Legal Sports Betting For Ohio Residents

While Ohio has its fair share of land-based gaming venues, there is currently nowhere inside the state where residents can go to place legal sports wagers. However, there is plenty of legal sports betting for Ohio residents right at their fingertips, provided they use an offshore sportsbook that serves those living in the Buckeye State.

In Ohio, it is 100% legal for individuals to place sports bets. The only snag is that due to a lack of regulatory oversight, no commercial sports betting operators are available to legally accept such wagers inside OH state borders. With the overturn of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992), this is bound to change in the future as OH modernizes its wagering industry, but for the time being, there are no legal for-profit venues that will accept sports wagers in the state.

Of course, if you’re placing your bets at overseas sports betting sites like those outlined on this page, all that becomes a moot point, and you are free to wager on all the players, teams, and sports that you wish. Indeed, even when Ohio’s legalized sports wagering industry takes off, you’ll still get superior lines on many matchups by using these offshore books, so you will want to keep your online memberships in good standing.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Ohio?

If you live in Ohio, you can pretty much take your pick of local gaming options. There are tribal gaming centers and other traditional casino gambling sites near enough for a short road trip, but most sports betting fans prefer the convenience and simplicity of a legal Ohio sports betting site rather than taking a road trip to a nearby land casino or flying off to a legal Vegas sportsbook or bar that allows sports betting. With PASPA’s overturn, there are now options closer to home, but even still, it’s a tough sell to hit the road just to place a sports bet when you can simply whip out your iPhone or Android mobile and bet from wherever you happen to be.

Sports Betting Laws in Ohio

The simple truth is that the state of Ohio doesn’t have any laws on the books controlling sports betting over the Internet. There are a few federal laws to consider (PASPA was the most onerous of these and is thankfully gone), but the government is more interested in arresting and prosecuting providers of illicit sports gambling than they are in going after any individual bettors for participating in online sports gambling. Indeed, no Ohio resident has ever been arrested or fined or otherwise legally inconvenienced by using offshore sportsbooks.

For more information about Ohio’s specific gambling laws (and to see for yourself that these laws do not apply to individuals who place bets, but only to commercial services that offer bets inside OH borders), check out § 2915.01 and § 2915.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Will I Go to Jail for Online Sports Betting in Ohio?

No, because most types of online sports wagering are legal in the Buckeye State. Not one arrest has ever been made in Ohio for the crime of playing at an online casino or sportsbook because in Ohio it isn’t a crime at all. To reiterate: There are no laws on the books that make sports betting in Ohio a crime.

Now that the federal government is focused on illegal sports gambling providers and can no longer use the 1961 Federal Wire Act to prosecute online casino or sports gamblers themselves (which they didn’t do anyways), Ohio sportsbooks at offshore sites are perfectly safe and far more convenient than the nearest tribal gaming centers. And of course, these tribal gaming centers do not yet have sports betting products for OH residents, though it is surmised that they’ll be able to offer this option sometime in the reasonably near future.

Legal Sports Betting Sites For Ohio Residents
Bovada Sportsbook
50% Up To $250 On First Deposit
All States EXCEPT NJ, NV, DE, MD

Bovada is a world-class sportsbook that we can assure you is 100% legitimate and legal to use. Having never been considered a rogue gambling site, Bovada is one of the most honest betting sites available. They will take deposits very easily through Bitcoin, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and wire transfers, and all players will receive a 100% match bonus on their first deposits (worth up to $250 in low-rollover free-plays). If you join up with Bovada, you will be able to bet within more than a dozen different sports and entertainment event categories, making Bovada one of the most complete sportsbooks around.

Bovada offers rapid withdrawals, easy deposits, and some of the safest odds anywhere, and they have the reputation of having never missed a single payout for any of their millions of American customers. Live in-game betting is one of the best features at Bovada, giving you an experience that is just like being in a live sportsbook in Las Vegas. Few other betting sites offer such a solid gaming experience, which is why we recommend Bovada above any other.

BetOnline Sportsbook
Unlimited 50% To $1,000
All 50 States

We have looked into BetOnline to determine how trustworthy their sportsbook is, and they have proven to be one of the best on the market. If you sign on with BetOnline, you will be able to wager with one of the most impressive sportsbooks around. At BetOnline, new Ohio members can elect to receive a solid 50% match bonus worth up to $1000 in free-plays on their first deposits, allowing them to reach high roller status with their first few wagers. BetOnline also offers their users easy deposit methods via Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, Visa, Mastercard, wire transfers, money orders, cashier’s checks, and prepaid cards.

In short, BetOnline offers some of the best deposit methods around, allowing users of all financial means to sign up quickly and get betting in mere minutes. BetOnline provides their players with bets on everything from collegiate and professional baseball, football, and basketball to international sports like hockey, soccer, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, and more. BetOnline gives their users so many options that you will never have to find another book again.

5Dimes Sportsbook
50% to $520 Welcome Bonus
All 50 States

When it comes to sports betting, 5Dimes has plenty of experience. They have been around since 1996, and their service has always been at the highest level of quality. If you join up with 5Dimes, you will experience a number of different advantages, not the least of which is one of the most impressive deposit bonuses around. A 50% deposit bonus worth up to $520 in free-plays can be collected through the site’s cashier portal, which is activated by way of any deposit method. The deposit methods currently available at 5Dimes include Bitcoin, Mastercard, Visa, and even American Express (on request). Additionally, wire transfers are also accepted, as are cashier’s checks and money orders.

5Dimes is one of the most trusted sportsbooks around, and they provide their players with a very safe and fair gaming experience. Indeed, the 5Dimes Reduced Juice promotion is one of the most generous perks offered by any top sportsbook, as 5Dimes will receive a dramatically lower house take in favor of boosting their members’ payouts. 5Dimes also gives its members the power to buy points on nearly any spread or prop wager, boosting its bet offerings to thousands per day!

Best Legal Sports Betting Sites For Ohio Players
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Federal Sports Betting Laws That Apply To Ohio

The Federal Wire Act (1961) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA, 2006) are the two remaining federal sports betting laws that apply to Ohio. PASPA used to apply, but it has been struck down by the Supreme Court and no longer prevents OH from establishing and regulating its own sports wagering industry. That said, Ohio has not yet made any legislative move to implement sports betting, and it will likely be another year or two before they do.

The Wire Act applies only to bookmakers, barring them from accepting wagers across state lines. This is why OH residents cannot simply get on the Internet or pick up a phone and place a wager with a legal sportsbook operating out of Las Vegas, for example. However, the Wire Act does not apply to non-US entities, making offshore sportsbooks immune from the law.

The only law that has any restrictive qualities when it comes to legal offshore gambling sites is the UIGEA, which prohibits financial institutions from knowingly processing funds used to pay for sports bets or other gambling expenditures. The top sites that offer legal online Ohio sports betting provide plenty of different banking methods that help their customers to avoid being inconvenienced by the UIGEA. Just know that if your card is ever declined, you are not in trouble, and you can either use a different card or switch to a decentralized payment method like cryptocurrency (Bitcoin etc.).

Legal Ohio Sports Betting Age

The legal Ohio sportsbooks we have reviewed on this page all require their players to be just 18 years old, but Ohio’s legal gambling age is actually 21. We advise all Ohio players abide by the state’s legal gambling age in order to make sure they don’t get into any trouble. However, it is extremely unlikely that you would see any legal issues arise from using these OH sportsbooks at 18 or older.

How Do I Bet With Ohio Mobile Sports Apps?

Most legal Ohio sports betting sites provide a mobile “app” or mobile version of their site to cater to their on-the-go clientele, and it is becoming more and more of the norm. Mobile-optimized websites allow sports bettors in Ohio to bet from anywhere they want, at any time.

Even better, since these aren’t actual native smartphone apps, Apple and Google have no say over their content, and anyone can use them. If you have an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, or Amazon Fire device, you can enjoy mobile sports betting at legal Ohio sportsbooks. It is fast, efficient, and encrypted, and your experience promises to be top-quality in every respect. You can even play these sportsbooks’ various live-dealer casino games on your smartphone or tablet!

Sports Betting FAQ for Ohio

How Can Ohio Citizens Find Legal Sportsbook Sites?

Look for any legal offshore sportsbook that accepts American players. If they do, they are sure to accept bets from Ohio residents.

What Should an Ohio Resident Look For in a Sports Betting Site?

Online sportsbooks, like online casinos, use bonus offers and other promotions to compete for your bankroll. Knowing this, be sure to look for the most lucrative welcome bonus offers as well as the most valuable bets available on your chosen teams and sports. Remember, it is always best to have memberships at more than one OH sports betting website for this very reason, as shopping lines is the best edge a sports gambler can ever hope to get.

Can You Bet On Politics At Ohio Sportsbooks?

Absolutely! In fact, betting on politics is probably the only redeeming thing about the institution in the first place! You can bet on politics at legal Ohio sportsbooks, which will typically only offer major state-level and federal races. You can also wager on entertainment odds, like the outcomes of various reality shows and awards shows and the like. Some sites (like BetOnline) will even let you wager on the stock market and other financial markets, which is like betting on sports betting. Meta!

What Ohio Sports Teams Can I Bet On?

Ohio is a hotbed of successful sports teams, as it is home to two of the biggest sports cities in the entire country in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Cleveland is home to professional sports teams in the NFL (Browns), the NBA (Cavaliers), and the MLB (Indians). Cincinnati also has professional teams in the NFL and MLB, in the Bengals and Reds, respectively. There are also two pro teams in Columbus: the Columbus Crew of the MLS and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.

Ohio also plays host to one of the most successful college football programs in the country in the Ohio State Buckeyes, not to mention other relevant football programs like the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Akron Zips, the Miami (OH) Red Hawks, the Toledo Rockets, and the Ohio Bobcats. You can also find betting odds on bigtime Ohio college basketball programs like the Xavier Musketeers and the Dayton Flyers (Steph Curry’s alma mater).

Of course, the preponderance of local favorites throughout Ohio is one reason why, even when local land-based sportsbooks start cropping up in the future, you’ll want to keep your memberships active at your favorite overseas books. When a local bookmaker gets a lot of “home team” action, they’ve got to balance their books by increasing their house take, or vigorish. In short, this means that you get less valuable lines. Because all the best online sportsbooks take bettors from across all of the US, there are no “home teams,” and thus wagers don’t get skewed. Always consider your bottom line!