January 4, 2023 3 min read


Ohio Governor Determined to Enforce Betting Advertising Rules

Operators should comply with Ohio's sports betting rules when advertising their products and services

Sports betting operators in Ohio are being closely watched not only by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) but by Gov. Mike DeWine who has taken a personal interest in making sure their advertising messages do not cross the line.

Crossing the Line Will Not Be Tolerated

DeWine, who signed the bill to legalize sports gambling in the state in December 2021, warned operators in his first comments after Ohio officially launched its sports betting market on January 1, 2023, that their actions are being put under the microscope.

“The companies that are doing the massive advertising need to be aware that they’re being looked at very closely by the governor and the Casino Control Commission in regard to statements that they are making,” he stated.

He also told reporters that he has shared his concerns about the “massive advertising” done by the operators with the executive director of the OCCC and with several members of the regulator’s board, hinting that there were already several occasions on which operators “crossed the line,” and sending a clear message to the industry that “this will not be tolerated in the State of Ohio.”

DeWine did not clarify on what occasions these transgressions took place but used as an example the regulator’s case against one of the operators which sent illegal advertisements to underage customers as part of its pre-launch customer engagement efforts.

On Friday last week, the OCCC announced it may sanction DraftKings with a $350,000 fine for breaching the state’s sports betting advertising rules during an email campaign in November as part of which the Boston-based operator had sent advertising materials to approximately 2,500 recipients under the age of 21 who represent a group of the population that is not allowed to gamble.

Another operator, Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sports, may also face a financial sanction for violating the rule which prohibits sports betting advertising on or near college campuses after the OCCC scrutinized the operator’s College Football show at the University of Toledo’s campus in November which prompted people to pre-register with Barstool Sportsbook and thus breached the rule.

Free Money and Free Gaming

The Governor also addressed the issue of some of the offerings utilized by the operators such as extending free betting credits, vocal that this is a line they cannot cross, and warning them to be very careful when using phrases such as “free money” and “free gaming” during their TV advertising spots, when the “fine print” suggests otherwise.

Prior to the official market launch, Ohio launched a two-week responsible gambling campaign under the slogan “Pause Before You Play” as part of the “Get Set Before You Bet” problem gambling education program led by Ohio For Responsible Gambling.

DeWine is the second high-profile personality to raise concerns about the importance of properly managing the sports betting market after Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff drew the public attention to the challenges stemming from sports betting.

Ohio’s official sports betting market launch recorded 11.3 million geolocation transactions in its first two days of operation to surpass the launch in New York according to data provided by geolocation services provider GeoComply.

Lead Author

With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

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