In 1933, Ohio started its relationship with legal gambling through a simple program of pari-mutuel wagering. Over the years, the Buckeye State has embraced change. It established a state lottery, charitable gambling, and four Vegas-style casinos.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to Ohio online gambling. This is not yet regulated within the state, although it may be soon. For now, the best Ohio gambling sites are all in locations outside state borders.
Ohio isn’t an American anomaly when it comes to regulated online gambling. There are only a few states that have fully embraced the concept as things stand. This is starting to change, though.
Sports betting, in particular, has picked up speed across the country. As soon as PASPA was overturned, legislators scrambled to get sportsbooks on the book. Ohio hasn’t go there yet, but in-person and mobile betting is on the cards. The bills just haven’t crossed the finish line right now.
Real money online gambling in OH is still available, however. And not just for sports betting, but for casino games and other gambling activities, too. There are several top-rated Ohio gambling sites that happily accept customers from the state, they just happen to be based elsewhere.
If you’ve never accessed Ohio online gambling sites, do you know where to start?
It’s not quite as straightforward as you’d imagine. The wide world of virtual casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms is filled with websites that cater to different regions of the world. Some are wide open with few exclusions, while others hone in on a much smaller player base.
Location inclusions and exclusions are typically listed in the terms and conditions section, so it’s not immediately apparent who is allowed to play (or not). A simple internet search isn’t going to yield more defined results, either.
You’ll see plenty of names, but no accurate directory of websites based on geographic. So, we’ve done our best to satisfy that need with our lists of recommendations.
Our directory of the top OH gambling sites should come in handy, whether you’re new or just looking for some new suggestions.
It’s not enough to pass along the websites that simply cater to your location, though. We have a team of experts that thoroughly evaluate each operation. That’s the only way to come up with accurate assessments and comparisons.
So, you can decide for yourself which are the best Ohio gambling sites if you want. But it takes time and effort, and we’ve already done the legwork for you.
Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering kicked off the chain of events, but it was slow-going for 40 years. The racetracks were the hubs of all legal Ohio betting until a state lottery emerged in 1974. The lottery benefits public education and is still going strong today.
Even though the lottery has a dedicated app, it hasn’t leaped to online ticket sales as of yet. Ohioans can head to a retailer and have the tickets uploaded to their smartphone, but they can’t buy any remotely.
Two years after the lottery began, charity gambling came into play. While there isn’t a big menu of options, as fundraising is limited to bingo and raffles, annual profits for non-profits are in the seven-figure range.
Ebb and Flow of Ohio Gambling Expansion
From 1976 to 2007, there was another lull in Ohio real money gambling expansion. Nothing much progressed for a few decades. Tribal casinos weren’t built, and slots and card games were still off the table. Racetracks finally got the nod to add to their revenue with VLTs provided by the lottery.
For years, track operators tried to add historical racing machines (instant racing), but plans were always shot down, so the VLTs came in to save the day.
In ‘09, the Buckeye State finally embraced traditional casino gambling by approving four Vegas-style casinos. They cover the gamut with slots and table games. Hollywood Casino in Columbus is one of the largest of the bunch, and it also has a dedicated poker room. None of the four have produced any online gambling services, though.
There are other variations of Ohio online gambling provided for residents. However, they’re all out-of-area operations. So, selecting online of our OH gambling sites is the best way to ensure a safe, fair, and secure experience.
OH Gambling Lineup
Casinos: Four casinos and seven racinos
Pari-Mutuel: Seven racinos and through ADW
Lottery: Tickets on sale at more than 8,000 retailers
Charitable Gaming: Bingo and raffles approved for fundraising purposes
VLTs: At the seven racinos
Daily Fantasy Sports: Through state-licensed and regulated providers
Poker: In casinos only
Online Gambling: Through out-of-area website providers
Comparing Land-Based and Online Gambling
If you’re accustomed to walking into the Hollywood Casino or any of the other casinos or racinos throughout Ohio, then turning your attention online could be uncomfortable at first.
There’s a learning curve attached to gambling online for real money, and it has more to do with banking and services aside from the games.
Betting and Gaming Opportunities
Playing slots online is quite similar to what you’ll find in a brick and mortar casino or a VLT machine. They’re typically multi-denomination, and some offer progressive jackpots, while others focus more on creative bonus rounds.
Video poker and keno are also close to their land-based counterparts. Table games, on the other hand, are played against the computer instead of at a table with other competitors. However, some online casinos also have live dealer table options that’ll get you closer to the in-person experience.
Sports betting options are typically far more varied online, covering a wider range of sports and events.
You can’t use cash when gambling online as you would in an actual casino, so when selecting which OH gambling sites to use you should review their banking methods.
If you’re sticking to traditional banking with debit or credit card use, then you’ll want to know that your transactions may not be approved. It has nothing to do with your bank balance, as financial institutions decline transfers based on a code. If a casino is using a code on the “no” list, then you won’t be able to use the card to fund your player’s account.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are great alternatives. You may also want to experiment with gift or prepaid cards. Either method gives you an added measure of privacy and is easier to use for real money online gambling in Ohio.
Another difference comes into play with bonuses and promotions. Web-based incentives tend to have a higher value. However, it comes with a more significant rollover as well. Whereas you may have a one-time playthrough with free play cash inside of a casino, online bonuses come with 30x rollovers on average.
As long as you’re generally familiar with the variations and you’re willing to read terms and conditions of bonuses and review banking options, you should have an easy and entertaining experience. Once you get the ball rolling, it’s a slam dunk.
Finding the Top OH Gambling Sites
We’ve already mentioned the importance of locating the best gambling sites for Ohio players. But how do you find them?
You could take the time to visit dozens of real money gambling websites that advertise American acceptance. But that’s rather time-consuming, as you’ll have to look through the terms and conditions for specifics. Even then, the site may accept players from Ohio, but is the service good enough for you to accept?
Instead of having to cover all of that ground, we’ve already done all the legwork. Our expertise is in identifying the operations that cater to specific regions then assessing their value. We have a list of criteria that we use, and any site that we recommend must meet or exceed our expectations.
Some of the basics that we look for include the following qualities.
Plenty of banking options with low or no-fee transactions
Relatively fast payouts
Licensed gaming software
Quantity, quality, and variety of betting options
Excellent customer service
Bonus and promotions
Transparency with terms and conditions
Good player feedback
Ohio Gambling Site Reviews
We thoroughly review every gambling site, then we document our findings. So, you not only have a directory of recommendations, but you can also pull up the report for each one.
Additionally, we take it one step further by categorizing all of the entries. If you’re a poker player or just looking for a sportsbook, you’ll want to go directly to those lists. Most of the top Ohio gambling sites offer all of these options, but some specialize in specific areas.
Ohio is a middle of the road type of state when it comes to legal gambling options. There are conservative states that allow for nothing more than a lottery if that. But the Buckeye State has diversified over the past few decades.
Residents now have access to casinos, racinos, lottery, charity bingo, daily fantasy sports, VLTs, and pari-mutuel betting. What’s missing from the landscape, though, is diverse online gambling in Ohio. Daily fantasy sports and advance deposit wagering for pari-mutuel predictions are the only web-based real money gambling options with in-state regulation.
So, until proponents of legal gambling in OH can get mobile sports betting, or online casino gaming passed, operators from other jurisdictions are picking up the slack. The best Ohio gambling sites may be located outside of the Buckeye State, but they offer some excellent real money betting and gaming options.