Sports betting operators warn of rule violations in Ohio

The Ohio Casino Control Commission issued a warning to the sports betting industry after seeing multiple violations of their rules ahead of Ohio’s launch.

CLEVELAND — This week, the Ohio Casino Control Commission warned the sports betting industry about violating their advertising rules.

The legalization of sports betting goes into effect on Sunday, January 1, but just days before the launch, the state ordered operators to make their messages clearer.

“We remind our advertisers that they cannot target anyone under the age of 21,” said Jessica Franks of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Franks told 3News that the Ohio Casino Control Commission has licensed more than 1,000 businesses. Most of the licenses are for sports betting kiosks, which will be located in bars, restaurants and grocery stores.

The Ohio Lottery Commission will monitor the stalls and told 3News that at least 750 retailers will have stalls open on Sunday.

Franks told 3News that there will be 12 retail betting shops in Ohio. The Browns, Cavaliers and Guardian have received permission to host a betting shop in their stadium.

Most sports betting will be done online or using a mobile device. On Sunday, 16 different operators will launch platforms in Ohio, Franks said.

Sports betting ads have taken over social media platforms, television and radio, but some of them have crossed the line set by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Franks told 3News that they have seen several advertisements without reporting liability for gambling.

“It didn’t show up in some of the videos or radio ads,” Franks said. “The message that was being read was read very quickly, you couldn’t hear it, you couldn’t hear it clearly to figure out which number to call, or the font of these messages is so small that you can’t read them without having to zoom in.”

Franks told 3News that you don’t have to zoom in to see messages about responsible gambling in ads.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission took action after a breach at the University of Toledo in November.

“We have issued a notice of infringement to Penn Sports Interactive,” Franks said.

The operator has set up a college football show on the university campus, and Franks says the Ohio Casino Control Commission is seeking a fine.

“During the show, they were sort of promoting one of the sports betting apps, and it was in violation of our policy against advertising on college campuses,” Franks said. “And also target those under 21.”

Franks told 3News that Penn Sports Interactive will have the option to request an infringement hearing, but their app will be one of 16 to launch on Sunday.

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