Barstool Sportsbook and PlayUp Have Been Notified by the Ohio Casino Control Commission of Several Violations
The Ohio sports betting market is one of the most anticipated launches to start the new year, as the date is set for January 1, 2023. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has worked tirelessly to award licenses, but the Commission may be running into some trouble prior to launch.
Barstool Went Against the Rules Prior to Launch
The Commission notified PENN Entertainment and its platform Barstool Sportsbook of a possible violation that targeted college students in the advertisements. Most states in the industry offer sports betting to those who are 21 and older.
This wasn’t the first time Barstool was put on the spot, as the company is also having issues in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission believes that the founder, Dave Portnoy, doesn’t meet the standards of what the Commission stands for. In addition, they labeled him as a “degenerate gambler.”
The two Commissions have expressed their concern as they believe it might negatively affect the younger audiences who are ineligible to place wagers yet to their age. According to the OCCC, the advertisement targeted people under 21 and violated Ohio law, which means that PENN Entertainment may be subject to a $250,000 fine.
If a fine is issued, the company has the opportunity to appeal the fine. Several options exist as to how the fine might be handled, including locking it at $250,000, reducing it, or removing it completely.
PlayUp May Lose Its License Before Launch
Another piece of the news came up on Wednesday as PlayUp may be on the hot seat as well. According to Executive Director Matt Schuler, the Ohio Casino Control Commission intends to deny PlayUp a license for mobile sports betting in Ohio.
PlayUp’s licensing suitability process revealed potential illegal gambling activity, Schuler said. This could lead to both PlayUp and their technology partner, Potent Games ceasing operations in the Buckeye State.
As a result of the statements made on PlayUp, the company has one or more disqualifying violations for accepting illegal wagers from individuals in the US after April 16, 2015. Their advertisements were also misleading and violated the code of conduct in Ohio.
In other news, BallyBet will launch a mobile and retail partnership with the Cleveland Browns. Betway will launch a second mobile app through its partnership with Boyd‘s Belterra Park. Out The Gate extended a mobile and retail partnership with SPIRE Institute, while Underdog Sports has an online sportsbook partnership with the Cincinnati Reds.
Sportsbook Operators Will Have to Be Cautious in the New Year
Bookmakers that are getting ready to launch in the Buckeye State hope that they don’t run into any issues as they could be subject to hefty fines and potential loss of a license. No matter how reputable the company is, issues could arise if one doesn’t proceed with caution.
BetMGM was given a hefty fine of $146,000 for taking bets before the mobile launch officially began. This was the biggest fine the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission has given out in its history.