Ohio is a pretty pro-gambling state with 11 casinos and seven racetracks. They were one of the last states to legalize casinos in 2012. However, they were one of the first to allow horse racing back in 1933.
So, how can Ohio players get in on the action and start gambling? Well, we’ve got a pretty comprehensive guide in store. From online websites to brick-and-mortar casinos, we’ve covered everything OH gamblers need to know.
Before we get started, we have to warn players that this guide is strictly about legal forms of gambling in the state. We aren’t advertising illegal forms, and we don’t intend to. In our guide, we hope to educate players and help them stay on track. After all, federal and state punishments for misdemeanors are relatively strict.
Top Ohio Casino Websites
Ohio Casinos & Gambling
- Year Ohio Regulated Gambling: Horse racing (1933), Lottery (1974), Bingo (1975), and Casinos (2012).
- Estimated Tax Revenue from Gambling: $1.1 billion.
- Estimated Gambling Revenue: $3.5 billion.
- Ohio Gambling Age: 18 for lottery, Bingo, and racing, 21 for casinos.
- Smoking ban: Ohio requires casino smoking areas to have outside ventilation.
- Ohio Online gambling: Horse racing is the only form of legal online gambling.
Types of Online Ohio Gambling Allowed
For Ohio gambling on the web, the only form allowed is off-track betting. In the state, TwinSpires and TVG accept bets from residents. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators take bets from the state, claiming that it’s a skill-based game, not one of chance. There are also a vast number of casino sites taking Ohio players, but they aren’t licensed there.
Ohio Gambling Laws
In Ohio, the minimum gambling age is 18 years at licensed venues. Meanwhile, the minimum gambling age for casinos is 21 years-old by law. First, gambling offenses are a first-degree misdemeanor.
Further offenses are fifth-degree felonies according to the gambling laws. While prison sentences vary, they are required for multiple-offenders.
Charities that offer raffles and Bingo have to pay a $200 license fee per year. However, new organizations must pay $500 for their first license. These licenses are available to fraternal, religious, rescue, and war veteran administrations.
Once, charities could offer poker tournaments to raise money. But they were forced out in 2013. Legally, Ohio casinos also offer tables games and casino gaming machines.
Top Casinos and Racinos in OH
The Lottery Commission oversees all gambling in this Southern State. This includes racetracks and casinos, along with other gambling. Racinos, or racetrack casinos, offer both racing bets and casino gambling, so be sure to visit.
|Hollywood Casino – Columbus||2,200 Slot Machines||200 Georgesville Rd.||www.hollywoodcolumbus.com|
|Hollywood Casino – Toledo||2,000 Slot Machines||1968 Miami St.||www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com|
|Horseshoe Casino – Cincinnati||2,000 Slot Machines||1000 Broadway St.||www.caesars.com/horseshoe|
|Horseshoe Casino – Cleveland||1,600 Slot Machines||100 Public Square||www.caesars.com/horseshoe|
OH Gambling History
Horse racing betting is one of the oldest forms of gambling in the state. Back in the 1800s, tracks in Cleveland hosted unregulated quarter-mile races.
As a result, the Central Trotting Circuit was created to address problems at the tracks. Then, state officials decided to take over in 1933 and regulate race tracks further. They also started a commission to handle the races and off-track issues.
Until the mid-1970s, no other forms of gambling were allowed. Then, the state lottery was approved by voters, as well as Bingo and raffles.
By the 90s, casinos were approved in other states, OH gamblers took their bets to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia. In 2009, voters approved four casinos and Racinos. Residents could finally enjoy games of chance.
Ohio’s first casino opened in 2012, and the Horseshoe Casino was immediately popular in Cleveland. Two weeks later, the Hollywood Casino also opened in Toledo.
Some grey areas remained, such as “charities” operating poker rooms. However, they were never charged, though they were all closed down by 2013. The only types of casinos allowed had to be licensed.
And finally, sweepstakes machines were introduced. These were another grey area which was soon closed by legislation.
Ohio Casinos & Gambling FAQs
For lottery, Bingo, and racing, it’s 18 years. However, the legal age for casinos is 21.
No, not under any circumstances.
Yes, it is, and there are quite a few in the state.
Yes, but only with licensed vendors.
Yes, there are two brick-and-mortar casinos.
Technically speaking, it’s not.
No, and the state doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to change that.
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