Best Ohio sportsbook apps and promos in 2023
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Best Ohio sportsbook apps and promos in 2023

Oct 24, 2023

Sports betting has a long and colorful history in the United States, even though sports betting hasn’t always been legal. In 2018 the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had outlawed sports betting in most of the country since 1992. 

With the fall of PASPA, each state now had the right to create its own sports betting laws. Some, like New Jersey, had legislation ready and waiting to make sports betting legal as soon as possible. Others, like Ohio, were more cautious and wanted to measure public opinion first. 

The question of online sports betting was one that previous generations of lawmakers had never had to consider, but it was now a major concern. Some states opted to allow it, others to ban it entirely, and others walked the awkward middle line of allowing online sport betting applications to be used only on casino property. 

By opting to pass its sports betting legislation a few years after the PASPA ruling, Ohio was able to see how laws were working in other states and choose the best course of action. In this article, we’ll go over the legal status of sports betting in Ohio, the ins and outs of betting, and answer many of the biggest questions that new bettors have.

📱 Best Ohio sports betting apps

⚖️ The legal state of sports betting in Ohio

On January 1, 2023, House Bill 29 went into effect, and the first legal bets could be placed. It was the culmination of a long effort to get Ohio betting on the map. In fact, HB 29 had been passed over a year earlier and signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine. Betting is under the oversight of the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). The OCCC is also the body that oversees the state lottery, Keno, and Ohio lottery scratch cards. Bingo is also tightly controlled in Ohio and regulated by the OCCC.

Sports betting is now legal in Ohio, both in person and in betting apps online. The state has planned ahead and offered 25 slots for sportsbook licenses. These have not all been filled yet, so the industry has room to grow as new sports betting apps start.

In-person, bets can be placed at a number of outlets, including MGM Northfield Park and the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati. The main perk of betting at a casino is that during any lulls in the action, you can find other games to play. A few spins on the slots or hands of blackjack or poker is a great way to fill time. This is especially true if you’re betting on something like the Olympics, where you have gaps between the major events. 

🤔 How to choose a good Ohio sports betting app

Ohio has plans to grant licenses to 25 sports betting apps. Currently, there aren’t that many operating, but there is still plenty of choice for bettors looking for an Ohio betting app. Choosing a betting app is a big decision, and here are some of the main factors to consider: 

  • Do they offer odds on the sports you want to bet on and a variety of bet types?
  • Do they have a partner you want to support? For example, the Cincinnati Bengals are partnered with Betfred, and the Cleveland Browns are partnered with Bally Bet.
  • What are their welcome offers and bonuses?

Ohio sports betting history – an overview

The process to legalize betting on sports in Ohio started in 2019. Two early bills failed to pass in 2019 and 2020, despite fairly widespread support. In 2021, Senator Kirk Schuring introduced Senate Bill 176, but it also failed to pass. The bill was reworked into House Bill 29, which ultimately passed. 

The state of betting on NCAA sports might not be settled yet. While it has many fans, there are also controversies that could lead to it being more tightly controlled. On May 26, 2023, it was reported in the news that the University of Cincinnati had to fire two members of their baseball team’s staff during an investigation into NCAA betting infractions.

There have been similar incidents in other states, so time will tell if this bit of Ohio’s betting story is set in stone or if betting on college sports might lose its legal status.

🤳 Is mobile betting legal in Ohio?

Yes, mobile betting is legal in Ohio. An Ohio app for betting will be one on the approved list from the OCCC. These Ohio betting apps include most of the top sportsbooks in the country, so Ohio bettors are spoiled for choice. 

What sports can I legally bet on in Ohio?

The top sportsbooks and betting apps in Ohio are some of the biggest and best sportsbooks in the world. This means that you can find odds on professional and amateur sports from the most popular down to the rarest and more exotic. 

Obviously, you can bet on the Big 5 – the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS. Football, in general, and the Super Bowl in particular, is the top betting event in America, so this is no surprise. Bengals fans must be pretty disappointed that they couldn’t bet in the 2022 Super Bowl. Hopefully, watching the Bengals destroy the Buffalo Bills’ dreams of reaching the Super Bowl this year helped ease that pain.

You can also bet on soccer, golf (including both PGA and LIV), tennis, horse racing, and auto racing (including both NASCAR and F1). 

Fighting sports have always been popular with bettors, and Ohio bettors can find odds on boxing, UFC, and MMA events.

Greyhound racing is illegal in most of the United States, but greyhound betting is not. Fans in Ohio can bet on greyhound races that are taking place outside of the country, though this is decreasing in popularity everywhere.

There are some restrictions on college betting, but these mainly apply if you’re an Ohio resident trying to bet on an Ohio school while out of state. In the state, you can bet on all major NCAA sports. This includes NCAA football, baseball, basketball, and soccer. 

What bet types can I make in Ohio?

There are a number of different types of bets that you can place in Ohio. The most popular type of wager is also the simplest – a single bet on who will win a game. This is also known as money line betting.

Over/Under bets are where you bet on how many points will be scored during the game. The bookmaker sets the expected points, and you bet on whether the total will be over or under that amount. Parlay bets are also popular, especially during playoff seasons. These are a series of single bets. These pay off well but are tricky because every bet in the parlay must win for it to pay out. 

Prop bets are not legal in Ohio. These are bets on things that will happen surrounding a game but not on the game itself. So, for example, you can bet that the Cleveland Browns will win a game but not on what color Gatorade will be poured.

🔎 A closer look at the top OH sportsbooks and betting apps

DraftKings

DraftKings started out as a Fantasy Football app, so they’ve had several more years to work out any issues and become one of the elite sportsbooks. It is still the top destination for DFS betting alongside all major sports markets.

DraftKings odds are provided by SBTech, and their app is optimized for both Android and iOS. Their site is simple to use but not boring – it is easy to navigate directly to the sports that you’re interested in. Their customer support is accessible 24/7 through the live chat feature, although telephone support is limited to complex issues.

  • DraftKings offer live betting for some sports
  • Withdrawals are processed within 3-5 days, but if you go to a DraftKings retail location, they will be instantly paid out.
  • DraftKings bonuses include free bets and deposit matching up to $1,000

BetRivers

BetRivers is the online sportsbook and casino of the Rivers Casino brand. It is one of the best-recognized and respected East Coast sportsbooks. This is because BetRivers offers odds and different types of bets for all major – and most minor! – sporting events and has an easy-to-use app and website. 

Casino games provide a great break from betting, and BetRivers offers a wide range of table games. These include poker, roulette, craps, and baccarat. They offer both regular online and live dealer games.

  • Welcome bonuses include first-bet insurance and deposit matching
  • Streaming features allow you to watch all of your favorite sports 
  • Markets include all major US sports as well as a huge variety of international sports and leagues

🏇 What’s the best sportsbook in Ohio for horse racing betting?

Horse betting is its own special field, so it makes sense that there is a sportsbook that is primarily dedicated to horse racing – TwinSpires. TwinSpires doesn’t just let you bet on the races; you can also live-stream them through their app. TwinSpires is operated by the legendary Churchill Downs.

The TwinSpires app operates on both Android and iOS, so betting is accessible to everyone. As one of the leading horse betting apps in the country, they don’t have to offer promotions to attract customers, but they still offer some of the best bonuses in the industry.

TwinSpires accepts a wide variety of payment methods. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that withdrawals can take up to 5 business days to process.

📊 OH sports betting facts and stats

  • Ohio sports gambling got off to a hot start, with $1.1 billion bet on sports in the first month after legalization.  
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the only NHL teams with two betting partners – one for online betting and one for hockey fans inside the arena. 
  • Keep It Fun Ohio has been very effective at keeping Ohio gamblers safe and playing happily.
  • Ohio grants three different types of betting licenses – A, B, and C.
  • Sports betting is projected to earn the state $90 million in tax revenue. 

🧠 How do I sign up with an Ohio sports betting app?

Signing up with an Ohio sports betting app is incredibly easy.

  1. Find the right sportsbook for you. This could be the one with the best odds on NFL and NBA games if those are your top betting sports, or maybe the sportsbook that offers odds on niche sports like cricket or darts.
  2. Create an account and go through any of the required identity verification steps. 
  3. Opt-in to any bonus offers and claim them. 
  4. Make your first deposit and start betting.

That’s all there is to it!

🎁 How to claim the welcome offer at OH Sportsbooks

Welcome, offers are one of the best ways to get started with a new online sportsbook app in Ohio. So you don’t miss out on claiming these exciting promotions and everything they have to offer, follow our simple guide.

  1. Create an account and opt into the available offers.
  2. If there is a no-deposit offer, you should be able to claim it immediately
  3. For other welcome offers, make a deposit and follow the initial wagering requirements
  4. Your bonus credits or free bets should now be in your account and ready to spend!
Ohio sportsbook promos. 21+ Please play responsibly. NCPG

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Ohio sportsbook promos. 21+ Please play responsibly. NCPG

What’s the age limit for betting in OH sportsbooks?

You must be 21 years or older to bet in Ohio. That includes both betting in person and betting using one of Ohio’s betting apps.

📝 How to place a sports bet online in Ohio

There is nothing simpler than placing a sports bet online in Ohio: 

  1. Choose a sports betting app that operates in Ohio and create an account
  2. Make a deposit
  3. Place your bets

Is DFS betting legal in Ohio?

Daily Fantasy Sports betting was made legal in Ohio in 2018. DFS betting is also under the control of the OCCC. For each fantasy sports betting app Ohio requires that they do not offer player vs. house wagering.

📵 Do all OH sportsbooks have mobile apps?

All of the leading Ohio sportsbooks have mobile apps. If they don’t, they have a site that is optimized for mobile phones.

Do I have to pay taxes on my betting winnings in OH?

Yes, you will have to pay taxes on your betting winnings in Ohio. Even though gambling isn’t a surefire way to make money, winnings are still considered income and are taxed as such. If you haven’t been as lucky, the IRS allows gambling losses to be deducted when filing your taxes.

🤓 Our top 5 tips for Ohio sports betting

  1. Start out by only betting on one sport. The more you know about a sport, the easier it becomes to place smart bets. Following all of the teams and stats for one sport is more than enough work for the beginning bettor. Once you’ve found your feet – or the season ends – move on to another sport. This is the best way to avoid getting overwhelmed early on in your sports betting career in Ohio.
  2. Do your research and bet on sports you know. The ins and outs of baseball, basketball, and football might be well-known to most American sports fans, but it can get tricky when you try to bet on more unusual sports. Australian football, cricket, rugby, and snooker are all popular betting sports in other countries, but they can be very confusing for new bettors.
  3. Keep it simple. With all of the betting apps Ohio has to offer, it can be tempting to make a ton of different accounts. Our advice is to avoid this temptation and just stick with the one betting app (or maybe two apps if you have a good reason!) so that it’s easier to keep track of the bets you’ve placed.
  4. Bet what you can afford. Betting can be an expensive hobby, don’t spend more on betting apps than you can comfortably afford to lose. You can always set aside your winnings to build your sports betting budget.
  5. Use the bonus offers. It’s easy to sign up for a bonus welcome promotion and then forget to use it within the time limit. This is a waste of free money, so do your best to take full advantage of these promotions.

Read more state sports betting guides

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to talkSPORT. 21+. T&Cs apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler

Responsible gambling 

Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
  • National Council on Problem Gambling – https://www.ncpgambling.org/
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 1-800-522-4700 or go to ncpgambling.org/chat


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