Ohio Legal Poker 2017

Ohio

Wondering about the online poker Ohio legal situation? Online poker OH sites have been providing Texas Hold'em to residents of the Buckeye State since the first Internet gaming rooms appeared, but while many US states go it alone with poker regulation, Ohio remains in that group of 'gray area' states.

While Ohio has a history of legal land-based casinos - most offering poker - there is, as of August 2017, no specific laws surrounding Internet poker.

For now, Americans living in OH can continue to play at dozens of unregulated websites until the state decides to offer legal poker sites in Ohio, much like they do in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

Is Online Poker Legal in Ohio?
Is Online Poker Legal in Ohio?

Under Ohio Revised Code 2915.01 poker is described as a game of chance and is grouped in with traditional casino games like craps and roulette, and therefore existing gambling law. However, specifically playing poker online isn't mentioned. So if you're thinking about playing online poker Ohio legal authorities agree that poker falls under the revised code.

However, others disagree that poker should be classified as a game of chance. That's a conversation for a whole other article on the online poker OH legal landscape.

Are Any More Bills Likely?
Ohio - Are Any More Bills Likely?

It's hard to say whether more online poker Ohio bills will hit the house floor. A change in the wording of the Ohio Code may be needed before poker is fully recognized as a game of skill, and even it is not, online poker OH legislation would have to come under the same regulation governing land-based operations.

For now, perhaps, as with many states that offer popular land-based betting only, the online poker Ohio landscape hass a “wait-and-see” outlook.

What's the Live Poker Scene Like?
Ohio - What's the Live Poker Scene Like?

Ohio - in fact, the whole Midwest - was a hotbed of poker action in the 19th century. Poker and casino games were offered in saloons up and down the Ohio River, but the lawmakers eventually got their way and gambling was banned in the state.

However, in 2015, under Article 15 (Lotteries, charitable bingo, casinos), Section 6(C) of the Ohio Constitution casino gaming is legal, licensed and taxed. There are only a handful of legit casinos in the state, with many tied in to existing racecourses. Unfortunately, none of the casinos offers online poker OH games.

Toledo's Hollywood Casino, Cleveland's Horseshoe, and the relocated Beulah Park racetrack in Austintown - set to open mid-2014 - all offer Texas Hold'em games.

While social poker laws are fairly prohibitive in the Buckeye state, only profiting from poker is covered under any laws, so if you are holding a home game for non-profit, your games are totally legit. Just don't try to start your own legal poker sites in Ohio. It's frowned upon and will continue to be, at least until regulation happens.

The Future of Legal Poker In Ohio
The Future of Legal Poker In Ohio

While other states push on with regulated online gaming of their own, OH is still sitting on the fence. It has the land-based structure in place if it ever does want to do legalize - and a ready supply of global Internet gaming sites willing to team up with Ohio land-based operators - but as of August 2017, there is no bill on the table with the state legislature. We'll be watching closely and will keep you up to date on any changes that allow for legal poker sites in Ohio.

FAQ

Can I Play Online Poker Legally in Ohio?

When it comes to online poker Ohio doesn't specifically ban it or make it legal, but poker does fall under the same legislation governing traditional casino games. No online poker OH player has ever been prosecuted in the state, however.

What Age Do You Have to Be To Gamble In Ohio?

21 for casinos, although you can play the lottery at 18.

Are There Any Live Casinos There?

Yes, several, and they are doing well. The Ohio Casino Amendment was approved in 2009 and authorized the building of casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. You can also play poker at many legal poker rooms.

Can I Make Real Cash Deposits In Ohio?

Many online poker Ohio sites open to American players will take real-money transactions from OH residents - you just have to find them. As with many states that have “gone legit,”however, some banks and credit card operators will refuse to process transactions. If you are playing online in Ohio, make sure you try out a few different methods before committing to a site.