Ohio has a great variety of gambling options available to its residents! It is however rather slightly limited in the venues and number of gaming machines and tables for land based. Whilst online gambling remains in the grey area like many other US States, unregulated, unlicensed but available to play at.
As a quick overview of Ohio gambling state of affairs:
- There are several land based casinos that have been awarded licenses by the State to operate. These are four casinos at different strategic geographical locations within Ohio. Casino activity is regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
- There are several race tracks that have been awarded licenses by the State to operate. These are seven racetrack casinos which are permitted to operate VLTs. Racing activity is regulated by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
- The Ohio State Lottery, established in 1973, has a monopoly on all lottery products and distributes online and through various outlets. The lottery is regulated by the Ohio Lottery Commission.
- Bingo is permitted as a form of charitable gaming.
- The permitted gambling age is 18 for lottery, racing and bingo, whilst 21 for casino table games and slot machines.
- There are no state regulated onshore online casinos, however there are offshore operators that accept Players from Ohio. The state law does not expressly prohibit online gaming, but does prohibit onshore operations.
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Ohio Online Gambling
Although many forms of online gambling in Ohio has yet to become formally legalized, there are offerings by offshore online casino operators readily available. Games include: online bingo, casino table games and poker. The reason that online gambling is readily offered is because Ohio, along with many other states in the US do not explicitly declare online gambling as illegal, nor do they qualify it as legal.
In fact the gambling law is one of the most complicated in Ohio, such that the effort to disentangle the web of statutes would be a waste of energy.
Due to the complexity and ambiguity of gaming law in Ohio, offshore online casino operators willingly accept US Players from many US states.
Ohio ranks as the 8th in the US for playing at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $31.6 million per year, it ranks just above Virginia and behind Massachusetts. The state with the largest wagering for offshore online casino is California at $180 million.
Overview of Ohio Casinos
Ohio has only 16 land based casinos in which you’ll find approximately nineteen thousand slots and gaming machines. There are a total of 314 table games. Although, this may seem to be a lot, it’s relatively limited when compared to other States which are quite liberal. BUT Ohio gaming is growing and you will be able to play at several new casinos in the future.
For the non smokers, you will be pleased to hear that all gambling venues prohibit smoking . It is only one of the few states in the US, that do not allow any smoking at all, even separate sections within the casino do not exist.
Comp’d alcoholic beverages are not permitted at land based gambling venues. If you are looking for a place to have a drink, then be prepared to pay for a drink.
We review the biggest and best Ohio Casinos below, check it out!
Miami Valley Gaming
6000 State Route 63, Lebanon, Ohio
Miami Valley Gaming is Ohio’s newest gaming venue. It features over 1,500 of the newest video lottery terminals, a 5/8-mile harness racetrack, a racing simulcast center broadcasting the top live races from around the country. Great place for betting and is renowned for being super clean and tidy. A very profession casino.
The gaming in MVP is really simply just slots. Unfortunately, there are no table games, no video poker machines, no poker, nothing else but slots. So, if you are a slots lover, you will love MVP. The slots machines have mostly medium to high denominations, so if you are looking for 25c machines are lower they will be extremely hard to come by. The gaming layout is simple and easy to follow, there are two indoor smoker areas however could be regarded as a little small with limited variety in those areas. There are outdoor games on a patio which is really nice. Members of the players club are entitled to special promotions which can provide free food.
All players receive complimentary popcorn and coffee. There are free soda stations also located within the venue for players. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased but lean towards the pricey side.
Okay, the food isn’t too great at MVP, but not too bad either. Their consistency in delivery good quality fine dining needs to improve. There are some nights where it could be great, and other nights where it could be a mess and the food is over or under cooked. I guess, this casino is not only a gamble for the slots, but also for it’s dining experience.
Other Key Points
- Check what ID is acceptable by the casino before arriving. They will usually only accept valid Drivers licence (NOT a temporary one), State ID and Military ID.
- This is a stand alone casino, no hotel is attached to this casino. Hence if you wish to stay a few nights you will need to find a hotel in the vicinity.
Jack Cincinnati Casino
1000 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio
The 100,000 square foot casino floor has nearly 2,000 gaming machines, 86 table games, and a poker room with 31 tables. The staff is very friendly. A two level casino owned by Vici Properties and operated by Hard Rock International.
Given how busy it can get during peak hours, 86 tables just doesn’t seem to be enough. But on the weekdays there usually isn’t any problems with finding a table. Their table games include: blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, pai gow, and poker. Weekends, they naturally raise their minimums quite high, with lowering them back during the weekdays.
The offer live poker, but the AC sometimes goes into overdrive and occasionally becomes super cold. Regular tournaments are run. There is an app available to allow you to register on the waiting list and to know current and future games that will be played.
This casino is non smoking, however there are smoker designated areas.
The go to food at this casino is without doubt the buffet. There is nothing else that really stands out except for the buffet. Please note: if you return several times the buffet may become monotonous and stale with the same dishes. But it is quality and reasonably priced.
This casino could not be more conveniently located. Right in the middle of Cincinnati it is super easy to get to. Parking is plentiful and easy, but for big trucks and RV’s you may need to park further away to find car parking spaces.
A very well run and clean casino. Everything is perfectly in its place with staff well trained and disciplined. Very good design and layout, with tables, machines in easy reach to drink stations, bars and other amenities. Surrounding the casino are the restaurants, cafe and gift shop. Lots of parking next to the casino, and located right in the middle of the city for your convenience.
Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment
6301 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio
Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center features 1,500 of the latest and greatest VLT slots. There are no table games or poker, but does offer live horses/ponies racing on track.
The slots/video machines that they have are abundant, with a good variety, mixing the classic and new. It’s a non smokers racino, but there is a open terrace area that is available for smokers. Indoors there is a designated smokers playing area, but you may find that the gaming options are limited if you are a smoker. A spacious layout, players don’t feel cramped. Self serve free soda and coffee are complimentary for players. Take note, that there are no table games, no poker or any other games besides slots.
The buffet is simply amazing and worth the money. The dessert is truly special! Wine and beer can be a bit pricey at over $5 a glass/bottle.
The Belterra is a good little racino that offers a great variety of slots and horse racing. Unfortunately, if you are looking for table games or poker then this isn’t the racino for you. Though, there is a wonderful atmosphere and the staff truly go above and beyond to give patrons that special experience. The buffet is the star for the food category, not to be missed.
JACK Cleveland Casino
100 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio
The casino is 96,000 square feet and hosts a live action WSOP poker room with 30 tables, 89 casino gaming tables, and nearly 2,000 gaming machines. Clean environment.
Approximately 120 tables in total, lots of poker tables, two craps tables, blackjack, a couple of roulette tables, lots of slots to choose from. The gaming area spans over three levels. Great location, smack bang in the heart of the city surrounded by excellent restaurants and other attractions.
Other Key Points
- Parking fees apply unless you become full fledged member of the casino.
- For smokers, take note, that this casino is for non smokers.
JACK Thistledown Racino
21501 Emery Road, North Randall, Ohio
There are 1,550 gaming machines to play on. VLT’s play just like Vegas slots but simply use a different algorithm. A place you wouldn’t regret visiting.
Located on the outskirts of Cleveland, this casino is owned and operated by Jack Entertainment.
Large variety of slot machines that’s rotated and refreshed regularly. Great sandwiches, drinks and cuisine spread throughout the racino. Excellent live horse racing, the staff are friendly and maintain the venue very cleanly.
Hollywood Casino Columbus
200 Georgesville Road, Columbus, Ohio
Visitors will find over 2,100 of the latest and greatest slots form traditional reel machines, to video bonus slots and progressives with huge jackpots. The 60 gaming tables provide big action 24/7 with all of your favorite games like blackjack, roulette, and craps along with some you may not have tried, such as baccarat and Pai Gow.
There is so much gaming, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s begin with the slot and video gaming machines, which number over 2,100 fun games to play. They got all your favorites, plus the classics and continually update for new games. The popular current games include Lightning Link, Dragon Link and 88 Fortune. New games include Coin-O-Mania, Fortune Charm and Walking Dead. Video poker is ever so popular as well – varieties include: Ultimate X Poker, All Star Poker, Ultimate X Bonus Streak and Hot Roller Poker.
This casino, is the only casino in Columbus that has table games, and it has a massive array to say the least. 60 tables of roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, pai gow, mini bacarrat, crazy 4 poker, zappit, Mississippi Stud, 3 card poker…. there’s just so many.
For the poker fans out there, you will love the poker room, it is the largest in Ohio! No limit and limit Texas hold’em poker and Omaha poker – join the poker tournaments and be a part of the action.
This casino has got it all! Burgers and fries, baked potatoes and string beans, rib eye steak, gyro’s, pizza galore, Chinese and Italian. Check them out at the Final Cut and Zen Noodle bar. You name the dish, Hollywood Casino Columbus would have it.
Other Key Points
- There is a dress code and bag policy. You must dress in attire that is not offensive to others, and there are bag requirements.
- You must be 21 years of age at a minimum to enter the casino and restaurants and bars.
- This is a stand alone casino, and therefore if you wish to spend the night nearby look for the big name hotels, such as Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, the Marriott and Hyatt.
This casino is huge, but has been touted to be surprisingly quiet and chill. The food is fabulous, but drinks have been seen to be pricey for some players, but as a whole most would regard the prices to be fair and reasonable. Many consider the ambiance to be Vegas Style, big and clean. Heaps of promotions for new members and loyal members.
Hollywood Casino Toledo
1968 Miami Street, Toledo, Ohio
Features a 125,000 square foot casino floor with 2,045 slot machines, 60 table games, a large poker room with 20 live action tables. Always action packed this place is.
Hollywood Casino Toledo (HCT) is massive! If you can’t get to Vegas, then come here and you will be able to experience it. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, all year round, smoke free, and a huge number of games, it’s no wonder many consider HCT has more variety than JACK’s in Cleveland.
You will find daily promo’s for their huge variety for slot machines. Denominations from penny’s through to the high limit $100 machines. New themed machines are regularly added, and it is non smoking. Of course, they have the popular and favorite Wheel of Fortune, and Lightning slot machines.
With over 60 table games, you will find:
- Blackjack (with optional side bet)
- Free play blackjack and craps
- Let It Ride Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker
- Mini Baccarat
- Pai Gow
- 3 Card Poker
- Crazy 4 Poker
- Mississippi Stud
- High Card Flush
- 21+3 Blackjack
And buzzing in the poker room, gaming includes 20 live tables of:
- Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em
- Omaha High Low
- 7 Card Stud
Table game and poker promotions are held throughout the week, and you will also find special’s for the month.
If you cannot find the gaming that you want in this casino, then please ask the staff members, I am sure they will have what you want.
Other Key Points
- Free soda, water and coffee for players.
- There are no free alcoholic beverages.
- Temporary driver paper license ID will NOT be accepted.
- The fine dining serves huge sized meals, but are well priced.
- There are many Michigan residents that take the drive to cross the state to come to HCT. It just goes to show how popular this casino truly is!
Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
6000 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio
The casino spans 117,000 square feet and holds over 2,100 video lottery terminals with the same game names and themes as you would play in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Vegas-like gaming experience.
Being a race track facility, by law, Eldorado cannot offer any table games or poker – they can only offer slot. But the slot games that they do offer is top of the range. So if you are a slots fan, and a horse fan, you will love it here.
Watch live horse racing and smell the real action. Derby day’s provide a lot of fun and excitement.
Head over to the Brew Bro’s for those tasty burger and fries, and don’t pass up on drinking down one of their fantastic own brewed beers. Try the Redhead red ale.
Other Key Points
- There is a hotel immediately next to the casino.
- It’s a non smoking facility, however there are designated smoking areas.
- Ample of parking, but the semi’s must park further away on gravel.
There has been much ado regarding sports betting in the state of Ohio. And unfortunately, the much ado has led to an impasse among senators. Without partisan agreement in legalizing sports betting there is no foreseeable progress that will be made. Unfortunately players who wish to place a sports bet must look cross border.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Now, although DFS isn’t truly sports betting, it is legal in the state of Ohio to join up and play in an online fantasy league. DFS was made legal in 2017, with the usual big brands of DraftKing and FanDuel being open to Ohio residents.
A Lawyer’s Opinion
Ohio is a mixed bag when it comes to gambling. On the one hand, traditional, land-based Tribal casinos offering poker rooms and other games and the races are permitted and heavily utilized while many other forms of gambling and gaming are prohibited. See 750 MCL § 301-315a. See Ohio Code Rev. 2915.01 et seq.; Ohio Code Rev. 3769.01 et seq.
Sports Betting: Online betting on fantasy sports is legal in the state with FanDuel, DraftKings and others operating. Betting on real life sports is, however, prohibited both at brick and mortar establishments and online though legislation is pending on the issue. (H. 194.) Thus, for the time being, individuals who wish to make online sportsbooks must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.
Race Betting: Like in many states, horse race betting is legal in Ohio at its racing tracks as well as other venues that allow pari-mutuel and simulcast betting. Online and off-track betting is possible only through those platforms that accept Ohio residents, such as TwinSpires.
Online Gambling: Online gambling is prohibited, including poker. Thus, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, must place bets online through platforms operating outside of the state.
Online Gaming: Skill games are permitted, with online platforms like WorldWinner and others accepting Ohio residents.
Disclaimer: The information in this multi-state research is made available by a licensed, U.S. attorney, and is for informational purposes only. We make no representations that the information is complete or correct in its entirety. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between us. This brief should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed gambling and entertainment lawyer in your state.
Wikipedia: List of casinos in Ohio.