Up until the 2010s, there weren’t many legal gambling options in Ohio. The only things you could do were bet on horse races, play the lottery, or hit up a bingo hall. But things changed when lawmakers and voters realized that people were taking their money to other states to gamble.
So in 2009, they authorized the construction of Vegas-style casinos. Three years later, racetracks were even allowed to install VLTs.
Now, it’s important to note that Ohio law defines gambling as a few specific things like bookmaking, betting on games of chance, and owning gambling devices. But, if you’re playing poker or casino games and making a lot of money from it, that’s illegal.
The state has specific codes for gambling-related matters, which cover everything from what’s considered illegal to the minimum age for gambling. Speaking of which, if you’re 18 or older, you can gamble on horse races, bingo, or the lottery. But for casino-style games, you’ll need to be 21 or older.
List of Top Gambling Venues in Ohio
|Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway||777 Hollywood Blvd, Dayton, OH 45414||https://www.hollywooddaytonraceway.com/|
|Hollywood Casino Toledo||1968 Miami St, Toledo, OH 43605||https://www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com/|
|Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course||655 N Canfield Niles Rd, Youngstown, OH 44515||https://www.hollywoodmahoningvalley.com/|
|Hollywood Casino Columbus||200 Georgesville Rd, Columbus, OH 43228||https://www.hollywoodcolumbus.com/|
|Miami Valley Gaming, Lebanon||6000 OH-63, Lebanon, OH 45036||https://miamivalleygaming.com/|
|MGM Northfield Park Casino Northfield||10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield, OH 44067||www.mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html|
|Scioto Downs Racino Columbus||6000 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207||www.caesars.com/scioto-downs|
|Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati||1000 Broadway, Cincinnati, OH 45202||www.hardrockcasinocincinnati.com|
Reviews of the Top Ohio Casinos
1. Hollywood Casino Columbus
Hollywood Casino Columbus is a popular casino located in Columbus, Ohio. The venue was launched on October 8, 2012, and features over 160,000 square feet of gaming space. Admission to the casino is free.
The casino features over 2,200 slot machines, including popular titles such as Lightning Link, Dancing Drums, Buffalo Gold, and Quick Hits. There are also 79 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, with various betting limits to accommodate both casual players and high rollers. For poker enthusiasts, there is a 36-table poker room that hosts daily tournaments and cash games.
When it comes to dining, Hollywood Casino Columbus offers several options, including the Final Cut Steakhouse, which offers a fine dining experience, the Epic Buffet, which serves a variety of cuisines, and the O.H. Sports Bar, which offers pub-style food and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.
Hollywood Casino Columbus does not have a hotel on site, but it is located near several hotels, including the Hampton Inn & Suites, the Crowne Plaza Columbus, and the Hyatt Regency Columbus.
Additional amenities at the casino include a live entertainment venue, which hosts various events throughout the year, and a gift shop, where visitors can purchase souvenirs and other items. The casino also offers a Marquee Rewards loyalty program, which allows members to earn points and redeem them for various perks, such as free play, dining discounts, and hotel stays.
2. Jack Cleveland Casino
Nestled in the heart of downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Jack Cleveland Casino has been a popular destination since its launch on May 14, 2012. The 100,000 square feet of gaming space provides an unforgettable experience, and admission to the casino is free.
With over 1,300 slot machines, including popular titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, and Lightning Link, the casino offers something for everyone. Table game enthusiasts can enjoy over 100 options, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, with different betting limits to accommodate both casual players and high rollers. For poker enthusiasts, the World Series of Poker room hosts daily tournaments and cash games.
Jack Cleveland Casino offers several dining options, including the elegant Prism Steakhouse, which serves premium cuts of meat and seafood, and the Market District Buffet, which offers a variety of cuisines. Additionally, several quick-service options are available, such as a food court, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Though Jack Cleveland Casino does not have a hotel on-site, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, the Hyatt Regency Cleveland, and the Hilton Cleveland Downtown are all nearby.
3. Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
Enter the world of rock ‘n’ roll at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The venue launched on March 4, 2013, and boasts an impressive 200,000 square feet of gaming space, with free admission for all.
With over 1,800 slot machines, including popular titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Gold, the casino provides something for every taste. Over 100 table games are available, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, with different betting limits that cater to both casual players and high rollers. The 31-table poker room is perfect for poker enthusiasts, hosting daily tournaments and cash games.
Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is a true culinary paradise, featuring several dining options that cater to every appetite. The luxurious steakhouse, Prism, serves premium cuts of meat and seafood, while the Buffet offers a variety of cuisines. The food court, Starbucks, and Hard Rock Cafe provide casual dining options that are equally satisfying.
Although the casino does not have a hotel on-site, the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, and the Westin Cincinnati are all nearby.
Additional amenities at the casino include a live entertainment venue that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and a VIP Lounge that provides a more exclusive gaming experience for high-limit players. The Rock Star Rewards loyalty program enables members to earn points and redeem them for various perks, such as free play, dining discounts, and hotel stays.
4. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is a popular casino located in Dayton, Ohio. The venue was launched on August 28, 2014, and features over 186,000 square feet of gaming space. Admission to the casino is free.
The casino features over 1,000 slot machines, including popular titles such as Lightning Link, Dancing Drums, and Buffalo Gold. There are also 27 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, with various betting limits to accommodate both casual players and high rollers.
When it comes to dining, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway offers several options, including the Skybox Sports Bar, which serves a variety of pub-style food and drinks, and the Take Two Grill, which offers quick-service items such as burgers and hot dogs.
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway does not have a hotel on site, but it is located near several hotels, including the Marriott at the University of Dayton, the Courtyard Dayton-University of Dayton, and the Fairfield Inn & Suites Dayton South.
Additional amenities at the casino include a live entertainment venue, which hosts various events throughout the year, and a simulcast racing area, where visitors can watch and bet on live horse races from around the country. The casino also offers a Marquee Rewards loyalty program, which allows members to earn points and redeem them for various perks, such as free play and dining discounts.
5. Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs
In Columbus, Ohio, Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs is a must-visit casino launched on June 1, 2012. The venue offers over 117,000 square feet of gaming space, with free admission to all.
With over 2,200 slot machines, including popular titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Gold, and Lightning Link, the casino offers a wide range of options to suit every player. There are over 60 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, with various betting limits to cater to both casual players and high rollers.
Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs takes dining seriously, with several options available to satisfy every taste bud. The Brew Brothers Taproom is the perfect place to grab a drink and a bite, serving a variety of craft beers and pub-style food. The Grove Buffet offers a selection of cuisines to choose from. Quick-service options include a food court, Starbucks, and Tim Hortons.
Although the casino doesn’t have an on-site hotel, several hotels are nearby, such as the Courtyard by Marriott Columbus West, the Comfort Suites Columbus West, and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus West.
Ohio Gambling Revenues
Ohio has several casinos and racinos, which generate significant revenues for the state. In 2021, the state’s casinos and racinos generated a total of $1.86 billion in gambling revenue. Of this amount, the state collects a tax of 33% on casino revenue and 33.5% on racino revenue.
The gambling revenue generated in Ohio is allocated to various funds and programs. The majority of the revenue goes to the Ohio Lottery Commission, which receives 51% of the casino revenue and 50% of the racino revenue. This money is then used to fund education programs, including the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and the Ohio Department of Education’s K-12 school foundation formula.
Another portion of the gambling revenue is allocated to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which receives 3% of the casino revenue and 2.5% of the racino revenue. This money is used to regulate the state’s casinos and racinos, as well as to provide funding for problem gambling programs.
The remaining gambling revenue is allocated to the counties and host cities where the casinos and racinos are located. Host cities receive 5% of the casino revenue and 6.75% of the racino revenue, while counties receive 2.5% of the casino revenue and 3.25% of the racino revenue. This money is typically used for economic development projects and infrastructure improvements.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Ohio
While there are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Ohio, there are several groups that have attempted to establish casinos on tribal lands in the state. These groups have faced significant legal challenges, as Ohio does not allow for tribal gaming.
One of the groups seeking to establish tribal gaming in Ohio is the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The tribe has a history of living in Ohio and has attempted to establish a casino on their ancestral lands. However, their efforts have been met with opposition from state officials, who argue that tribal gaming is not allowed under Ohio law.
Another group seeking to establish tribal gaming in Ohio is the Wyandotte Nation. The Wyandotte Nation has also faced legal challenges in their efforts to establish a casino in the state. While they were able to purchase land in downtown Columbus, Ohio for their proposed casino, the state has argued that the land is not eligible for tribal gaming.
Other groups have attempted to establish tribal gaming in Ohio, including the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the Delaware Nation. However, all of these efforts have been met with legal challenges, and as of now, there are no federally recognized Indian tribes with casinos in Ohio.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Ohio:
- Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
- Wyandotte Nation
- Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
- Delaware Nation
A History of Gambling in Ohio
Gambling has a long and complex history in Ohio, dating back to the state’s early years. In the late 1700s, lotteries were used to raise funds for the construction of schools, roads, and other public works projects. However, by the early 1800s, lotteries had become associated with fraud and corruption, and the state banned them in 1831.
In the decades that followed, Ohio continued to grapple with the issue of gambling. In the late 1800s, horse racing became a popular form of gambling, with tracks located throughout the state. However, in 1908, the state passed a law banning all forms of gambling, including horse racing.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that Ohio began to loosen its gambling restrictions. In 1933, the state authorized parimutuel wagering on horse racing, and in 1975, it allowed the creation of the Ohio Lottery. These changes brought in significant revenue for the state, with the Ohio Lottery generating over $4 billion in sales in 2021.
The next major change to Ohio’s gambling landscape came in 2009, when the state authorized the creation of four casinos. These casinos, located in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo, opened between 2012 and 2013 and have since become major contributors to the state’s economy. In 2021, they generated a total of $1.86 billion in revenue.
In addition to the casinos, Ohio also has several racetracks, or “racinos,” which offer a combination of horse racing and casino gaming. The first racino opened in 2012, and there are now seven in operation throughout the state. In 2021, these racinos generated a total of $1.1 billion in revenue.
While gambling is now a significant industry in Ohio, it hasn’t been without controversy. In addition to legal challenges to the creation of casinos and racinos, there have been concerns about the potential negative impacts of gambling, including addiction and financial hardship. To address these concerns, the state has implemented a variety of measures, including funding for problem gambling programs and regulations to ensure the fairness and integrity of casino and racino games.
Gambling Taxes in Ohio
If you are a resident of Ohio who engages in gambling activities, it’s important to understand the state’s gambling tax laws. Ohio imposes a tax on all gambling winnings, regardless of whether they were earned through casinos, racinos, or other forms of gambling. The tax rate varies depending on your level of income and can range from 0.5% to 5%.
To calculate your gambling tax liability, you’ll need to keep careful records of all your gambling winnings and losses throughout the year. You can then use these records to fill out Ohio’s IT 1040 tax form, which includes a section for reporting gambling income. In some cases, you may be required to file an additional form, such as Ohio Form IT 1040ES, if your gambling winnings exceed a certain amount.
It’s important to note that gambling losses can be deducted from your gambling winnings when calculating your taxable income. However, you can only deduct losses up to the amount of your winnings. For example, if you win $10,000 in a casino but lose $12,000 overall for the year, you can only deduct $10,000 in losses from your taxable income.
In addition to the state’s gambling tax, you may also be required to pay federal taxes on your gambling winnings. The federal tax rate on gambling winnings is 24%, although this rate may be higher for individuals who earn a high level of income. Like Ohio’s tax laws, the federal tax laws also allow you to deduct gambling losses from your winnings.
Ohio Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Ohio casinos before being taxed?
In Ohio, any gambling winnings over $1,200 are subject to state income tax. However, federal income tax is also applicable, and casinos are required to withhold 24% of any winnings over $5,000. It’s important to keep accurate records of your gambling activity and report all winnings to avoid any potential tax penalties.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Ohio?
If you feel you need to take a break from gambling, Ohio offers a voluntary self-exclusion program that allows you to ban yourself from entering any of the state’s casinos for a specified period of time. The self-exclusion period can range from one year to a lifetime, and you can enroll in the program by filling out an application and presenting it to the Ohio Casino Control Commission or a casino operator.
Who regulates gambling in Ohio?
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is responsible for regulating all forms of gambling in the state, including casinos, racinos, and charitable gaming activities. The commission oversees licensing and enforcement, ensuring that all gambling operations comply with state laws and regulations.
What is the minimum gambling age in Ohio?
The minimum gambling age in Ohio is 21 for all forms of gambling, including casinos, racinos, and lottery games. Anyone under the age of 21 caught gambling in Ohio can face penalties, including fines and even imprisonment.
Can I gamble online in Ohio?
Currently, online gambling is not legal in Ohio. However, there have been recent discussions among state lawmakers about legalizing online sports betting and casino games. It’s important to stay informed about any potential changes to Ohio’s gambling laws.
What types of gambling are legal in Ohio?
In Ohio, legal forms of gambling include casinos, racinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming activities such as bingo and raffles. Sports betting is not yet legal in the state, although there have been discussions about legalizing it.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Ohio?
Yes, you can deduct gambling losses on your Ohio state income tax return, but only up to the amount of your gambling winnings. It’s important to keep accurate records of your gambling activity, including all losses and winnings, to ensure that you can accurately report your taxable income.