DeWine: Ohio won’t tolerate sports betting operators breaking advertising rules

Ohio is looking to clamp down on any sports betting operator that breaks its advertising rules, says the state’s Governor Mike DeWine.
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Ohio is looking to clamp down on any sports betting operator that breaks its advertising rules, says Governor Mike DeWine.

According to, DeWine stated that he and the state’s regulator, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), are keeping an eye on all operator’s advertising in the Buckeye State following the launch of its regulated sports wagering market on January 1.

The governor said he’s already shared his concerns with the commission’s Executive Director, adding that advertising rule-breaking in the state “will not be tolerated.”

“The companies that are doing the massive advertising need to be aware that they’re being looked at very closely by the governor and the Casino Control Commission in regard to statements that they are making,” commented DeWine.

“We believe that at least on several occasions they’ve already crossed the line. My message to them is that this will not be tolerated in the State of Ohio.”

Ohio does not allow its operators to advertise sports betting to anyone under the age of 21. However, in the past month, the state’s regulator has issued fines to two operators, Barstool Sports and DraftKings, for breaking advertising rules before its market had launched.

Barstool Sports, owned by PENN Entertainment, was issued a $250,000 fine by the OCCC in December for advertising and offering a promo code on a college campus during its recent event at the University of Toledo.

Meanwhile, DraftKings has been issued a $350,000 fine by the commission for sending roughly 2,500 advertisements to people under the age of 21 in November ahead of the state’s market launched in January.

Both Barstool and DraftKings are entitled to a hearing to discuss their potential fines by the OCCC, but PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden recently stated in a Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting that the company does not plan to appeal the fine.

DeWine also highlighted the free bet advertisements from operators as they look to acquire new customers in the market, stating: “That’s a pretty clear line they cannot cross.”

”I also think they must be very careful, candidly, in regard to the claim of ‘free money and free gaming.’ When you look at the fine print, or try to figure out what it really means, it doesn’t mean what certainly is being implied by the TV advertising.”

PENN Entertainment has recently stated that it would be removing the term “risk-free” from all of its marketing materials as part of its commitment to responsible gaming.