Casinos where you can gamble in ohio - are they legal?

All your questions about Ohio casinos will be answered here, from the types of gambling available and the rules to gamble online to how the state’s casinos compare to other gambling hotspots in the US. Find out if casinos are legal in Ohio, what the best land-based and online casino options are, and whether there’s much chance of the Buckeye State going the way of neighboring states like Michigan and Indiana with their expanding gambling scenes.

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What You Should Know About Casinos in Ohio

Is gambling legal in Ohio? Yes, it is. The state has a well-developed network of charitable bingo games and lottery terminals. There are also daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites, racinos (race tracks with casinos), and two licensed Ohio city casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Ohioans can also play at the top that accept customers from OH using desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets. However, no online gambling platforms are physically located within the state, and that includes our first topic today.

Want to play at a legal state-regulated casino?

The two cities that monopolize the bricks-and-mortar OH casino scene are Cleveland and Cincinnati. For now, these will have to satisfy you if you crave flashing lights, ringing bells, and the smell of coins clinking into buckets as you clean out your bank account.

There has been some talk of new casinos opening in the state—Toledo, Youngstown, and Columbus are the favored locations—but the industry is controlled by one company, and it has yet to show any interest in expansion.

Casino Companies That Own Both Cleveland and Cincinnati Casinos

You read that right. One company owns the three best gaming properties in the state, and another operates all of Ohio’s racinos. Shake things up a bit, please.

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The Largest Casinos in Ohio

We’ll start with the two largest casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati because that’s all we can recommend at this time. Each establishment offers all forms of gambling allowed under Ohio law, including live poker rooms.

Highest-Rated Casino in Cleveland, OH – MGM Northfield Park

  • Over 2,000 slots and all manner of table games, including baccarat and pai gow.
  • 60 flat screen televisions, four 75-inch HD projectors, and a 120-inch high-definition projection screen.
  • Complimentary self and valet parking. No dress code.

The highest-rated casino in Cleveland is technically in Northfield, which is north and a little west of the city. The address is 10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield, OH 44067.  While not in the city itself, it’s only 20 minutes from the downtown area, and certainly worth the trip.

This casino has everything you would expect from a world-class establishment, including great food, an excellent rewards program, and plenty of action on the gaming floor. You’ll find popular games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, Spanish 21, and more. High rollers might prefer the VIP Baccarat lounge, while the poker room hosts low buy-in tournaments almost every day.

MGM Northfield Park is also home to Hard Rock Live, a 3,080-seat concert venue that has hosted many famous musicians over the years. Upcoming acts include REO Speedwagon, Night Ranger, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, and John Kay & Steppenwolf.

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The race track features VLTs (vertical line terminals), which are like slot machines but often feature brand-name video games, such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and Elvis. All told, there are 3,000 VLTs spread across the property, a couple of nice restaurants, and a decent buffet. If you lived in or were visiting Cleveland or Akron, this would definitely be your go-to casino.

Top-Ranked Casino in Cincinnati, OH – Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino

  • More than 1,900 slots and electronic table game machines.
  • 80 tables for non-electronic action, including craps, roulette, and various poker variants.
  • The sportsbook features 50 large-screen TVs plus a full-service bar.
  • Valet and self-parking free for the first hour; $6 thereafter.
  • Dress code is smart casual (no flip flops, tear away pants, or muscle shirts).

Now owned by Caesars Entertainment, this casino was opened in 2012 by Cinci native and legendary poker pro ,who sold it to Caesars for $740 million in 2013. It remains the only casino resort in the city of Cincinnati and one of the few casinos in Southwestern Ohio.

Like its sister casino in Northfield, this establishment offers everything a gambler could want, including a full poker room with regular tournament series, cash games, and complimentary beverage service. They even host the World Series of Poker in the summer, complete with gold bracelet and everything.

If you love professional sports, you’ll be happy to know that the Horseshoe features betting windows for wagering on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA, and other national and international events. Of course, there are also hundreds of slot machines and classic casino table games where you can risk it all.

As for entertainment, Horseshoe welcomes major touring bands to their concert venue regularly. I once saw .38 Special there, and they still rock.

One last thing: If you’ve driven down I-71/75 through Cincinnati in recent years, you may have noticed the giant silver horsehead sign above the casino. How could you miss it?

Other Notable Casinos in Ohio

We’ve covered the two big city casinos, but what other gambling establishments are worth mentioning throughout the rest of the state? Here are two other places worth considering.

JACK Cleveland

This casino is every bit as good as its companion property to the south. In fact, the two establishments are essentially twins, complete with identical logos and color schemes. JACK Cleveland does not have a connected hotel like Horseshoe Cincinnati, but it does have all the same games, including roulette, craps, and baccarat.

What makes this casino unique is its location inside the Jack Casino complex. On the top floor is a stunning golf simulator called the Callaway Golf Center, which features high-definition images of some of the nation’s most renowned courses. Hit ‘em straight!

Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment

Another Cincinnati-area casino, Belterra is unique among Ohio casinos in that it sits atop a former race track. The races are long gone, but the one-mile oval is still there, and on weekends, you can hear the roar of engines drifting up from the lower level, where the car enthusiasts enjoy high-performance exhibitions and burnout contests.

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Unlike the other casinos in Ohio covered here, Belterra is a true riverboat casino. Technically, all Ohio casinos must follow that model, but Belterra takes it literally, sending one of its boats out onto the Ohio River several times each day for mandatory sea trials. (I made that part up.) Seriously, though, this casino has all the Vegas-style games you want, an excellent sportsbook, and a very good restaurant row.

Advice for Playing at Casinos in Ohio

We don’t need to give you detailed advice on playing slots and table games, but we do recommend that you exercise restraint and never spend more than you can afford to lose.

Remember, too, that while it’s legal to gamble in Ohio, those casinos aren’t going anywhere. Don’t do anything illegal just to win a quick buck, or you’ll end up doing hard time in one of the state’s prisons. And since we don’t recommend that you, well, let’s just say we don’t want you getting locked up. Got that? Good.

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All silliness aside, though, you should take advantage of responsible gambling resources and practices. Set a budget before you arrive and stick to it. Take breaks often to clear your head. Drink water or a non-alcoholic beverage while you gamble so that you stay focused. And most importantly, if you begin to feel like you’re losing control, seek help immediately.

The state of Ohio offers confidential problem gambling counseling services through the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling. Call 1-800-585-5854 for assistance or visit their website at .

Types of Gambling Available in Ohio & Their Expansion Possibilities

So, you can’t build an Ohio city casino in Toledo or Youngstown, but you can open a bingo hall on virtually any street corner. That seems odd until you understand that church groups operate most of the 1,046 Class IC bingo operations in the state, generating $433.3 million in annual revenues and paying $30.5 million in taxes. Those organizations would likely oppose new casinos anywhere except Cleveland and Cincinnati, so don’t expect any changes on that front anytime soon.

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Daily Fantasy Sports (with a license) and racinos, however, are another matter entirely. There are currently 11 racetracks and fraternal clubs with video lottery terminals (VLTs), and five more facilities that offer only DFS. Several of those latter venues have publicly stated their intentions to add VLTs and possibly even full-scale Las Vegas style casinos, provided the state legislature opens the door wider.

Many observers believe that could happen sooner rather than later due to the huge losses the state suffers when residents choose to gamble online or drive to neighboring states to enjoy the myriad casinos within a two-hour radius of Columbus. According to the , Indiana collected nearly $2 billion in admissions and taxes from its 11 casinos in 2022, while Michigan took in more than $1.3 billion from its 26 casinos. Pennsylvania reported $1.688 billion from its 12 casinos and 11 off-track betting parlors.

Ohioans already make the short drive to those states to gamble, and many more would do the same ifMI and WV opened casino gambling. Missouri, Kentucky, and New York are all within two hours of Columbus, and they all offer various forms of expanded gambling, including retail casinos in major population centers.

Gambling expansion advocates point to all that lost revenue as a primary reason to allow newer, larger casinos in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine agrees. 

“When people drive to Pennsylvania or Indiana or Michigan to go gamble, we lose the gasoline tax, we lose the use tax, we lose the sales tax,” DeWine said during his recent State of the State address. “In other words, we help our northern and border states grow at the expense of the state of Ohio.”

DeWine has called on state lawmakers to introduce legislation allowing for the construction of four new casinos. One would be built in Youngstown, another near Columbus, and two more in the Cuyahoga Falls/Akron region.

Of course, existing casino operators are unlikely to support any measure that brings new competition online. DeWine suggested that the parties meet in the middle, perhaps allowing the new casinos but limiting the number of VLTs at each property.

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Even if new casinos are approved, it could be years before any actually open their doors. In the meantime, consider a road trip to one of our favorite casinos in nearby states.

Jonathan Bayome is a veteran freelance writer who specializes in iGaming. He has been working in the field since 2012, covering vertically inclusive topics like regulatory news, banking methods, technology reviews, and, of course, reviews of various websites and apps that allow people to enjoy their favorite legal games.

when it comes to KY and his other passesions, including football (soccer), rugby, and premier league darts.