Ohio Horse Racing Betting

Options for horse racing bettors are limited in a number of states, but that’s not the case in Ohio. The state has a number of venues that feature live racing, and each of them also have full simulcasting capabilities. There’s also one facility which is dedicated to off-track betting.

Ohio is a horse racing friendly state in which options abound. That includes online, as the state is serviced by several of the top operators in the industry. 

Online Horse Racing Betting in OH

It’s legal to bet on horse racing in the state of Ohio. The Ohio State Racing Commission is the overseeing body. The entity’s website includes a full list of rules and regulations on the books, which are updated as needed.

The commission is dedicated to the protection, preservation, and promotion of horse racing and its related industry components. In that connection, the commission shall regulate pari-mutuel wagering and the licensing of all industry participants in order to insure the protection of the wagering public and the integrity of the sport.

It shall use its best efforts to promote horse racing and breeding to the citizens of Ohio, and cooperate with horse owners, trainers, breeders, other licensees, county fairs, and commercial race tracks in order to accomplish these goals.

The commission strives to create an atmosphere where the wagering public would not need to be protected and the sport maintains the highest level of integrity. 

The legality stretches over to online wagering, and a number of top operators operate in the state as a result. There are also several operating race tracks that feature live racing throughout the calendar year.

Licensed Ohio Racetracks

Unlike numerous other states in which options for live racing are scant or nonexistent, Ohio is home to a number of operating race tracks that feature both thoroughbred and harness racing.

Belterra Park

6301 Kellogg Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45230

Cincinnati’s home for live thoroughbred racing runs on a calendar which stretches from April through September. Visitors will find a full gaming and event center, dining options, and a hotel for overnight stays.

Dayton Raceway

4701 Wagner Ford Road

Dayton, Ohio 45416

Part of the Hollywood Gaming family, live harness racing is run from September through December. Guests will also find dining, entertainment, and other gaming options.

Mahoning Valley Race Course

655 N. Canfield Niles Rd.

Youngstown, Ohio 44515

Another facility under the Hollywood Gaming umbrella, live thoroughbred racing is featured from October through April four days per week. Gaming and dining options are onsite, and there are a number of hotels close by for those looking to stay awhile.

Miami Valley Gaming & Racing

6000 SR 63

Lebanon, Ohio 45036

A racino located in Lebanon, this venue boasts over 1,900 gaming machines. Live harness racing runs several days per week on a seasonal calendar that kicks off in January.

Northfield Park

10705 Northfield Road

Northfield, OH 44067

Northfield features harness racing 200+ times per year with free admission and free parking every day. There are onsite dining options, as well as a full simulcasting room.

Scioto Downs

6000 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43207

Part of the Eldorado Gaming family, this racino is a home for harness racing from May through September. Gaming and dining are available onsite, and a number of area hotels offer shuttle services to and from Scioto.

Thistledown Racino

21501 Emery Road

Cleveland, OH 44128

A racino which was recognized with a ‘Best of Racinos’ award for 2019. The venue is home to the Ohio Derby, with live thoroughbred racing run from April through October.

Off-Track Betting in Ohio

There’s only one dedicated OTB facility in Ohio, but each of the state’s operating race tracks also has full simulcasting capabilities. Most of those venues are open year-round and seven days per week. The exact hours of operation can be found by visiting the track websites via the links up above. 

Cedar Downs

1935 Cleveland Road

Sandusky, OH 44870

Ohio’s only OTB facility is open year-round and seven days per week. Visitors will find a Trackside Lounge for a more casual setting, and fine dining available at Lady Luck’s Restaurant. The RaceBook simulcast area offers both a full bar and private seating area in addition to individual terminals. 

Ohio Horse Racing Betting Laws

Horse racing betting is legal in the state of Ohio. Live racing is featured at several tracks, each of which has full simulcast offerings. There’s one OTB facility and several different options for those looking to wager online. The Ohio Racing Commission lists out all laws and regulations surrounding the industry on its website.

Chapter 3769 of the Ohio Revised code addresses horse racing, with section 3769.08 devoted to pari-mutuel wagering.

The pari-mutuel method of wagering upon the live racing programs and simulcast racing programs held at or conducted within such race track, and at the time of such horse-racing meeting, or at other times authorized by the state racing commission, shall not be unlawful.

No other place, except that provided and designated by the permit holder and except as provided in section 3769.26 of the Revised Code, nor any other method or system of betting or wagering on live racing programs and simulcast racing programs, except the pari-mutuel system, shall be used or permitted by the permit holder; nor, except as provided in section 3769.089 or 3769.26 of the Revised Code, shall the pari-mutuel system of wagering be conducted by the permit holder on any races except the races at the race track, grounds, or enclosure for which the person holds a permit.

Each permit holder may retain as a commission an amount not to exceed eighteen per cent of the total of all moneys wagered on live racing programs and simulcast racing programs.

Major Horse Racing Events in Ohio

While there are plenty of live racing days throughout the calendar year in Ohio, there are just a couple of big events hosted in the state.

Cradle Stakes: An 8.5-furlong turf stakes race for thoroughbred two-year-olds held annually at Belterra Park.

Ohio Derby: Held at Thistledown in June each year, this is a Grade III stakes race for three-year-olds run over 9 furlongs.