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3 sports betting companies violated Ohio law already, may face hefty fines, state officials say

Companies neglected to include problem gambling messages, misrepresented "free" offers, Casino Control Commission alleges
BETMGM ad.jpg
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 19:51:04-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sports betting has been legal in the Buckeye State for less than a week and three sports gaming companies have already landed in hot water and may be on the hook for a six-figure fine.

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, BetMGM, LLC (BetMGM); American Wagering, Inc. (Caesars) and Crown OH Gaming, LLC (DraftKings) violated state law and administrative rules regarding advertising.

The OCCC said it has notified the three companies that it will be taking action against them.

According to the OCCC, the companies or their affiliate marketers violated state law and the commission's rules that required advertisements to "conspicuously contain a message designed to prevent problem gambling as well as a helpline number to help access resources."

Additionally, the three companies ran promotions using the word "free" or "risk-free," which is prohibited if sports fans are required to spend any amount of their own money to access those "free" funds.

The OCC said it will seek a $150,000 fine from each company, among other remedial actions, to ensure their employees are properly trained on state laws and rules regarding sports gaming advertising.

The commission said it will vote on any action taken in a future meeting.

News 5 reached out to the three companies—these are their responses:

  • BetMGM
    • "No comment."
  • DraftKings
    • "DraftKings is committed to the highest standards of consumer protections and responsible gaming. We do not comment on pending regulatory matters.”
  • Caesars
    • News 5 has not received a response back yet.

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