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Ohio Poker Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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As a resident of the great state of Ohio, you may wonder what the poker laws are in your state. Wonder no more! This article will outline everything you need to know about Ohio’s poker laws, including which games are legal and how to get involved in Poker if you’re a resident of Ohio.

So whether you’re just curious about Ohio’s poker laws or are looking for more information on how to play Poker in your state, keep reading!

Where to Play Online Poker in Ohio

Online Poker is a fun and convenient way to play your favorite card game from the comfort of your own home. And if you live in Ohio, you’re lucky – plenty of great online poker rooms in Ohio welcome players from Buckeye State. Here are just a few of the best places to play online Poker in Ohio:

BetOnline Poker

Bonus Offer: 100% up to $1000
Available Countries
Accepts US players
More Info
Available Games
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Live Dealer
  • Baccarat
Payment Methods
Features
  • Great gaming library
  • Numerous tournaments
  • Hefty welcome bonus
  • Additional bonuses for crypto users

Everygame Poker

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Available Countries
Accepts US players
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  • Poker
  • Blackjack
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  • Live Dealer
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  • Host of cash games and tournaments
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  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
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  • Baccarat
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Is Online Gambling Illegal in Ohio?

Online gambling is a gray area in Ohio. There are no specific laws prohibiting it, but there are also no laws explicitly permitting it. As a result, many residents are unsure about the legal status of online gambling. However, some general principles can be applied to the issue. 

  1. First, it is essential to note that gambling is heavily regulated at the state level in Ohio. There are only a handful of casinos in the state, and they are all located on Native American land. Online gambling would fall outside of this existing framework. 
  2. Second, online gambling websites are not currently licensed or regulated by the state of Ohio. This means that there is no guarantee of fairness or safety for players. 
  3. Finally, it is worth noting that federal law prohibits financial institutions from processing payments to and from online gambling sites. As a result, most residents of Ohio who wish to gamble online must use a third-party payment processor. 

In light of these factors, it is unclear whether online gambling is technically legal in Ohio. However, residents should be aware of such activities’ risks.

Ohio Poker and Gambling Laws

Poker and gambling laws in Ohio are pretty straightforward. Poker is only legal in casinos, which are regulated by the state. However, a few other gambling options are available, including horse racing and the state lottery.

In general, gambling law enforcement in Ohio is lenient. The main focus is on illegal bookmaking operations and casinos not paying taxes on their revenue. Most of the time, individual gamblers aren’t prosecuted for playing Poker or other games of chance. So as long as you’re checking on Ohio State Gaming Commission, you are playing at a licensed casino, and you shouldn’t have any trouble with the law.

A Detailed Look at Ohio Gambling Laws

Ohio law as it relates to gambling is quite unique in that gambling itself isn’t a crime, although deriving a substantial source of your income from it is against the law:

2915-02 Gambling: (A) No person shall do any of the following:

Engage in betting or in playing any scheme or game of chance as a substantial source of income or livelihood.”

The law sets out quite a number of other situations where gambling related activities are deemed to be illegal but this is the only one within the crime of gambling that involves the participation in gambling.

However, gambling in a public place is also a crime:

2915-04 Public Gaming: (a) No person, while at a hotel, restaurant, tavern, store, arena, hall, or other place of public accommodation, business, amusement, or resort, shall make a bet or play any game of chance or scheme of chance”

So gambling in general is illegal if you derive a substantial amount of your income is illegal, and all gambling in public places is illegal, unless the gambling activities are specifically authorized by law of course, which is also set out in the statute.

Is poker included as a game of chance? This is not left up to any doubt:

2915-1 (D): “Game of chance” means poker, roulette, or any other game in which a player gives anything of value in the hope of gain, the outcome of which is determined largely by chance…”

We may argue about whether or not poker is determined largely by chance, but they specifically mention poker, so that certainly includes poker playing in the definition.

Ohio Gambling Law Resources

Short History of Gambling in Ohio

Gambling has been a part of Ohio’s history since the early 1800s. However, by the mid-19th century, gambling had become so prevalent that the state began to crack down on illegal gaming houses. 

In 1853, a law was passed making gambling a felony. Unfortunately, this had little effect on curbing gambling activity, and by the early 20th century, there were an estimated 2,000 illegal gambling operations in Ohio. 

In 1912, the state legislature legalized gambling to raise revenue for constructing a new Capitol building. However, this only led to an increase in organized crime and corruption. As a result, gambling was once again outlawed in 1929. 

It was not until 1973 that gambling would become legal in Ohio again. That year, the state authorized the opening of its first lottery ticket sales office. Since then, the state has gradually expanded its gaming options, with casinos and racetracks operating throughout Ohio. Gambling remains a contentious issue in the state, but there is no denying that it has played a significant role in Ohio’s history.

The Future of Gambling in Ohio

Ohio Poker Sites

Gambling in Ohio has seen a lot of changes in recent years. In 2012, voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow casinos in four cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo. Since then, the gambling landscape has continued to evolve.

In 2019, the General Assembly passed a bill to allow sports betting. And this year, lawmakers are considering a proposal to expand casino gaming to include table games and live Poker. 

With all of these changes, it’s clear that gambling is here to stay in Ohio. And with so many options now available, there’s something for everyone. So whether you’re looking for a little bit of excitement or hoping to hit the jackpot, be sure to check out what gambling in Ohio offers.

Final Thoughts

Ohio poker laws are some of the most lenient in the United States. Ohio allows for both live and online Poker, and there is no limit on the number of players participating in a game. However, Ohio does have a few restrictions on poker games. For example, Ohio does not allow players to use real money, and all games must be played for fun.

Additionally, Ohio only allows poker games to be held in private homes or designated poker rooms. Overall, Ohio is an excellent state for poker lovers, as it offers a wide variety of options for enjoying the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gambling Legal in Ohio? Online gambling is a gray area in Ohio. There are no specific laws prohibiting it, but there are also no laws explicitly permitting it.
What is the Legal Age for Gambling in Ohio? The legal gambling age in Ohio is 21. This applies to all forms of gambling, including casinos, racetracks, and the lottery.
Where can I Find more Information About Gambling in Ohio? The Ohio Casino Control Commission is a good resource for information about gambling in Ohio. The commission website includes information about the state’s gambling laws and a list of licensed casinos and other gaming facilities.
I’m not From Ohio. Can I Still Gamble in the State? Yes, out-of-state visitors are welcome to gamble in Ohio. However, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid ID to participate.
What Types of Gambling are Available in Ohio? Ohio offers various gambling options, including casinos, racetracks, and the lottery. There are also several tribal casinos located in the state.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.
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