino Control Commission has declared that they hold no authority over DFS bets and will comply with the existing position concerning DFS held by the United States federal government. This means that at this time, Ohio residents are free to place bets on daily fantasy sports contests. A select committee has been designated to investigate DFS and present a report to the Casino Control Commission for further discussion.
Gambling Resources For Ohio Residents
All U.S. State Gambling Guides
- Delaware - State Regulated
- Nevada - State Regulated
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey - State Regulated
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
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