The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) accused Ohio sports betting operators of not following advertising guidelines. Although the OCCC did not take action against bookmakers, it did say failure to review advertising materials would result in administrative action.
Breaking sports betting advertising rules
The warning comes after the commission issued a violation to Penn Entertainment for breaking advertising rules. Penn Entertainment, which takes bets under its Barstool Sportsbook name, is one of 20 online operators in Ohio.
According to the state gaming law, operators are supposed to maintain responsible gaming messaging that is conspicuous and does not target people under the age of 21. In addition, the gambling addiction helpline and responsible gaming messaging must be nearly as clear, legible, and audible as the rest of the advertisement.
In an email to Ohio sports betting operators, the commission wrote:
“An advertisement should not have to be zoomed in on, slowed down, or the volume turned up for an individual to see or hear a helpline number. To be clear, conspicuous certainly is not having the responsible gambling tagline in the smallest font, lowest voice, or fastest speech in the advertisement.”
The OCCC does not approve advertisements or promotions for sports betting operators. However, it does expect the industry to show “courtesy” and “act in accordance with your stated goals on responsible gambling.”
According to the commission, early ads have displayed hard-to-read messaging or lacked them entirely.
Ohio sports betting around the corner
Ahead of the Jan. 1 sports betting launch, the OCCC said it has updated some of its advertising guidelines on its FAQ webpage.
“We understand mistakes happen, but it is not a mistake when it appears to be this consistent,” the email said.
Additionally, the OCCC said it plans to deny an application from PlayUp Interactive for reportedly accepting illegal bets from customers in the US.
BetMGM also announced its BetMGM Sportsbook at the Cincinnati Reds ballpark will welcome bettors on New Year’s Day starting at 11 a.m.