IRGC Sanctions DraftKings for Self-Exclusion List Failure

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) issued a financial penalty to DraftKings for a breach in the regulator’s self-exclusion rules. Boston-based daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports book operator was fined $5,000.

According to the self-exclusion agreement between IRGC and gambling operators, all licensees had to update their list of self-excluded customers until January 2, 2020, as the regulator did so December 26, 2019. The Commission manages a program for individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from wagering with licensed casinos, race tracks or fantasy sports operators, pursuant to Iowa Code.

DraftKings Failed to Update Its List

The self-exclusion program further stipulates that “all licensed entities in the state are required to remove individuals in the program from their marketing lists”, besides deactivating any club membership or accounts used for betting or DFS. And according to license requirements for DFS operators, the self-exclusion list should be updated at least one in every 7 days.

Until January 3, DraftKings failed to update its self-exclusion list with the state regulator and breached its license requirements, thereby agreeing to pay a penalty fee of $5,000 to the IRGC. Besides the financial sanction, the DFS operator had to implement certain procedures to make sure all future deadlines for updating the self-exclusion list are promptly met.

The IRGC imposed the sanction to DraftKings as this was not the first occasion the DFS operator breached its license requirements with regards to the self-exclusion requirements. Previously, the commission issued a $1,000 fine to the operator after it had been found out to allow customers from the self-exclusion list to open daily fantasy sports accounts.

DraftKings’ Presence in Iowa

Boston-based DFS and sports book provider DraftKings entered the market in Iowa in October 2019, having signed a partnership deal with Wild Rose Entertainment to open retails sports books at Wild Rose Casino & Resorts, in Jefferson, Clinton, and Emmetsburg.

In February 2020, both parties expanded their partnership into the mobile betting space as DraftKings launched its state-of-the-art mobile sports betting app and platform. As per the state’s legislation, mobile sports betting requires prior in-person registration in a brick-and-mortar gaming facility.

In June, DraftKings’ operations in Iowa had they way cleared for further expansion into the eSport daily fantasy contests, as the IRGC unanimously approved virtual sports contests.

Besides the sanction to DraftKings, the IRGC fined two land-based gaming establishments, Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, and Diamond Jo Casino in Worth County, for repeated failures in terms of surveillance cameras. Both casinos were fined with $7,500.

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