DraftKings faces $350k fine in Ohio as state launches sports betting
Industry heavyweights set to go toe-to-toe after regulated market in Midwest heartland went live on January 1
DraftKings’ rollout of its online sportsbook in Ohio was marred by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) potentially fining the operator $350,000 over marketing breaches.
Details of the prospective fine were released by the OCCC on Friday and relate to the mailing of more than 2,500 advertisements to individuals under the age of 21 in November, during the state’s pre-registration period.
OCCC executive director Matt Schuler sounded an aggressive tone with his comments surrounding the prospective fine: “The Commission has been very clear about the rules and standards for sports gaming advertising with the industry and are disappointed with the lack of compliance we have seen despite reminders.
“While we do not take administrative action lightly, DraftKings’ conduct in this case warrants the Commission’s intervention to ensure the integrity of sports gaming,” Schuler said.
In addition to any potential financial sanction, DraftKings would also be required to implement new procedures to ensure that all subsequent marketing materials are not sent to individuals whose age has not already been verified.
While the operator has made no comment surrounding the OCCC action, DraftKings will have the right to appeal the prospective fine, with a full hearing with the OCCC to determine the eventual result.
This is second time a betting operator has been targeted by the regulator concerning marketing to underage individuals.
Barstool Sports was issued with a $250,000 fine in December after its Penn Sports Interactive affiliate was found to have breached two counts of Ohio gambling law.
The charges, which related to Barstool’s college football show on the University of Toledo campus on November 15, include marketing to underage individuals and offering pre-registration bonuses to individuals attending the event, also in violation of Ohio gambling law.
Ohio officially kicked off life as a regulated sports betting market as the clocks struck midnight on January 1, bringing to a close a yearlong drive towards the launch of the vertical in the Buckeye State.
Among those other operators launching in the state were FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Bet365, Betfred, PointsBet, Rush Street Interactive, Betr, Hard Rock, and Tipico.
Ohio is the second most populous state in the US Midwest, just beating Illinois, which has had online sports betting since June 2020.
Operators are taxed at 10% of net revenue, while a maximum of 25 online licenses are available.