Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Ohio sports betting: State to offer extensive betting menu starting Jan. 1

Unlike in some jurisdictions, bettors will encounter few wagering restrictions in The Buckeye State

When sports betting goes live in Ohio on Jan. 1, bettors will be able to wager on all in-state teams and players — from the NFL's Cleveland Browns (left) and Cincinnati Bengals (right) to universities like Ohio State, Akron and Toledo. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
When sports betting goes live in Ohio on Jan. 1, bettors will be able to wager on all in-state teams and players — from the NFL's Cleveland Browns (left) and Cincinnati Bengals (right) to universities like Ohio State, Akron and Toledo. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Read moreAndy Lyons / Getty Images

Ohio sports betting finally — and officially — launches when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1. That’s the good news for eager Buckeye State bettors.

The not-so-good news? That launch will transpire mere minutes after the state’s largest university — Ohio State — concludes its College Football Playoff semifinal game against top-ranked and undefeated Georgia.

The timing is unfortunate, in that Ohio bettors will not be able to legally place wagers on the Buckeyes’ Peach Bowl matchup in Atlanta.

However, those bettors will be able to get down on all the NFL’s New Year’s Day games (including the Cleveland Browns’ clash at Washington).

They’ll also be able to wager on the four college football bowl matchups slated for Jan. 2; the Bengals’ Monday Night Football battle with the Buffalo Bills in Cincinnati later that evening; and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ home game against the rival Chicago Bulls.

And should Ohio State score the upset over Georgia on New Year’s Eve? The Buckeyes will advance to the Jan. 9 national championship game, which will be open for betting all across Ohio.

We’re not just talking about traditional sides and total bets, either. Player and team prop wagers, futures, in-game action — all of it will be fair game in Ohio, through retail and mobile sportsbooks, as well as kiosks in select bars, restaurants and even supermarkets.

Indeed, thanks to one of the nation’s most liberal sports betting bills, Ohio residents and visitors will face few restrictions when it comes to what they can and cannot wager on within the state’s borders.

Ohio sports betting: Permission granted

Back in mid-March, eight teams descended on Portland, Oregon, for the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Fans of those schools, as well as Oregon residents, made the trek to the Moda Center and enjoyed six March Madness games contested over two days.

One thing those fans — or anyone within Oregon’s borders — didn’t enjoy? The opportunity to place a single (legal) wager through the mobile betting app of the only sportsbook licensed in the state (DraftKings).

That’s because the sports betting legislation Oregon passed in August 2019 included a ban on all college wagering — not just games involving in-state schools like Oregon and Oregon State, but any collegiate competitions involving any universities.

Similar restrictions exist in many other states that have forms of legalized sports betting, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Arizona.

Same goes for New Jersey, which was one of the first states to sign off on sports betting following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in May 2018 that lifted the federal sports betting ban.

Then there are states like Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania, which permit wagering on in-state college teams but not props involving college athletes. Meanwhile, Illinois only allows in-state wagering at retail locations (not online), but player prop and live betting for college sports are banned.

Ohio, on the other hand, will allow licensed sportsbooks to accept wagers on virtually every professional and collegiate competition — no matter who is involved where it’s happening.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Ohio sports betting: Open for all kinds of business

When Ohio sports betting goes live on New Year’s Day, residents and visitors who are at least 21 years old can begin placing sports bets at any of the 22 approved retail outlets and 22 approved mobile sportsbooks.

They can bet on all major professional teams, from the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA to the WNBA, MLS, golf, tennis, UFC and even rugby.

Betting on all college teams also will be permitted, whether it’s a major university like Ohio State or smaller schools like Akron, Toledo, Ohio and Miami (Ohio).

Want some action the next time the Olympics roll around? Or other international sporting events? That’s allowed, too.

The only notable restriction in Ohio — as is the case in all states — is on high school sports.

Additionally, all types of wagers will be accepted in Ohio’s brick-and-mortar and mobile sportsbooks. This includes traditional straight bets (including moneyline, point spreads and totals), as well as parlays, teasers, props, futures and in-game wagering.

Just how vast is the forthcoming Ohio sports betting menu? Put it this way: If the state’s marketing officials are looking for a promotional slogan, they could easily go with, “If you’ve bet on it in Las Vegas, you can bet on it in Ohio.”

That is, starting Jan. 1.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.