Ohio horse race betting

Live horse racing is one of the oldest sports in Ohio. Since its inception in the 1800s, residents have had the pleasure of watching the sport. However, they could not bet on horses Ohio until 1933, when the state first legalized it for residents. In this guide we’ll show you how Ohio horse race betting works and how you can safely place bets on any horse race.

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Ohio off-track betting options

Today, there are seven racecourses and one off track betting location in Ohio for gamblers to bet on horse racing. You can walk into any of these locations and bet on horses in Ohio.

Back in December 2021, Gov Mike DeWine signed off House Bill 29. This bill legalized all online fantasy sports betting, including online horse race betting in Ohio. With the bill, the state also laid down measures that help protect gamblers in the state.

Bet on horses in Ohio

Traditionally, punters could only bet on horses in Ohio at video-lottery terminals. However, things have eased up with online horse race betting legalization coming into effect.

Moreover, the state gave the Ohio State Racing Commission the mandate to regulate online, on-track, and off track betting Ohio. The commission promotes, preserves, and protects all horse race betting activities in the Buckeye State. Because of the commission’s commitment to its mission statement, Ohio residents can now bet on horses hassle-free.

Every gambler has to bet carefully to keep their Ohio gambling activity under control. But, if things ever get out of hand at any point, there are plenty of support options ready to help.

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How live Ohio horse racing bets works

Right off the bat, you can only bet on horses in Ohio if you have reached the legal age of 21 years.

This is as true for the Buckeye state as it is for the other 32 states with legal online gambling. Additionally, every bet on horses in Ohio must happen within the state lines.

The great news is, you can do your horse race betting in Ohio online – from the comfort of your house.

With the launch of apps such as BetMGM OH on January 20, 2021, residents can now easily wager on horse races from any device.

Getting your Ohio horse betting online account

Let us have a look at the step-by-step guide to help you set up your Ohio horse betting online account:

  • Choose any of the four leading horse race Ohio sports betting sites — BetMGM Ohio, TVG, NYRA Bets, and TwinSpires.
  • Where applicable, get the app and install it on your preferred device.
  • Register on the app by submitting the required details.
  • Take advantage of all sign-up bonuses given at this stage.
  • Fund your Ohio horse betting online account using the payment options available.
  • Head to the horse racing section and bet on races and meets in Ohio.

How horse racing odds in Ohio work

Horse racing odds in Ohio are known to be very competitive. This is why you must consider them as you bet on horses in Ohio. The odds show the relationship between risks and rewards. Simply put, they help you know how much you can win or lose with any bet.

Knowing how horse racing odds in Ohio work is a big step toward becoming a professional gambler. On this page we’ll delve deep into the topic, starting with how to understand horse racing odds in Ohio.

Ohio off-track odds

To learn how to read horse racing odds in Ohio, you should first familiarize yourself with fractions. It takes a little practice, but you’ll soon better understand horse racing odds in Ohio.

Essentially, all horse racing odds are just fractions, whether you are betting in racinos or online via horse race Ohio sportsbooks. So, if a horse is priced at 3-4, you can read it as 3/4. Similarly, if one is priced at 9-1, you can interpret it as 9/1. The fractions show you how much you stand to win and what you must risk.

The numerator (first number) indicates the units you stand to win. On the other hand, the denominator (second number) indicates how much you have to risk to win the bet.


  • 9-1 odds: the bettor will win 9 units for every unit they bet.
  • 3-4 odds: the bettor will win 3 units for every 4 units they bet.

In case the ‘numerator’ is more significant than the ‘denominator’, the bettor’s profit will eventually be bigger than the stake. For example, a racing event with 7-5 odds should earn you $2.40 for every $1 wagered. 7 ÷ 5 = 1.40, plus the $1 stake to get you the $2.40.

Notably, horse racing odds in Ohio do not indicate the likelihood of a horse winning. Instead they show the horse’s skills relative to other horses. They also fluctuate due to sentiments from the public with regard to the horse(s).

Horse racing offers in Ohio

Horse racing offers in OH are bet credits, cash, or credit. They are open to both existing and new gamblers as a thank you for using a specific sportsbook. In addition, several Ohio racebooks online give Ohio sportsbook bonuses to new customers and loyalty rewards to existing ones. Horse race betting Ohio offers take various forms, including:

  • Sign up bonus: Every new customer receives a bonus depending on the amount they deposit the first time. For instance, if the customer makes the first deposit of $100 and is offered a 100% reward, they will get another $100 in site credit or cash.
  • First wager insurance bet: Most horse race betting sites offer new customers a chance to place their first bet on horses in Ohio with insurance.
  • Betting rebates and cash backs: Money-back policies help by providing loyal customers with more cash to bet with. They also help betting sites issue rebates on all bets lost or won.
  • Wagering insurance and close-call money-backs: Closed call refunds are basic campaigns for new and existing users. For instance, a racing bookie can decide to offer refunds to all WIN bet types on horses that finish third in chosen matches.
  • Deposits without fees: Fee-free deposits are given to wave the usual fees charged by horse race betting Ohio sites.

Tips and Tricks to Ohio horse race betting

Before you bet on horses in Ohio, you need to master the right, and valuable strategies to use so that you can fully enjoy the experience. Here are a few tips and tricks you can employ to take advantage of horse racing odds in Ohio. They’ll also help you avoid any potential problem gambling issues.

Steer clear of tough wager types

Many bettors prefer tougher bet types for the bigger potential thrills if they come through and win. However, these short-lived thrills can make you bet beyond what you can afford to lose. Chasing wins to cover your losses is an early warning sign of bigger gambling issues.

It’s important to avoid such urges by choosing more straightforward bets that allow minimal wagers. This will help you stay in control and allow your budget to stretch further.

Only bet with an amount you don’t mind losing.

Betting with money that isn’t yours, i.e. using credit, is a big red flag when it comes to gambling activities. It’s important that you only bet with what you can afford to lose and never use gambling as a form of income. All bets are pure chance and important to view gambling as a fun activity only.

It’s important to realize that there’s no strategy you can use when horse race betting in Ohio that will guarantee straight wins.

Problem with Ohio horse race betting

Sadly, horse race betting in Ohio can lead to problem gambling for some bettors who let things get out of control. Similar to other types of addiction, problem gambling can have severe consequences if help is found early on.

However, it can be managed and ultimately cured depending on your approach and attitude. Thankfully, the Buckeye state has laid down several measures to help prevent gamblers from developing an addiction. Programs by Gamblers Anonymous and the National Council on Problem Gambling help gamblers take a break from wagering.

Brief history of horse race betting in Ohio

The Buckeye state has a long horse racing history since the 1800s.

Residents have always enjoyed all live horse racing activities including the famous Ohio derby each June.

However, on-track horse race betting in Ohio was illegal until 1933.

This became the basis for the legalization of live online horse race betting in Ohio that residents enjoy today.

The legalization of online horse race betting in Ohio was a long discussion, spanning three years, before both legislative houses sanctioned it. It was first discussed in 2019, with legislators giving varied opinions toward its legislation. Finally, on December 8, 2021, officials were able to unify their ideas when they passed the various amendments to House Bill 29.

Exactly three weeks later, Gov. DeWine immediately took up the matter and signed off the bill. By appending his signature, the Governor gave the nod for the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Additionally, the bill gave the Ohio State Racing Commission powers to oversee all horse race betting in Ohio. The OSRC is now responsible for drafting and amending rules and regulations that govern gamblers who bet on horses in Ohio.

Currently, you can bet on horses in Ohio either online or at any of the on-track and off-track betting Ohio locations.

Final words on horse race betting in Ohio

With the help of the best Ohio sports betting apps such as BetMGM Ohio and TwinSpires, residents can now bet on horses in Ohio online. That said, you should learn to implement the strategies mentioned earlier, to avoid any problem with gambling.

Always remember to wager responsibly and you’ll have a better chance of winning. If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, is beginning to show signs of problem gambling try reaching out to any of the problem gambling programs near you.

When horse race betting in Ohio, pay attention to all the horse racing odds available. This helps you take advantage of all competitive odds, increasing your winning potential.

One last thing, only wager with money you don’t mind losing. Horse race betting can be frustrating at times but will become more enjoyable with a little practice.

FAQs horse race betting in Ohio

Is horse race betting in Ohio possible from outside the state borders?

Horse race betting Ohio law does not allow you to bet on horses in Ohio from outside state borders. You’ll need to enjoy your horse race betting Ohio from within the state for you to be protected by OCCC regulations.

Are there horse race betting Apps for Android and iOS in Ohio?

Legal Ohio horse betting online allows for various racebooks to develop apps for different platforms. Sites such as TVG and BetMGM are the only ones that have developed applications for both Apple and Android platforms. This allows users on both platforms to bet on horse racing Ohio at any time. However, you must be physically in Ohio to download and use these applications.

How can I take advantage of horse racing odds in Ohio?

Horse racing odds in Ohio represent a horse and jockey’s skill built on previous performances. However, they do not translate into straight wins. When horse race betting, always go for the WIN bet type unless the odds indicate otherwise.

Is it legal to do Ohio horse betting online?

Yes, it is. As long as you are the legal age of 21 years, you can horse race bet online in Ohio. Even so, it would be best if you did all your gambling activities within Ohio state lines for your own protection and safety.

Is off-track betting in Ohio available?

Yes, off-track betting in Ohio is available for all residents. You may want to bet on horses Ohio away from the racecourse for so many different reasons. Off track, betting offers you this much-needed alternative.

Mike Allen expert author

Mike Allen

Sports writer

As a football fan and sports writer, Mike has many years of experience. Since the US started moving towards legal sports betting, Mike has found new love with sports gambling.