HomeOhio Casino Control Commission

With 19 sportsbooks and 11 racinos and casinos in Ohio, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) was formed in 2011 to regulate and oversee all gambling operations within Ohio. The commission is composed of seven Commissioners, an Executive Director, and supporting staff whose mission is to provide safety and security to all Ohio gamblers. Part of the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s duties include ensuring gambling operations comply with Ohio gambling laws and regulations, maintaining casino operations’ integrity, and promoting responsible gambling.

The OCCC also provides licensing to all gaming operations in Ohio and enforces oversight and transparency for residents of Ohio when it comes to all things gambling. The primary goal of the Ohio Casino Control Commission is to foster a safe and regulated gaming environment for all Ohio gamblers.

What is the Ohio Casino Control Commission?

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) is a gaming control board in Ohio, that was established following a constitutional amendment in 2009 that permitted casino gaming in Ohio’s biggest cities Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. Officially founded in 2011, the OCCC has evolved to provide oversight and regulation to the state’s many forms of gambling.

For example, when the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, the Ohio State legislature began planning to get in on the action. By January 2023, sports betting in Ohio became legal, tasking the OCCC to oversee the sports betting industry in the state. Fast forward to the present day, and 19 legal sportsbooks are operating in the Buckeye State, with the OCCC administering licenses and regulating each of them.

What forms of gambling does the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulate?

Since its founding in 2011, the forms of gambling that the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulates have steadily evolved as the state has legalized more forms. Let’s take a look at each of the forms of gambling the OCCC is responsible for regulating today.

  • Casinos: This includes both slot machines and table games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, and more.
  • Sportsbooks: This includes both brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, as well as online sportsbooks in Ohio.
  • Racinos
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Does the Ohio Casino Control Commission regulate online casino gaming?

No, the Ohio Casino Control Commission does not regulate Ohio online casino gaming, because the state has not yet legalized the industry. The OCCC does, however, regulate the online sports betting industry in Ohio, and has handed out licenses to 19 online sportsbooks in Ohio.

In addition to administering licenses to online sportsbooks in Ohio, the OCCC also provides regulatory oversight to each of them, ensuring that there is a level of transparency that Ohio bettors can trust. With more than $900 million in tax revenue reported in 2023 from online sports betting alone, the OCCC is responsible for the integrity of online sportsbooks to ensure a fair and transparent experience for all Ohio taxpayers.

How can one apply for a gambling license in Ohio?

Whether it be an individual or entity, one can apply for a gambling license in Ohio directly on the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) website following specific procedures laid out by Ohio law. First, you need to determine the type of gambling license to apply for, reviewing the eligibility requirements that are needed for each.

You can obtain all application materials via the OCCC website or by contacting the OCC directly. Once you receive the application, ensure that the initial form is filled out completely and accurately and that you provide supporting documentation for all required information. There are also application fees that must be paid when completing the application, which vary based on the type of license and other factors.

After your application and supporting documents are submitted, the OCCC will review your application which will involve a background check, financial investigations, and other license-specific assessments. Lastly, you will have to attend meetings and hearings, depending on your application type and the OCCC will make a final decision on whether or not to approve your license.

How does the Ohio Casino Control Commission ensure responsible gambling practices?

There are various strategies that the Ohio Casino Control Commission uses to ensure responsible gambling practices that have evolved over the years with the gaming industry. Listed below are a few of the tools used to ensure Ohioans gamble responsibly.

  • Education: One of the most important things that the OCCC does for the public is provide educational resources that promote problem gambling awareness. These include knowing the risks associated with gambling, and strategies to ensure you are doing so responsibly.
  • Self-Exclusion Programs: As with all states that have passed gambling legislation, Ohio, with efforts led by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, offers its residents a self-exclusion program. This program allows individuals to voluntarily put themselves on a list that bans them from entering Ohio casinos for anywhere from one year to life.
  • Training: The OCCC requires all casino employees to undergo training to recognize irresponsible gambling behavior, and how to enforce responsible gambling practices. This training includes how to recognize problem gambling patterns, provide assistance to problem gamblers, and where to refer patrons who show problem gambling signs to get help.
  • Oversight and Regulation: A large part of the regulations enforced by the OCCC were put in place to ensure the integrity of gaming operations, as well as prevent underage gambling. By closely monitoring the industry, the OCCC aims to limit potential harm to all Ohio residents when it comes to gambling.
  • Problem Gambling Services: Lastly, the OCCC works together with different organizations in Ohio and nationally that provide support and treatment to problem gamblers. This includes the OCC funding those programs, which include everything from counseling, hotlines, and support groups that aim to support people addicted to gambling.

What are the penalties for violating gaming regulations in Ohio?

As part of the oversight and regulation provided by the OCCC, there are penalties for violating gaming regulations in Ohio. These include everything from fines, license suspension or revocation, probationary periods, civil penalties, and even criminal prosecution. When being granted a license from the Ohio Casino Control Commission, they are given the authority to impose any of the aforementioned penalties they see fit based on the severity of the violation and its impact on Ohio’s gaming industry.

For the most serious offenses, the OCCC has the legal right to immediately strip the gambling operation of its license, as well as pursue civil and criminal charges which can lead to fines, imprisonment, or restitution of revenue.

How does the Ohio Casino Control Commission contribute to the state's economy?

In 2023 alone, Ohio brought in more than $3 billion ($3.3 billion) in casino revenue, good enough for the sixth best in the country. With more than $66 billion brought in nationwide from casino revenue in 2023, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the ways the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) contributes to the state’s economy.

  • Tax Revenues: As discussed above, Ohio casinos generate an exorbitant amount of tax revenue for the state which is used for public services, including education. The billions of dollars brought in each year from gambling directly support the state’s public service infrastructure in a way that can not be replaced, all overseen by the OCCC.
  • Economic Development: The mere presence of Ohio casinos supports economic development across the state by attracting attention that provides economic stability for entertainment venues, restaurants, and hotels throughout the state. There are also businesses created and investment opportunities funded that directly tie to the impact of Ohio casinos.
  • Jobs: With 11 casinos and racinos spread throughout the Buckeye State, Ohio casinos provide endless employment opportunities to casino staff, management, and vendors who support them. As part of the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s duties, they are responsible for training the employees on best practices to ensure gaming integrity.
  • Tourism: For the states that border Ohio that don’t have legal gambling, the Ohio casino industry is a tourism destination. This also includes Ohio residents who plan weekends around the casinos, providing economic boosts to not just the casinos themselves but neighboring hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.