COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two of the big online sportsbooks in Ohio will pay out six-figure fines owed to the state, the Ohio Casino Control Commission voted Wednesday at its monthly meeting.
The settlements include a $500,000 fine for DraftKings and a $250,000 fine for Penn Entertainment — the parent of Barstool’s sportsbook — that stem from breaking advertising rules set by the commission.
In December, DraftKings received its first violation notice for directly mailing people under 21 flyers that pushed its sportsbook ahead of the state’s universal sports gambling launch.
The OCCC sent a second violation notice in early January, when the commission said it did not include necessary problem gambling language in some ads and improperly promoted “free” bets in others. American Wagering Inc. — affiliated with Caesars’ sportsbook — and BetMGM received similar violation notices that same day.
The half-a-million-dollar fine, in addition to required additional training and remedial measures, will remedy both notices.
“DraftKings is committed to the highest standards of consumer protections and responsible gaming,” DraftKings’ chief compliance officer Jennifer Aguiar wrote in an email statement.
Penn Entertainment’s violation stemmed from an episode of Barstool’s College Football show, which was recorded on the University of Toledo’s campus in November before a game against Bowling Green State University. Sportsbooks are barred from promoting themselves at colleges in Ohio.
“In this matter, we fell short of the mark,” Barstool compliance officer Chris Soriano told the commission.
Caesars settled directly with the commission at its last meeting, in January. The only outstanding notice — BetMGM’s — will be voted on at a future meeting. In sum, the penalties are some of the heftiest the commission has ever issued, totaling more than $1 million in settled or proposed fines.