- Legal States
Julie Moraine October 6, 2021 3 min read
Penn Agreed to Settle Responsible Gambling Claims in Indiana
Penn National Gaming and the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) agreed to a settlement related to responsible gambling violations made by the casino operator earlier this year.
Blank Terms and Conditions
The settlement ordered by the IGC on September 29 involves a financial sanction of $12,500 for two occasions on which Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook brand violated responsible gaming rules in the state, with the payment guaranteeing no disciplinary action by the regulator.
The first charge levied to Penn’s subsidiary which operates the sportsbook brand Penn Sports Interactive (PSI) relates to the Barstool Sportsbook launch in May, which effectively happened with no terms and conditions and house rules on the brand’s official website. The Barstool Sportsbook operates in the Hawkeye State through the license of the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg.
According to the settlement, on May 14 the regulator was informed by the company’s vice president for compliance about the planned sportsbook launch on May 18. The director of sports wagering at IGC notified the incumbent that verbiage required by law was missing from its responsible gaming page, an observation later confirmed by Penn executive, who found out the required language for terms and conditions and house rules were also missing.
A further investigation undertaken by PSI revealed the final policy documents related to responsible gaming, terms and conditions had not been ordered for production and nearly 4,000 users of the sportsbook were asked to agree to blank terms and conditions, while house rules were also blank due to non-working links.
Despite that PSI prompted all of the users who had previously signed on blank terms and conditions to accept the correct ones in their next login into the sportsbook, the IGC imposed a $5,000 fine for the violation.
Questionable TikTok Video
The second count which will cost PSI $7,500 relates to a 12-second video that the regulator described as “questionable” that was posted on an official Barstool TikTok account on March 30 by a junior member of the sportsbook brand’s media team.
The short video that discussed gambling losses remained online for 12 hours before the brand’s social media manager became aware of its existence and ordered its removal. By that time, the video was shared multiple times on Twitter.
Consequently, PSI took action to rectify the situation by suspending the employee’s one-month pay and providing refresher training on responsible gaming for the entire staff. PSI also classified the video was as a selfie posted to a Barstool social media channel and not to a channel related or controlled by the company, but the IGC was convinced responsible gaming rules were violated.
The regulator outlined that sports betting operators should not make false or misleading advertising of their sports wagering operations, on top of the requirement to display responsible gaming language on their websites.