July 1, 2024 3 min read

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Gambling Regulator in Ohio Proposes Changes to Promotions, Ads

New proposal seeks to ensure the protection of vulnerable individuals and refine the rules related to gambling promotions and advertising

Last year in May, the gambling regulator in Ohio, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), ordered Fanatics Sportsbook, the leading betting company that is a part of Fanatics, to take down a sports betting ad.

The promotion in question offered customers in the state a bonus that matched the sum they spent via purchased merchandise. Ultimately, the ad sought to retain and engage with customers across Ohio.

However, the OCCC said that the promotion was in breach of the state’s gambling regulation. This is why in the end, the advertisement was taken down.

A year has passed since the Fanatics Sportsbook breach in Ohio and on Friday, the OCCC submitted a new proposal that sought to clarify the way betting operators can offer promotions and bonuses. The proposal called “Promotions and bonuses,” was filed with Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative Office.

In its proposal, the gambling regulator defines strict rules and conditions under which licensed betting providers can offer their promotions and bonuses to customers in the state. Per the proposal, 3775-16-09, the gambling advertisements must not be misleading and must be clear to the receiving audience. This provision comes as no surprise considering that Ohio is among the states that prohibit the use of wording such as “risk-free” bets as a part of gambling ads.

OCCC’s Proposal Seeks to Refine the Rules for Gambling Promotions

Backing its proposal, the gambling watchdog attached a Business Impact Analysis as well as a summary of the amendment. Considering that the proposal is currently with the Common Sense Initiative Commission, it will seek to gather public comment through July 12, 2024.

The rule is being amended to expressly clarify, in a manner consistent with R.C. 3775.02 and O.A.C 3775-16-08, the way sports gaming proprietors can offer promotions or bonuses in connection with or as a result of a non-gaming, consumer transaction,

explains a summary provided by the OCCC

An important part of the tabled proposal by the OCCC addresses promotions just like the one by Fanatics from last year. The gambling regulator’s proposal calls for prohibiting promotions or bonuses related to non-gaming transactions unless a specific criterion is met.

Such bonuses or promotions must not target anyone under the legal gambling age, which is 21, people suffering from problem gambling or other “vulnerable individuals.” In addition, betting operators must only advertise their products to individuals who have verified their age and are not on Ohio’s Voluntary Exclusion Program.

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Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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