Ohio regulators shut down Fanatics store bonus bets promotions

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A big part of the pitch around Fanatics Sportsbook is leveraging the existing Fanatics ecosystem to bring in sports betting customers. However, that has not gotten off to the smoothest start in Ohio so far.

Responsible gambling advocate Jamie Salsburg posted a Tweet about a promotion in Ohio that offered any patrons in the Buckeye State a bonus bet on Fanatics Sportsbook equivalent to the cost of the merchandise they were purchasing:

Buzz started circulating on social media about whether or not this promotion was appropriate, eventually leading to complaints and inquiries with the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). OCCC spokesperson Jessica Franks told Saturday Down South that the promotion was in violation of two separate sections of regulations and was pulled from the state.

Franks cited Rule 3775-16-08 and Rule 3775-16-09 as the regulations the promotion violated but did not note which specific section of each regulation the offer violated.

The former outlines rules regarding prominent responsible gambling messaging, details about not offering the deal to anyone other the age of 21, and provide a clear and easy means for people to opt-out of future advertisements.

The latter rule specifically addresses promotions, including language prohibiting risk-free bets and prominently displaying the terms of the promotion.

While it is down in Ohio, it is unclear if the promotion is available in Tennessee, which is the other state Fanatics is currently underway with a beta launch. The operator also received approval to start its beta launch in Massachusetts last week but has yet to launch. PlayMA reported that a Fanatics spokesperson said the merchandise promotion would not be offered there.