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How to Bet on Sports in Ohio: A Guide

How do I place a sports bet in Ohio?

Ohio residents rejoice—as of December 22, 2021, Ohio approved legal sports betting. That means it’s time to get your parlays and your teases ready, time to double-check the spread, and time to find the best odds on the moneyline. Are you ready to place your bets?

Hold up for just a second.

While we applaud having a ready-to-go strategy for sports betting, we need to talk to you first. Because while sports betting is now legal in Ohio, when it comes to the question of how exactly is sports betting legal in Ohio, and how to bet on sports in Ohio, things can get a little tricky. So let’s look at how you can get involved in Ohio sports betting, how that’s changing, and how you can be ready to get in on the action.

Can You Bet on Sports in Ohio?

Is it legal to bet on sports in Ohio? Yes, it is. Can you do it? Well…not yet.

Laws regarding sports betting in the United States are changing quickly and Ohio is no exception. That’s good news if you like to bet. Until December 2021, it was illegal to bet on sports in Ohio, whether that be using sports betting sites or in-person betting, and that’s no longer the case. But, while legislation has passed that allows Ohio sports betting, there’s still an infrastructure that needs to be built before you can start placing bets.

If that’s all a bit confusing to you, you’re not alone. Plenty of people and businesses are trying to navigate legal sports betting in Ohio. To simplify things (and avoid a long lesson in civics) let’s break it down with a quick timeline of what has happened so far and what you can expect to happen in the future.

What Has Happened

What brought us to where we are now? Here’s a timeline:

  • 1992 (that’s right, we’re going back 30 years) – George H.W. Bush passes the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). While the specifics can be a bit complicated, PASPA ostensibly bans sports gambling in any state other than Nevada (because Vegas always wins).
  • The rest of the 90s and early 2000s – Not a lot happened from a legal perspective, but the internet became much bigger which has an undeniable effect on sports gambling.
  • 2018 – The United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional. This paves the way for states to determine their own laws when it comes to sports betting.
  • February 3, 2021 – The Ohio legislature introduces what will become House Bill 29. This Ohio sports betting bill will legalize gambling in Ohio and set up a structure for taxation of the industry in the state.
  • December 8, 2021 – House Bill 29 passes the Ohio legislature. The House votes in favor of it 72-13 and the Senate votes in favor 31-1 making sports betting legal in Ohio.
  • December 22, 2021 – Governor Mike DeWine signs HB 29 into law, legalizing sports betting in Ohio to be regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

What Still Needs to Happen

That timeline brings us to where we are now, which is a state of limbo where sports betting is legal but you can’t actually do it yet. If you’re an Ohio resident, before you’re able to place your bets in Ohio, the commission in charge of regulating sports betting has to issue licenses. These licenses will be given out to:

  • Casinos
  • Racinos
  • Businesses operating in Ohio
  • Professional sports teams

Once licensed, these groups can then partner with online and mobile apps to provide online sports betting. These partnerships are what will allow the mobile apps and websites to operate online sports betting in Ohio. This process is expected to take the rest of 2022 and be in place so that any Ohio sports betting site will be able to go live in Ohio on January 1, 2023.

In addition to these licenses, there will also be licenses given out to physical businesses where you can place bets as well as businesses that will work with restaurants and bars.

What Can You Do Until Then?

Let’s suppose you don’t want to spend all of 2022 refining your in-person or online gambling strategy. What are your options to place bets? Do you need to resort to shady bookies in back-alleys?

No. Please don’t do that. You still have legal options to place your bets while waiting for Ohio’s sports betting infrastructure to be built:

  • International sites – There is no federal law against placing bets on sports betting sites that operate outside of the United States. That means you can legally place a sports bet on international sites. Just be sure to use a reputable site because there’s not much in the way of legal protection for you if you get ripped off. Bovada is a well-regarded international site for sports wagering and betting.
  • Daily fantasy – Fantasy isn’t considered the same as a sportsbook. This means you can currently use sites that have daily fantasy sports offerings. So start studying your players for the upcoming draft so you can field the best fantasy sports team possible.
  • Horse racing – There are already plenty of facilities in Ohio where you can place bets on horse races. Many of these locations will also likely become licensed for sports betting once licenses are granted.
  • Take a drive – Since sports betting in the United States is currently a state-by-state issue, you can always travel to a nearby state to place your bets. Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia all allow some forms of sports betting. It may not be the most convenient option, but until 2023, you may have to log some miles to make a legal bet.

What Should You Bet On?

Now that you have a sense of the legal sports betting situation in Ohio, let’s get down to the fun part: Who ya got? Once Ohio online sports betting becomes available, you’ll be able to bet on any of the major sports including:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • MLS
  • NCAA Basketball

You’ll also be able to bet on the winners of NASCAR races and golf tournaments as well as tennis. So whether you’re a fan of college football or professional basketball, the possibilities are endless. But who should you bet on? While the smartest advice is always to bet on whoever’s going to win (easier said than done), there’s also a pull to support the home teams. In Ohio, there are plenty of home teams to choose from:

  • Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) – Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase front an explosive passing attack that has helped power the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988. Considering this is still a young team, there’s likely to be plenty of success in the future.
  • Cleveland Browns (NFL) – After another disappointing season, it’s fair to start questioning the Browns. And in a division with Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson, many wonder if Baker Mayfield has what it takes to lead this team to victory. But this is still a team with a lot of talent. If they stay healthy and catch a few breaks, next year may just be their season.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) – It was tempting to give up on this team as dead after the departure of Lebron James for the Los Angeles Lakers. But behind an exciting young core and an electric season from Darius Garland, the Cavs find themselves fighting for a top seed in the east. With the new addition of Caris Levert, this team doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
  • Cleveland Guardians (MLB) – New name, who ‘dis? Despite a disappointing record of 80-82 last year that saw them missing the playoffs, the Guardians can still boast some quality arms such as Shane Bieber. While not the favorites, they may yet surprise people.
  • Cincinnati Reds (MLB) – Another team that finished last year in the middle of the pack, the Reds will need to see more production if they want to rise any higher this year. Joey Votto isn’t getting any younger and this team is a long way from the Big Red Machine teams of old.
  • Ohio State Buckeyes (NCAA) – Losing to Michigan stings and, until last year, it was a pain Ohio State fans hadn’t had to deal with in a while. We’ll have to wait to see how they bounce back and whether they’re able to avenge that defeat.
  • Columbus Crew (MLS) – Are you ready for some football? No, not that kind. We mean soccer! 2020 winners of the MLS cup, the Crew had a rocky 2021 season, finishing 9th in the eastern conference and missing the playoffs. Can they storm back in 2022?

Tipico Has Ohio Covered

Speaking of the Columbus Crew, remember when we said that sportsbooks would have to find partnerships to operate in Ohio? Well, at Tipico, we’ve already got one. We’ve partnered with your Columbus Crew so that once betting is ready to go in Ohio, we’ll be set to give it to you.

That means you’ll be ready to take advantage of our welcome offers and features like our live bets and multi-sport parlays. At Tipico, we know sports betting, and we’ve created the best site for you to place your bets with ease and security. We look forward to being here and getting you into the action. Check out our online sportsbook today.

Sources:
USA Today. What it means: Supreme Court strikes down PASPA law that limited sports betting. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2018/05/14/supreme-court-sports-betting-paspa-law-new-jersey/440710002/ (https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2018/05/14/supreme-court-sports-betting-paspa-law-new-jersey/440710002/)
Supreme Court of the United States. MURPHY, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY, ET AL. v.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSN. ET AL. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf)
134th General Assembly. Amended House Bill Number 29. https://search-prod.lis.state.oh.us/solarapi/v1/general_assembly_134/bills/hb29/EN/06/hb29_06_EN?format=pdf (https://search-prod.lis.state.oh.us/solarapi/v1/general_assembly_134/bills/hb29/EN/06/hb29_06_EN?format=pdf)
The Ohio Legislature. House Bill 29. https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-votes?id=GA134-HB-29 (https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-votes?id=GA134-HB-29)
Legal Sports Report. OHIO SPORTS BETTING. https://www.legalsportsreport.com/ohio/ (https://www.legalsportsreport.com/ohio/)
Cincinnati.com. DeWine signs bill legalizing sports gambling in Ohio. When can you place your first bet? https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2021/12/22/ohio-just-legalized-sports-gambling-how-soon-can-you-bet/6460714001/ (https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2021/12/22/ohio-just-legalized-sports-gambling-how-soon-can-you-bet/6460714001/)
Legal Sports Betting. Legal Ohio Sports Betting. https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/ohio/ (https://www.legalsportsbetting.com/ohio/)
Columbus Crew. Standings. https://www.columbuscrew.com/standings/#season=2021&live=false (https://www.columbuscrew.com/standings/#season=2021&live=false)
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