A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Ohio

Ohio started their history with gambling laws right after they wrote their very first constitution. The state was a hotbed for gambling activity so in 1790, the government banned all types of gambling and levied a fine, which couldn’t be enforced most of the time. 17 years later, they also banned lotteries in all forms.

However, soon the laws began to relax. It took almost 130 years for anything to change, and in 1933 Ohio legalized pari-mutuel betting at race tracks. Four decades later, they also created their own lottery with draws, scratch-off tickets and electronic terminals. In 1975, Ohio made bingo and raffles legal when run by charities. The same charities then started running poker games as well, which was technically illegal but existed through a loophole in the law.

In 2004, Ohio’s lottery system took over all charity gambling in the state and five years later, the first big breakthrough was made – four commercial casinos and seven racinos were allowed to exist. Seven out of the eight race tracks in the state were transformed into racinos, offering video lottery terminals. In 2013, the last of the illegal poker rooms were closed and that same year the state banned internet sweepstake cafes, where customers would pay for computer time and play casino games, receiving cash prizes.

Online gambling hasn’t specifically been defined as illegal under Ohio law, but the state has clarified that it does consider it illegal and no additional law is required. Daily fantasy sports were legalized in Ohio in 2018 as games of skill.

Ohio Gambling Overview:

  • Year Ohio regulated offline and online gambling: 2009 for offline gambling, online gambling remains unregulated but still illegal.
  • Ohio gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for everything else.
  • Legal online casino games in Ohio: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 4
  • Number of tribal casinos: 0
  • Top online casinos Ohio-wide:

Gambling in Ohio: What’s Legal?

Ohio permits pari-mutuel betting on horse races and off-track betting. They currently have eight race tracks, seven of which have been transformed into racinos which also offer slot games. Also, they have four large casinos, one in each of the major cities. Charities may offer bingo and raffles but may not offer poker games anymore. Sports betting is illegal and will likely stay that way. However, social gaming is perfectly legal as long as nobody profits from hosting or raking the pot. Ohio casinos have smoking areas, but smoking is generally not allowed throughout the establishments. If you live in Ohio, try one of these casinos:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
Hollywood Casino – Columbus 200 Georgesville Rd. 24/7


2200 slot machines, table games N/A 1-855-617-4206 www.hollywoodcolumbus.com
Jack Cincinnati Casino 1000 Broadway St. Opens 5PM Tue-Sun

Closes 10PM (11PM Fri-Sat)

2000 slot machines, table games N/A 513-252-0777 www.jackentertainment.com/cincinnati/
Jack Cleveland Casino 100 Public Square 24/7 1600 slot machines, table games N/A +1 216-297-4777 jackentertainment.com/cleveland

Online Casinos in Ohio: What You Should Know

The only types of legal online gambling in the Buckeye State are daily fantasy sports and off-track betting on horse races. All other types of online gambling, including online casinos have been repeatedly stated to be illegal and the state will pursue offenders.

Are Ohio Online Casinos Legal for Non-Ohio Residents?

  • There are no licensed online casinos in Ohio.

What types of games do Ohio online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Ohio if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Ohio?

  • Most offshore online casinos will not accept players from Ohio.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Ohio

Ohio has been moving fast in the past decade, legalizing types of gambling left and right, while cleaning house in their own gambling reality by banning unfair machines and establishments. Soon, they may have legal online gambling but at the moment, online casinos are illegal. If you want to gamble online you can either wait a couple of years for this state to legalize the activity or you can go to the East Coast, specifically Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania to enjoy some free online gambling.

The Bottom Line on Ohio Online Gambling

Over the last 10 years, Ohio have legalized land-based casinos, racinos, daily fantasy sports, and online off-track betting. We’re pretty sure this trend is going to continue with the legalization of online gambling.