Sports Betting in Ohio: What You Need to Know Ahead of January 1 Launch

Finally, after more than a year of missed deadlines and messy legislation, sports betting in Ohio is set to launch early Sunday morning when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2023.

That’s when early bettors in Ohio will be able to place bets at more than two dozen sportsbooks – including BetMGM, bet365, Caesars and FanDuel – joining those in 32 other states (and Washington, DC) with the right to play legally in their own state and kicking off a New Year’s Eve party like the state has never seen.

There has been a lot of confusion ahead of Sunday’s highly anticipated launch regarding which sportsbooks will open, what punters can bet on and even the launch date itself. So, with betting legalized in just days for Ohioans, here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know before placing your first bet in Buckeye State:

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When is sports betting legal in Ohio?

After weeks of coordination and preparation, Ohio sports betting will accept its first wagers as soon as the schedule shifts to 2023.

In fact, bookmakers at the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge at MGM Northfield Park – about half an hour south of Cleveland – are already planning to welcome the state’s first-ever sports bettor, who will quickly place a bet of their choice at 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

There was brief speculation that the state gaming commission was considering extending the deadline by a day to allow bettors to bet on the Ohio State semifinal game with the Georgia in the college football playoffs on Dec. 31. Alas, these rumors have been squashed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which has consistently reaffirmed the January 1 launch date.

Where can I bet in Ohio?

From January 1, punters will be able to place bets on any of 12 state-licensed retail sportsbooks and 16 mobile sportsbooks – a list that includes BetMGM, bet365, Caesars and FanDuel, among others.

The BetMGM in Northfield Park is one of the few physical venues that plans to write betting slips when the clock strikes midnight, joining the Hollywood Casino in Columbus and Toledo (Barstool Sportsbook) and the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati ( Hard Rock Sportsbook) – where former Cincinnati Reds star and renowned player Pete Rose is expected to place the very first bet in the shop.

Speaking of the Reds, BetMGM plans to launch its brand new sportsbook at Great American Ball Park with a launch party at 11am. A long-time season ticket holder will be the first to bet at the ballpark.

Eventually, bettors will also be able to place smaller bets at more than 1,000 kiosks located across the state in grocery stores, bars, restaurants and other public places. Some of these might be available by January 1, but many won’t be licensed and operational until later in the year.

Here’s a full list of sportsbooks scheduled to launch on January 1st, courtesy of PlayOhio:

Online sports betting Retail sports betting
Sportsbook Bar Stool Belterra Park (FanDuel)
Betfred Sports FC Cincinnati at Taft’s Ale House (Superbook)
betJACK Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati (Digital Hard Rock)
BetMGM Hollywood Casino Columbus (Sportsbook Stool)
Betr Hollywood Casino Toledo (Sportsbook Stool)
Bet Rivers Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway (Barstool Sportsbook)
Bet Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley (Barstool Sportsbook)
bet365 JACK Cleveland Casino (betJACK)
Caesars JACK Thistledown Racino (betJACK)
DraftKings Northfield Park (BetMGM)
FanDuel Scioto Downs (Caesars)
Gamewise/MVGBet The Cincinnati Reds at the engine room (BetMGM)
digital hard rock
super book

What can I bet on in Ohio?

Almost everything. Unlike some states that ban betting on in-state colleges – a list that notably includes New York and New Jersey – Ohio will allow bettors to bet on college teams in any state in addition to scores. professional teams to bet on.

There are also no limits on prop bets or other restrictions that exist in some neighboring states. The only notable restrictions are common in legal betting circles: no betting on high school sports and all bettors must be at least 21 years old to legally gamble in Ohio.

What Should I Bet When Ohio Sportsbook Launches?

It’s up to you. It’s often a good idea to bet on what you know, whether it’s Big Ten football, AFC North, the NBA Central Division or the NHL Metropolitan Division.

If you’re not sure where to start but can’t wait to get in on the action, it can’t hurt to start small and start local, where there are plenty of options to choose from. With the Browns already knocked out of the playoffs, the Bengals have the fifth shortest odds (+750) to win the Super Bowl behind star quarterback Joe Burrow, who is trading at +600 to win the MVP title at BetMGM.

You can’t bet on Ohio State’s playoff contest on Dec. 31, but if the Buckeyes can get past top-seeded Georgia, they’ll likely be favored to win the national championship a week later. The Cavaliers are 20/1 to win the NBA title, which seems like a decent price with the way star guard Donovan Mitchell is playing in his freshman year at Cleveland.

And if none of that appeals to you, you can always take a 25/1 shot at the Guardians, who have MLB’s longest active title drought (74 seasons) but just won their first AL Central title in four. seasons. Perhaps in the very first year of legal betting in Ohio, Cleveland can reward its hometown fans in their hearts and wallets.

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