The Ohio Casino Control Commission approved two settlement agreements Wednesday morning that fined Barstool and DraftKings sportsbooks for violations of Ohio laws governing sports betting advertising.
This concludes two of four alleged Ohio sportsbook advertising violations.
Barstool Sports Fined $250,000
The commission first heard the alleged Barstool sportsbook violation. Chris Soriano, Chief Compliance Officer, and Harper Ko, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Penn Entertainment appeared on behalf of Barstool Sports. Penn Entertainment recently undertook a $387 million acquisition of Barstool Sports.
Soriano and Ko expressed regret for advertising that appeared on the Barstool College Football Show, which violated Ohio regulations and laws against marketing sportsbooks to people under the age of 21.
Commission Vice Chair John Steinhauer noted that the commission takes responsible gaming and advertising seriously, while also commending Barstool Sports for its history of operations in Ohio. The settlement agreement for a $250,000 fine and remedial measures was unanimously approved.
Next, the commission addressed two alleged Ohio adverting violations by DraftKings sportsbook — one prohibiting the disingenuous use of terminology such as “free” or “risk-free”, the other against marketing toward underage people.
Jacob List, Senior Director of Regulatory Operations, and Stephanie Sherman, Chief Marketing Officer, appeared on behalf of DraftKings.
List and Sherman acknowledged and apologized for advertising violations that occurred during the rollout of DraftKings Ohio. They promised to employ mandatory employee training documents regarding responsible gaming disclaimers, as well as use of the word “free.”
DraftKings also sent direct mail ads to about 2,500 underage Ohio residents.
Commissioner Chair June Taylor noted that DraftKings has spent considerable funds on diversity in advertising, pointing specifically to Kevin Hart. She stated that the commission is sensitive to the role diversity plays on different genders and age groups because of Hart’s appeal. The commission takes seriously what has occurred but also appreciates DraftKings’ sincerity and transparency, Taylor said.
The commission unanimously approved a settlement agreement for $500,000 and remedial measures for the two violations.
Both Barstool Sports and DraftKings will continue to be allowed to operate Ohio sports betting apps within the state.