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Betr Enters Precarious Position With Ohio Sportsbook License

Written By Katarina Vojvodic | Updated:
online ohio sports betting legal apps

Betr, the gambling company represented by social media and professional boxer Jake Paul, may be at risk. After having issues with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Paul and the app he co-founded could face some licensing difficulties.

The app soft-launched on day 1 of Ohio sports betting release on Jan. 1 and did a full launch on Jan. 13. Betr received a provisional 3-year licence to operate in the Buckeye State.

Paul agrees to settle the SEC’s charge of violating securities laws

Paul is Betr’s co-founder and president. As a social media influencer with millions of followers, he also promotes the app using the following channels:

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitter

According to WSPO, Paul agreed to pay $101,887 to settle the SEC’s charge that he violated securities laws in his home state. He promoted a cryptocurrency investment on Twitter in 2021. At the time, he didn’t reveal that he was paid to do so.

Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) spokeswoman Jessica Franks said the settlement would be considered. The commission must decide whether to finalize Betr’s licence in the next few months. Franks commented:

“Suitability is an ongoing requirement for all commission licensees and applicants, and the commission has the authority to reopen a licensing investigation at any time.

The commission is aware of the recent action taken by the SEC against Mr. Paul and will follow our standard process in reviewing the allegations and settlement. The commission will not prejudge any outcome, and any action taken by our agency will be done in accordance with Ohio laws, rules and the administrative hearing process.”

Ohio administrative rules require operators to have licenses for all employees considered to be “persons in control.” The commission can “limit, condition, restrict, suspend, or revoke” any license for violating Ohio sports gaming laws.

Betr has been operating in Ohio since January

Ohio was the first state where Betr started taking bets. Together with Paul, Joey Levy co-founded Betr and has been the company’s CEO. When their company launched in Ohio, Levy shared his enthusiasm via a statement:

“We are thrilled to launch our real money betting business at Betr in Ohio. This launch marks the beginning of our gradual, methodical approach to state-by-state expansion, where we will take the time necessary to discover and validate product-market-fit of our highly differentiated product experience to ensure we scale in a profitable manner.”

To celebrate the launch, Betr offered a $1 Million promotion for all users in Ohio.

Apart from Ohio, Betr received a license to offer sports betting inVirginia. The company also plans to launch in Massachusetts.

Betr is a Florida-based start-up company aiming to be a national leader in micro-betting. The app allows bettors to place micro bets on the outcome of live game action.

Photo by AP Photo/Ashley Landis; illustrated by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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