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DraftKings fined $350,000 in Ohio for targeting underage people

DraftKings sports betting

On Friday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) declared it would fine DraftKings $350,000 following the alleged distribution of advertising material to persons under the age of 21.

“The commission has been very clear about the rules and standards for sports gaming advertising with the industry, and are disappointed with the lack of compliance we have seen despite reminders,” said OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler in a statement. “While we do not take administrative action lightly, DraftKings’ conduct in this case warrants the commission’s intervention to ensure the integrity of sports gaming.”

The fines imposed on operators who break the laws are usually allocated to the state’s Sports Gaming Revenue Fund. However, in addition to the penalties, the OCCC is requiring that DraftKings set up procedures to restrict mail from being delivered to individuals whose ages have not been verified.

The state gaming authorities have increased their focus on making sure that sports betting companies follow guidelines for responsible gambling in their promotional materials. They are also taking care to avoid seeking out those under the age of 21. Despite this, the gaming watchdog claims that in November, DraftKings sent around 2,500 messages that were specifically tailored to those who were too young to open sports betting profiles in Ohio.

The sports betting operator will also have the opportunity to seek a hearing on the issue. If they opt in for this, an appeals judge would examine the case if a hearing were to occur and provide a statement to the court. After looking over the report, the court would decide what to do.

In other news, DraftKings’ penalty is coming after the committee reported two weeks ago that Penn Sports Interactive would be subject to a $250,000 fine. This is following the promotion of its online sportsbook, Barstool Sports, during a college football event conducted at the University of Toledo.

Since a slew of publications from The New York Times last month revealed a few of the strategies businesses used to entice the state to authorize their gaming business, the sports betting watchdog has been subjected to more scrutiny.

Schuler also reported that the OCCC’s measures were not in reaction to the publication of The Times article. He explained that they were already dedicated to setting the gambling industry straight by ensuring operators who violate their gaming rules are reprimanded.

“We already had our rules in place on this subject. They actually called and asked us questions about this, but we had talked about college campuses and about our advertising rules. Honestly, it didn’t fit into the narrative of the story. So, they didn’t put in our good stuff, but that’s where we were,” said Schuler.

“During the rule process in the spring is when these regs came forward from our staff. So (The Times articles) didn’t amplify it, didn’t initiate it. We were already committed to it long before any of those articles came out, and part of it is because we saw the need for such regulations.”

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