Ohio is one of the most gambling-friendly states in the US, especially now with legalized sports betting, and the state is working hard on bringing retail and online sports betting support, which is expected to launch on January 1st, 2023. The launch was already confirmed, and the state regulators are currently working on issuing licenses and preparing the online sports betting infrastructure.
However, we were also interested in looking into online and land-based casinos in the state and the general state of its gambling landscape — what is legal, what is not as of right now, and how long the state has allowed different forms of gambling. So, if you are an Ohio citizen, or you are planning to move to Ohio, or even just visit for a certain amount of time, and you wish to know what gambling opportunities there are — stick around, and we will tell you everything you need to know.
The current options for Ohio residents are below.
Ohio Online Casinos
Below are the top ones that we recommend that offer online gambling services to Ohio residents:
Ignition Casino is a platform licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and in possession of the eCOGRA certificate. The platform was founded in 2016, and it is well-known for a wide variety of games, multiple language support, top-notch customer service available via email, live chat, and phone call, as well as multiple payment methods.
The casino also offers rich bonuses, promotions, and additional benefits. Keeping up with the times, Ignition casino also supports crypto transactions. All in all, it is a great platform for those who seek a platform rich with live games, and we recommend it.
2. Cafe Casino
Next up, we have Cafe Casino, which only caters to USA players including players from Ohio. The casino itself is fairly young, as it only launched in 2020. However, it grew quickly and attracted users from all over the country thanks to its generous bonuses, acceptance of cryptocurrencies, and various other payment methods.
Cafe Casino holds a Curacao gaming license, and it has a rather extensive game library, featuring slots, blackjack, multiple versions of roulette including American and European, and all kinds of other games that players from all walks of life enjoy. If you decide to stick around, you even become eligible for loyalty and VIP programs, and there are always promotions involving something called a mystery bonus.
The platform is also big on security and customer support, and it is available via mobile and desktop, so you can play your favorite games from home or while on the go. Read more about it in our Cafe Casino review, or if you wish to head over to the platform and start playing, you can do that by clicking here.
3. Wild Casino
In the third spot, we have Wild Casino — a platform that offers excellent bonuses, hundreds of games, and it currently accepts players from Ohio. The casino was launched in 2017, and it obtained a license from the Panama Gaming Commission. Since then, it has been a common gambling site for US gamblers, constantly adding more games through partnerships with new software providers.
It features slots, tables, video poker, and, of course, roulette. Other than that, it has a lot of benefits that make it attractive to players, such as fast payouts, generous bonuses, the great quality of games, multiple payment options, compatibility with various devices, and more. In the end, it is one of the most popular platforms for a reason, and it is no accident that it ranks high on our list. To learn more about Wild Casino, read our Wild Casino Review, which covers everything that the platform has to offer in detail.
In fourth place, we have Bovada, which is both a casino and a sportsbook. The platform was launched in 2011, which was also when it obtained the Kahnawake Gambling Commission’s license. However, after the Commission had a policy change in 2016, Bovada decided to voluntarily drop the license in protest. As of 2022, the platform has been running without a license for six years now, and it has never had any issues as a result of its situation.
Bovada features hundreds of games, with 300 of them being slots alone. It offers multiple payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, and it has a very rich welcome bonus that continues to draw new users in. There are also various promotions and even a loyalty and VIP program for long-term users. Finally, it also has very capable customer support that you can reach via phone, email, or live chat.
Bovada is a platform with a clear vision of what the online gambling industry is supposed to look like in order for gamblers to get what they need, and you can learn everything about it from our in-depth review.
In the fifth spot, we have Slots.lv, which is a platform that was launched in 2013 with a special focus on offering an exceptional selection of slot machines, and it provides services for players from the USA including Ohio.
The platform is well-known for a variety of highly desirable features and benefits, such as $10 minimum deposits, generous welcome bonuses, cryptocurrency incentives, and over 400 available games. Slots.lv is also very safe thanks to advanced encryption, as well as the fact that it holds the license of Curacao Gaming Authorities.
Nearing the end of the list, we have BetOnline, it’s a comprehensive gambling site that also mostly focuses on acting as a sportsbook, but it does still have plenty of casino games, including roulette.
Its minimum deposit is a bit above average, sitting at $20 when most platforms offer $10, but that is also still rather affordable. The platform supports multiple payment methods, including crypto, and it holds a license by Panama City authorities. It has a great welcome bonus, and plenty of crypto-involving promotions, so using digital currencies might be something worth considering.
7. Super Slots
At the end of the list we have Super Slots. This is a leading casino rich with slot games, with its entire theme revolving around this most popular type of casino game. Of course, the platform doesn’t feature only slots but also plenty of live games, table games, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to contact its customer support which will gladly help you in any way possible.
Super Slots is a fairly young platform launched in 2020, but it accepts US players, it has a massive welcome bonus, it accepts crypto payments, and its minimum deposit is only $25. Apart from crypto, you can also deposit funds via Visa, Mastercard, bank wire transfers, or American Express. The platform is perfectly safe and licensed by the Panama Gaming Control Board, which makes it compliant with the US gambling laws.
Ohio Gambling Landscape
The first thing that we wanted to talk about is the state’s gambling landscape. Simply put, a lot of it is legal already, and there are numerous legal bets that you can make at any time. Casino gambling, for example, is fully legal. So is poker, horse racing and betting, the lottery, and charitable gaming.
Daily fantasy sports is another option that has been legal for years now. And, as mentioned, online and retail sports betting are only three and a half months away from launch. However, when it comes to social gambling and online gambling, the situation is less clear. With neither being legalized, these aspects of the gambling industry are in the legal gray area.
Online gambling is particularly interesting to a lot of people, as online gambling is available to everyone at any time, and from any place, be it in the comfort of one’s home or gambling on the go via smartphones. However, this option is not legally available in the state of Ohio, and there is no timeline that would hint at when and if it will be.
Is Online Gambling in Ohio Legal?
Unfortunately, the answer is no — at the time of writing, Ohio does not legally allow online gambling. It did not issue a ban on it, but with the lack of regulations, it is technically considered not legal. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot access it anyway.
There are multiple off-shore casinos that offer their platforms to Ohio citizens, as well as the rest of the US. With online casinos not being legal and these platforms lacking anything resembling a license, their offerings are technically illegal, and so is accessing them. But, since these platforms are based outside of the US, they are also outside of the US reach. Meanwhile, while accessing them is not legal — no one was ever arrested for accessing them in Ohio or elsewhere. In truth, the threat to gamblers who access these platforms does not come from the authorities but rather from online casinos themselves. With them being outside of the US jurisdiction, the country cannot reach them, and so they are not obligated to pay you your winnings or return your deposit.
Of course, they likely will not do something like this, especially when it comes to platforms licensed in other nations. Scammy platforms will absolutely try something like that, but licensed casinos are still under the watchful eye of foreign regulators, and they will not risk their licenses and reputations just to steal a few hundreds of thousands of dollars from US gamblers who happened to have enough luck to win that money.
History of Gambling in Ohio
Ohio’s gambling history is not very long or particularly extensive, spanning back less than a century and with only a few major highlights. It started in 1933 when the Ohio General Assembly approved sports betting. After that, nearly 50 years went by without any other major events in the gambling industry.
The first notable thing happened in 1980 when the state voters approved the creation of the Ohio Lotto Commission in search of the state lottery. During the same year, Ohio Legislature rejected the legalization of casino gambling. Then, exactly ten years later, the matter was brought up again, and this time it was put in front of the state voters. However, voters in the state made the same decision, voting against the legalization of casino gambling. The matter emerged for the third time in 1996, and it was once again up to the voters to decide what to do. The proposal focused on riverboat gambling this time, but the vote decided against the legalization yet again.
Things finally changed in 2009, when casinos were authorized in four cities in the state. Then, video lottery terminals also got authorized at Ohio racetracks two years after that, in 2011. 2018 brought the legalization of daily fantasy sports, and lastly, December of 2021 saw the legalization of online and retail sports betting in the state, with plans to introduce it on January 1st, 2023.
Casinos in Ohio
At this time, Ohio has a pretty decent list of retail casinos available, including racinos and land-based regular casino platforms. There are 11 of them, with 7 racinos and the rest of them are land-based casinos.
The land-based casinos include:
- Jack Cleveland Casino
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
- Hollywood Casino Toledo
As for racinos, the following names are offered at this time:
- Belterra Park Cincinnati
- Miami Valley Gaming
- Eldorado Gaming Scoto Downs
- MGM Northfield Park
- Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
- Jack Thistledown Racino
- Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course