Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings agree to $750,000 in fines for targeting people too young to gamble, advertising ‘free’ bets

DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbook will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after reaching settlements with Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday.

DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbook will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after reaching settlements with Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday.

Barstool Sportsbook will pay $250,000 because of a live event held outside the University of Toledo’s football stadium. Regulators say the company broke two rules; advertising on or near a college campus and targeting customers who are under 21. You must be 21 or older to gamble in Ohio.

Penn Entertainment owns the Barstool Sportsbook brand and the Hollywood Casinos in Columbus and Toledo. Chief Compliance Officer Chris Soriano said the company recognizes that its broke Ohio’s rules.

“In this matter we fell short of the mark,” Soriano said during Wednesday’s meeting. “We accept responsibility for that.”

DraftKings Sportsbook will pay $500,000 because of two separate infractions. In December, regulators said the company was mailing advertisements to people under 21. In January, DraftKings was accused of breaking two rules: not having a message about problem gambling, and advertising “free” or “risk-free” bets.

Jacob List, Director of Regulatory Operations for DraftKings, said during the meeting that they used a database for Fantasy sports to send out mailers, which resulted in people under 21 getting ads. That has since been adjusted, according to the company. 
DraftKings is also looking closely at ads, List said, making sure they contain responsible gaming messages and don’t container terms like “free” or “risk-free.”

Legal sports betting went live on Jan. 1, and it wasn’t long before gambling companies found themselves in hot water.

Caesar’s Sportsbook reached a settlement with regulators in January. It agreed to pay $150,000 and waived its right to a hearing about the infractions it was accused of. The commission said in January that Caesar’s Sportsbook didn’t have a message about problem gambling in advertising. And it was advertising “risk-free” bets.

BetMGM, facing the same accusations as Caesar’s Sportsbook, is still working through the process, Casino Commission spokeswoman Jessica Franks said. Regulators proposed a $150,000 fine for the company.

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