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CLEVELAND (WJW) — At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, legal sports betting went live in the Buckeye state — leading to millions of bets made that weekend.

As the novelty starts to wear off, you’re no doubt being inundated with sports betting advertisements, leading to challenges in differentiating between all of the options.

This guide works to break down the apps and local in-person opportunities those 21 and over now have in Northeast Ohio and what that means for your life. From the upcoming Super Bowl to the smallest of tennis tournaments, here’s what you need to know before placing a bet.


Pull that phone out of your pocket and easily get started with following apps/sites. Most are offering introductory bets, and of course, ongoing bonuses to keep you interested. Here are some of the options to look at so far:

And more have been approved and should open soon.


In Northeast Ohio, you can find sportsbooks at all the major casinos, racinos and some stadiums. Even if some places have obtained licenses, that doesn’t mean fans can make in-person retail bets there. Let’s take a look at where the major Cleveland sports teams play:

FirstEnergy Stadium – The Cleveland Browns announced they’ve partnered with Bally’s Interactive, but it’s unclear when a sportsbook lounge area will open in the stadium. At the time this story was written, Bally Bet app has not gone live in the state.

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse – Take in a Cleveland Cavaliers game and also bet with Caesars sportsbook.

Progressive Field – Although the location has approval to open a sportsbook from the state, they have not any plans to do so.

For those who aren’t as close to casinos or stadiums, there are also hundreds of sports betting kiosks set up at bars, restaurants and grocery stores throughout all of Ohio. Find all locations right here. Note that cashing options for winners vary depending on the location.


The following information is required to sign up for any of the apps. (Friendly tip: Many experts are advising against using a credit card while betting as they could lead to high fees and interest.)

  • Name
  • Place you live
  • Best number to reach you at
  • Birthdate
  • Social security number
  • Email address
  • Card number – debit or credit work


No matter how it may be marketed, gambling is meant to be used sparingly and for fun — not financial gain.

Already critics have spoken out about how easy it is to make bets on phones and computers rather than only in person or by flying to Las Vegas, leading to the potential for gambling addiction.

“I would say for the users to take it slow. It’s always good to set a budget, keep this as a form of entertainment,” DraftKings Director of Sports Operations Johnny Avello told FOX 8 in December. “Don’t let it be confusing to you. Start off slow and find the things that you know about, that you’re comfortable wagering and you can expand from there.”


Pretty much any professional and college-level sporting events you can think of, and even esports. Wagering on high school games is not allowed.


Those who win more than $600 from sports betting (online or in-person) over a year’s time are going to have to pay taxes to the federal government, Turbotax reported. However, a person’s sports betting losses can be deducted against what they may owe, but you have to keep track of that yourself and itemize the deductions.

Sports betting has one of the lower thresholds for taxable winnings. You have to win $1,200 on slots or $5,000 on poker to owe taxes.


The state is taxing sports betting revenue at a 10% rate. Reportedly 98% of the fund is going to K-12 education, which the General Assembly is appropriating. The other 2% is going to problem gambling programs.


There are myriad phone numbers, websites and support groups set up to get you the help needed.

  • Ohio Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-800-589-9966
  • Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services: 614-466-2596
  • Gambler’s Anonymous: Meetings (in person or online) can be found here
  • Gam-Anon: For family of problem gamblers can learn more here
  • Ohio for Responsible Gambling: Various campaigns offer information for betting best practices
  • Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program: Need to voluntarily ban yourself from gambling? Find out how to sign up for one year, five years or your lifetime right here.