December 19, 2022 3 min read


Ohio May Seek to Fine Penn’s Barstool over “Betting Promo” Blooper

Ohio sports betting is close to its official launch, with legalized sports gambling just about to kick off in the state, but some headwinds already faced by individual operators.

One of those is Barstool Sports, the sportsbook alter ego of Penn Entertainment, which could be slapped with a $250,000 fine by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. According to the regulator, Barstool Sports may have already violated state laws with regard to sports wagering.

Ohio Gambling Regulator to Look into Penn’s Barstool Betting Blooper

The Commission has taken issue with the College Football show which was recorded by Barstool at the University of Toledo’s campus last month. The episode featured a game versus Bowling Green State University, and it would have gone alright, had it not been for a slight hint that people should start their pre-registration for the Penn Barstool Sportsbook which is set to commence operations on January 1, 2023.

This, the regulator believes, is the unsolicited promotion of gambling products which does not sit well with the Commission’s executive director, Matt Schuler, who condemned promoting gambling to college students. Schuler explained that Barstool had every right to record and broadcast a football game but reminded that talking openly about gambling in front of 700 college students on the university campus was not something the commission agreed to or that the law allowed.

“That was the transgression,” Schuler explained tersely. The Commission is already looking into the issue and has said that its rules must be upheld to the letter as they were not in place “for nothing.” Essentially, promoting gambling to the underage demographic, in this case, anyone below the age of 21, is one of the biggest offenses a sportsbook or gambling operator may commit in the United States.

Penn Can Potentially Settle or Argue Its Case

Penn has responded to the regulatory concern and said that it would address the problem immediately. A Penn spokesperson wrote an email statement to Fox8, the media that did the original reporting, to assure the public and the regulator that the company was already working on the matter, but no further information could be provided as it’s a pending regulatory matter.

Penn essentially has two options moving forward. One way to proceed is to settle for an estimated $250,000 fine. Another one is to request a hearing with the Commission and explain why the company’s sportsbook brand did not break any laws. The good news is that Barstool, which is one of the biggest and most popular brands in the United States’ sports betting market is still on course to launch on January 1 as this transgression would, worst-case scenario, only result in a fine. Business will continue as usual.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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