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Ohio Gambling Laws

Laws with respect to gambling are written and enforced at the state level, with some states restricting the practice to bingo and school raffles. Other states with significant Native American populations only allow gambling on Indian reservations. For much of the 20th century, though, casino-style gambling was limited to tourist destinations such as Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ohio gambling laws allow for wagering on horse racing, including a handful of satellite facilities, as well as gambling at Indian casinos. Also, the state allows certain charitable and non-profit organizations to engage in limited gambling for fundraising efforts, such as raffles and bingo.

Anyone caught cheating in any form of gambling may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of at least $1,000. Cheating, with respect to "fixing" or otherwise corrupting a sporting event (which would include horseracing), is:

  • To "offer, give, solicit, or accept anything of value to corrupt the outcome of an athletic or sporting event;" or
  • To "engage in conduct designed to corrupt the outcome of an athletic or sporting event."

In addition to Indian casinos, the state allows casino gaming in four cities -- Columbus, Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Ohio also allows charitable organizations to arrange bingo games and other games of chance. However, bookmaking -- the process of placing bets on sporting events or other contests -- is strictly illegal in Ohio. The Ohio Casino Control Commission regulates gaming in the state.

Learn more about Ohio gambling laws in the following chart, with links to related materials.

Code Section 2915.01 et seq.; 3769.01 et seq.
Gambling Bookmaking; facilitating schemes or games of chance for profit; betting on schemes or games of chance for one's livelihood; possession of gambling devices; playing craps; roulette or slot machines for money.
Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting Horse racing allowed with permit; on-track pari-mutuel wagering and wagering at fourteen satellite facilities legal.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Not specified.
Casinos Allowed? Operating a gambling house illegal except as pursuant to tribal-state compact.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Games of chance, such as bingo, conducted by charitable organizations, that are conducted four days or less not more than twice a year; licensed tag fishing tournaments are legal. Public gaming; cheating are illegal. Private, social gambling allowed.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Ohio Gambling Laws: Related Resources

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