Which Gambling Options Exist in Ohio, US?

Ohio has a vibrant gambling scene, offering various opportunities for residents and visitors alike. With recent expansions to the legal framework surrounding gambling, there has never been a better time to explore the gambling landscape in Ohio. You can read more on this website for an in-depth guide to the various gambling options in Ohio. This article explores the different types of legal gambling opportunities available in Ohio, from casinos to horse racing.

Casino Gambling

Ohio offers gambling options, from grand and lively casinos to smaller, more intimate venues. Many commercial gaming hubs and venues of a chance find their nest in this region. Varied are their offerings: from the ever-popular slot machines, the quintessential table games such as Blackjack and Roulette, to the cerebral Poker and Craps. They even entertain patrons with video poker.

Some notable casinos include Hollywood Casino Toledo, JACK Cleveland Casino, and Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs.

Online Gambling

While online casinos are not yet legal in Ohio, residents can engage in daily fantasy sports, an activity considered a game of skill rather than chance, and therefore is not classified as gambling under Ohio law. Companies like DraftKings and FanDuel operate within the state, providing Ohioans with a fun and legal way to win online money. However, it’s important to note that Ohio’s laws surrounding online gambling could change.

Sports Betting

As of early 2023, sports betting remains illegal in Ohio. Despite this, efforts are being made to change the legislation around sports betting. Numerous bills have been proposed to legalize sports betting in the state. Until then, Ohioans can participate in horse racing betting, which is legal and very popular in Ohio.

Horse Racing and Simulcast Betting

Ohio boasts a rich horse racing history, with several race tracks scattered throughout the state. The Ohio State Racing Commission regulates all pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. Besides live horse racing, Ohio also permits simulcast betting, allowing patrons to bet on horse races in other states from the comfort of Ohio’s race tracks.

Ohio Lottery

The Ohio Lottery Commission has been in operation since 1974, offering a variety of games to residents. The lottery is a popular gambling option in Ohio, from instant games and Pick 3 to Powerball and Mega Millions. It’s available in over 9,800 licensed retail locations, and the proceeds go towards funding education in the state.

Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming is another legal form of gambling in Ohio. Non-profit organizations can hold games like bingo, raffles, and festivals to raise funds for their causes. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office tightly regulates these games to ensure compliance with the law.

Social and Economic Impact of Gambling in Ohio

As Ohio’s gambling industry expands, it’s worth examining the social and economic impact this growth has on the state.

Job Creation and Economic Growth

Gambling is a significant contributor to Ohio’s economy. The state’s casinos and racinos have created thousands of jobs within the establishments and in ancillary sectors such as food and beverage services, entertainment and security. Additionally, these institutions generate substantial revenue through taxes and fees, which are reinvested into state and local economies.

Funding Education and Public Programs

Ohio’s lottery is another critical element of the state’s gambling industry. The Ohio Lottery Commission contributes to the state’s educational programs, with a portion of all proceeds allocated to fund primary, secondary, vocational, and special education. This initiative provides significant support to Ohio’s education system.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

While there are undeniable economic benefits, Ohio also recognizes the potential social issues associated with gambling, such as problem gambling and addiction. Therefore, the state has established programs and resources to promote responsible gambling and assist those struggling with gambling addiction.

Ohio for Responsible Gambling (ORG) is a collaborative initiative promoting responsible gambling in Ohio. ORG provides resources and services, including a 24-hour helpline, for those needing help. The state has also set up voluntary self-exclusion programs, allowing individuals who feel they may have a gambling problem to exclude themselves from all gambling activities voluntarily.


Ohio offers various legal gambling options, from lively casinos and race tracks to charitable games and the state lottery. While online casinos and sports betting are yet to be legalized, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy in Ohio’s dynamic gambling landscape. Always remember to gamble responsibly and be aware of the legal age requirements.

Overall, Ohio’s approach to gambling aims to balance economic growth and entertainment with social responsibility and support for those who may need it. By doing so, the state ensures that the industry remains a positive force for Ohio’s economy and its residents.

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