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Ohio Online Casinos


Regulation and legality of online gambling

Online gambling is neither legal nor illegal in Ohio. This ‘legislative purgatory’, as some like to call it, is the result of a complete lack of laws pertaining to this activity in the Buckeye State. If you’ve done some research about iGaming in other states, you will see that this situation is relatively common.

The main reason for the lack of gambling-related legislation Ohio is simply because lawmakers are slow to adopt new technological advancements. Because they have so many matters to ponder about and make decisions about, it’s simply impossible for any state government to adopt novel forms of gambling right away.

Still, online gambling is far from a novel activity and has been popular ever since the early 2000s, at least. However, Ohio is a bit of an exception, as they showcased one of the most efficient gambling development efforts we’ve ever seen. Believe it or not, Ohio didn’t even have land-based casinos until 2009.

The Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution, Amendment 3, was a landmark alternation of the state’s constitution, allowing the building of casinos in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo. It was the state’s first ‘encounter’ with legal, brick, and mortar casinos. The process was a little slow, but in 2012 and 2013, all the proposed venues opened their doors to customers.

In addition to the casino-related amendment, another legislative action from 2012 resulted in the addition of video lottery terminals (VLTs) to seven of Ohio’s racetracks. Even though industry experts have praised the Buckeye State for allowing its residents to enjoy table games, poker, slots, and everything else, the economic benefits of the four casinos have been dubious at bests.

Reports of dwindling revenues are coming from all four venues, which many attribute to the prominence of racinos. The existence of slots in these venues swayed people from traveling to bigger cities, as Ohioans are fond of classic slot games. Additionally, some experts believe that Ohio is oversaturated with casinos.

Due to revenue-related problems, lawmakers are considering changes. In May of 2020, the Ohio House of Representatives greenlit a sports betting bill. However, it still hasn’t been passed, mainly due to the Senate and the House disagreeing over who should control the industry - the Casino Control Commission or the Lottery Commission.

Currently, you can play at offshore sites, without the fear of any consequences. Since there are no laws explicitly prohibiting online gambling, you cannot be arrested or tried in court. Just pick a safe site and you’ll be completely okay.

Since Ohio is late to the party overall, with land-based gambling being legalized in 2009, it would be too much to expect to have any elaborate legislation addressing online wagers. The existing statutes predate the internet, and therefore do not mention any gambling activities conducted over a device such as a computer or a smartphone. The absence of an appropriate, updated legal language creates confusion when it comes to establishing a legal, regulated market in the Buckeye State.

Many issues surround Ohio’s non-activity on iGaming. The owner of Jack Entertainment pushed for legal casino gambling, but the 2009 Casino Amendment restricts players from making bets outside of the four approved casino gambling establishments. Now, the same man supports online gambling and, ironically, finds the whole ordeal tricky due to legislation he himself fought to get approved.



Gambling history in Ohio

Ohio has an interesting history of gambling in the state due to the simple fact that there were very limited options for gambling for a very long time, and then all of a sudden the liberalization took over in a rapid pace. In its early years, Ohio prospered as a frontier State and then as part of the Mississippi river group. During those times prohibitions were established one after the other. History goes back as far as 1790 reporting a law that levied fines on gamblers, which were, interestingly, hard to enforce. Lottery draws were also prohibited early on.

The first period of relaxation came in the 1930s. The Ohio General Assembly approved pari-mutuel wagering on horse races in 1933, and in that same year the Ohio Racing Commission was founded to oversee commercial horseracing. The second oldest regulated betting market in the Buckeye State is the Ohio Lottery, having been legalized in 1973.

The Ohio Lotto Commission was created right away, and in 1987 lottery profits were directed towards state education funding. There were no meaningful events up until 2009, when Ohio voters approved the foundation of 4 casinos in the state. One casino opened in each of the following big Ohio cities: Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. Two years later, video lottery terminals were authorized at Ohio racetracks, so it’s safe to say that Ohio residents now have multiple racinos and casinos at their disposal. There are no tribal casinos in the Buckeye State.


Land based casinos

Before 2009, Ohio gambling enthusiasts were forced to seek casino entertainment elsewhere, mostly traveling across neighboring states. Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan offered casino services to Ohio residents until the Buckeye State got its first casino facilities in 2012. Now, there are four casino establishments and several racino type venues in Ohio. The maximum limited amount of active slot machines which is determined by law is already accomplished with the 4 existing casinos (of 5,000 slots). This raises the question whether Ohio casinos have room to expand in the future. It would take new legislation to introduce any changes of this kind.

Jack Cleveland Casino in Cleveland opened in on May 14th, 2012. Owned and operated by Jack Entertainment, Jack Cleveland Casino offers 100,000 sq. ft. of gaming space. The venue can be accessed from Public Square, and also from the Terminal Tower and the Tower City Center shopping mall. There are over 1,600 slot machines, over 100 table games and 35 electronic table games on the casino floor.

Hollywood Casino Toledo opened on May 29th, 2012 in Toledo. The venue stretches across 125,000 square feet of gaming space, with more than 2,000 slot machines, 60 table games, and 20 poker tables. The two remaining casinos are Hollywood Casino Columbus in Columbus and Jack Cincinnati Casino in Cincinnati. Hollywood Columbus occupies 160,000 square feet; it is home to over 2,150 video and digital slot machines and more than 70 table games. Hollywood Columbus Casino also features a poker room and offers several restaurants, as well as musical events. The last full-service casino to open in Ohio was Jack Cincinnati, a two-story casino covering 100,000 square feet. It contains 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games and a poker room, with 3 restaurants located within the facilities.

The state’s four casinos are open 24/7, and all of them are 100% non-smoking.

Neighbouring States: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia



At which age can you legally gamble over the internet in Ohio?

21. We believe that this is the best route to take, as all Ohio racinos and casinos impose the same restrictions. Some players believe that they can gamble at any age, just because there is no legislation defining age limits for playing at online casinos.

Despite the lawmakers’ failure to properly define and regulate this activity, underage gambling is still a crime that yields some pretty serious consequences. Therefore, we believe that you shouldn’t play if you’re not an adult.

What kinds of games can one find at Ohio online casinos?

Due to the fact that you can play at any offshore site that accepts Ohioans, there are basically no games that you can’t play. Popular titles are present at almost every online casino, so you’ll find much of the same stuff at multiple sites. Niche games are available here and there, as well.

Does this include live dealer games, as well?

Yes, Ohioans are quite fond of enjoying the full casino experience just by spending time on their phone/computer. Most offshore sites are aware of this and regularly update their live dealer sections with the latest titles, as well as revamps of some classics.

Do Ohio casino sites offer a lot of payment methods? Are they different from other US online casinos?

Certainly. Offshore casinos know that Ohioans use pretty much the same transaction methods as people in other states, so they make sure to prepare a full arsenal of platforms for people to use.

Today, credit and debit cards are still the go-to payment method for most people. Everyone has one and they’re incredibly easy to connect to your casino account. eWallets are catching up fast, due to the immense array of features they offer. PayPal is being adopted by more casino sites each day.

Cryptocurrencies have burst onto the scene in the 2010s, as privacy concerns became more apparent. With cryptos, you can deposit and withdraw money in a way that’s 100%. Manipulating or copying transactions is mathematically impossible due to the encryption technology these currencies are based on.

How fast do casino sites in Ohio pay withdrawals? What does this depend on?

Usually, it’s pretty fast. Unless the casino implements identity verification measures, everything depends on the payment method you’re using. Here’s how things go with the most popular ways to receive money from Ohio online casinos:

● eWallets: Instant

● ACH: 4-6 days

● Credit/debit cards: 3-5 business days

● Cryptos: 15 minutes -1 hour

Fun Facts about Ohio

  • The nickname Buckeye State was given to Ohio due to the buckeye trees (Aesculus trees) which are spread throughout the Ohio River Valley. The small brown nuts produced by the buckeye tree resemble the eye of the deer - hence the name. It is believed that carrying the buckeye nut in your pocket brings good luck.
  • The 1994 film ‘Shawshank Redemption’ ranks at number 1 at IMDB’s 250 Top Rated Movies list. It was filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. Fans are allowed to take tours of the filming sites.
  • The first-ever Superman comic strips were created by two high school kids named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the east side of Cleveland. They sold the rights for Superman to DC Comics for only $130.

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