The Ohio gambling regulator aims to fine three sportsbook operators for various sports betting marketing offenses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
While sports betting has only been in business for less than a week in Ohio, the state’s gambling regulator has been busy taking enforcement action over several marketing-related failures. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has issued notices of infringement for BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings alleging violations of state laws regarding advertising and promotion of sports betting in the state.
The OCCC wants to issue a fine of $150,000 to each of the operators.
The OCCC wants to issue a fine of $150,000 to each of the operators. They allegedly ran advertisements across many media that did not include the necessary responsible gambling message.
They also used terms like “risk-free” and “free” when promoting bonus offers that actually require people to risk their own money. All Ohio gambling-related marketing materials must contain a message “clearly and clearly” intended to prevent problem gambling, as well as provide a helpline number.
Not taking prisoners
Every worker is given a hearing and due process for allegations. During a public meeting, the OCCC will hold a vote on any possible action against the operators.
The legal sports betting market in Ohio only launched on January 1, with both retail and online sports betting going live at the same time.
In a press release regarding the violations, Matthew Schuller, Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Coordination Center, said: “These repeated violations leave the committee no choice but to pursue administrative measures to force operators into compliance.” He noted that sportsbook operators have received many reminders of the standards they must adhere to when promoting their products.
OCCC certainly takes an active approach to making sure that sportsbook operators follow the rules and regulations as stated in the law. In addition to the latest potential penalties, the commission took action against two operators prior to the launch of the Ohio sports betting industry.
DraftKings actually received a notice of infringement in Ohio last week. The OCCC wants to fine the prominent operator $350,000 for allegedly sending about 2,500 direct mail ads to underage people. Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sports betting brand allegedly violated rules relating to promoting gambling on college campuses and/or to persons under the age of 21 and faces a $250,000 fine.
will continue to closely monitor gambling-related marketing
After these violations were made public, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine expressed his dissatisfaction with the operators’ behavior, saying that they had gone too far in their advertising. He confirmed that the OCCC and the Governor’s Office will continue to closely monitor gambling-related marketing.