March Madness 2022 is just about here, and there’s really nothing quite like the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, particularly for sports bettors. The action seems to be non-stop once the play-in contests tip off.
While it’s true that sports betting was legalized in Ohio when Gov. Mike DeWine signed bill HB 29 on Dec. 22, there’s plenty that needs to be done before the Ohio Casino Control Commission gives the OK for sports wagering in the Buckeye State. The OCCC released Batch 4 of proposed sports gaming rules Tuesday for Round 1 of public comment. The law states that sports betting must start by Jan. 1, 2023.
So, there’s no betting on games at sportsbooks or through mobile options in Ohio for many months.
In the meantime, how can Ohioans legally get in on the betting action for this year’s NCAA Tournament? The simple answer is to look just outside Ohio’s state lines and to neighboring states with sports betting options, such as FanDuel’s odds of +380 on Gonzaga and +700 on Kentucky to win the NCAA men’s tournament.
Sports betting can be had to the west in Indiana; the north in Michigan; the east in Pennsylvania; and the southeast in West Virginia. Kentucky is the only bordering state without legalized sports wagering.
Here’s a breakdown of what each neighboring state has to offer an Ohioan willing to make a drive to place a wager during March Madness.
2022 NCAA Tournament Bracketology https://t.co/NKCYctvU9F. 🏀🏀 Getting tight…
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 22, 2022
The Hoosier State provides ample options for Ohioans to choose from, with mobile betting plus over a dozen physical facilities (casinos, racetracks, riverboats, and off-track-betting parlors) that offer sportsbooks.
The retail options in Indiana closest to the Ohio border are Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg and Rising Star Casino Resort, which are located just off the Ohio River in the southeast corner of Indiana. Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson, roughly 30 minutes northeast of Indianapolis, and Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville, roughly 30 minutes southeast of Indianapolis, are also properties located not far from the Ohio border.
The physical sportsbooks also include Ameristar Casino East Chicago; Belterra Casino Resort; Blue Chip Casino; Caesars Southern Indiana; French Lick Resort Casino; Horseshoe Casino Hammond; Bally’s Evansville (formerly Tropicana Evansville); Winner’s Circle OTB Clarksville; Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille and OTB, Indianapolis; and Winner’s Circle Brew, Pub and OTB, New Haven.
As for crossing the border to utilize mobile sportsbooks, these online books are currently available once within Indiana: BetRivers, PointsBet, Unibet, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, theScore Bet, TwinSpires, WynnBet, Barstool, Betway, Bally Bet, FOX Bet, and SBK Sportsbook.
The state up north also offers more than two dozen casinos to choose from.
But other than Detroit-based MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino, Motor City Casino, and the FireKeepers Casino Hotel located just outside of Battle Creek, most of the casinos are tribal properties situated more than a couple hours drive across the Ohio-Michigan state line. Nearly a dozen are found in the Upper Peninsula. The Detroit casinos, as well as FireKeepers, are approximately an hour’s drive north of the Ohio-Michigan state line.
Online sportsbooks may be a more likely option for Ohioans living near the northern border. In Michigan, those include Barstool, BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, Caesars, PointsBet, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, WynnBet, FOX Bet, Parx, TwinSpires, and FireKeepers.
To place a bet in person while watching games in a sportsbook, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, and Hollywood Casino at The Meadows near Washington, Pa., are the most convenient options for Ohioans. Other casinos with sportsbooks include Parx , Wind Creek Bethlehem, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Mohegan Sun Pocono, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Live! Philadelphia Casino Hotel, Rivers Philadelphia, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Hollywood Casino York, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, and Live! Pittsburgh.
The state has 14 online sportsbooks that can be accessed within its borders: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool, Caesars, FOX Bet, BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse, PointsBet, Unibet, TwinSpires, Betfred, Betway, and Parx.
West Virginia offers the fewest land-based options for Ohioans to visit among the neighboring states with legalized sports betting: Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort; Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack; Mardi Gras Casino & Resort; The Greenbrier; and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Mountaineer and Wheeling Island are roughly a half-hour drive from Steubenville.
The online sites available in West Virginia are FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Betly, Caesars, PointsBet, and Barstool.