Sports betting has only been up and running in the state since January 1st, but already we’ve seen huge fines for DraftKings and Barstool Sports in Ohio. All together, the Ohio Casino Control Commission has collected $900,000 in fines just this year for a variety of violations.
First, the fines for DraftKings stem from a direct mail campaign in the state which ended up being sent to some young adults under the legal gambling age. It seems that some of those on the list were not yet 21 years old. There were also violations for not including a problem gambling message in a prominent place within advertisements, and for promoting so-called “risk-free” bets. For these actions, the company will pay $500,000.
Of course, these were not the only violations within the first month of operation. In addition to the fines for DraftKings, the Control Commission levied a penalty against Barstool Sports for holding a live event just outside of the University of Toledo’s football stadium. In doing so, the company violated rules on advertising near a college campus, and for targeting those under 21 years of age. They were ordered to pay $250,000 in fines.
Even before these fines were announced, however, the state had reached an agreement with Caesars Sportsbook over their own violations. Allegedly, the company was also guilty of promoting “risk-free” bets, and not including a problem gambling message in the required manner. The company settled with the Control Commission, waiving their right to a hearing, and paying a $150,000 fine.
These were not the first fines for DraftKings, as the company was ordered to pay $150,000 in New Jersey over a proxy betting incident in 2022, and $10,000 back in 2021 for sending promotional mail to self-excluded players in the state. Also, the company was fined $100,000 by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario back in 2022 for violating advertising and inducement standards.