Off-track betting (often shortened to “OTB”) is a popular way to bet on horse races in Ohio. In 2022, OTB and simulcast wagering accounted for almost 85% of Ohio’s horse race betting handle.
With the increase in online horse betting in Ohio, allowing players to place a bet without having to travel to an in-person facility (either on- or off-track), the OTB industry has taken a bit of a hit, but there is still strong local support. In this piece, we’ll explain how off-track betting works, where you can find Ohio OTB venues, and provide other information to know before you head to an off-track betting facility.
Off-track betting locations in Ohio
As of writing, there is only one off-track betting location in Ohio. Should that change, we will update this page accordingly.
Off-track betting explained
The term “off-track betting” covers all horse race betting away from the courses. This can include in-person wagering at an off-track location with simulcasting or wagering through a web-based platform or mobile horse betting app.
For a time, off-track betting was only permitted in Nevada, but in 1970, New York permitted the practice. It wasn’t until 1978 that the Interstate Horseracing Act allowed for off-track betting expansion across the U.S.
The Act required off-track betting revenue to be split between the OTB parlors, horse owners, track owners, and the states where the OTB venues operated; it also required OTB facilities to operate no closer than 60 miles from a racetrack.
When the Act was modified in 2000 to allow for electronic wagering, OTBs still remained popular as mobile betting apps didn’t exist at the time. However, as such apps have become more popular (and in some cases are now integrated with sports betting apps), OTB parlors have taken a bit of a financial hit. By partnering with sportsbooks in states where sports betting has been legalized, the OTB industry has stabilized a bit and should continue to remain a popular gambling option.
How do I place a bet at Ohio OTB locations?
Placing a bet at an Ohio OTB location is relatively straightforward, but there are a few steps you can take along the way to increase your chances of winning. Here’s how you can be prepared to make wise wagers while off-track betting.
Expert advice when off-track betting in Ohio
We asked our horse race wagering experts for their advice when off-track betting in Ohio. These are their top tips and the logic behind their wisdom.