Countdown To Launch: Barstool Will Pay Fine, Stakeholders Donated To DeWine Campaign

With more than week until launch, Barstool cleaning up act, kiosks popping up around state

The Ohio Casino Control Commission last week announced a potential $250,000 fine against Barstool Sportsbook for allegedly targeting college students with sports betting advertising.

During an application review meeting with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) Tuesday, PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden addressed the violation twice, saying, “We’ll pay the fine and move on. It won’t happen again.”

The issue stems from a Barstool College Football Show visit to the University of Toledo for its game against Bowling Green. During the show, Toledo’s mayor appeared and made some college football picks — then the show’s hosts shared information on pre-registration for Barstool Sportsbook, which is owned by PENN. The OCCC pointed to the incident as a violation of a state law forbidding the targeting of consumers under the age of 21.

Speaking before the MGC, Snowden told the commission that going forward, his company will require patrons to be over 21 to attend any kind of Barstool event and that it will not partner with any colleges or universities in the state. The company does not currently partner with any colleges or universities anywhere in the U.S., but in promoting the sportsbook, Barstool Sports does take its college football show on the road during the season.

Snowden said PENN/Barstool Sportsbook has a history of self-reporting violations, but in this case it was unaware that it had broken any rules — sportsbooks can sign up consumers ahead of the Jan. 1 launch date — and should have done a better job “defining what advertising meant.”

Follow the money

U.S. News & World Report reported this week that IGT is among a bevy of gaming companies that donated money that ended up in the war chest of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in his quest to get reelected.

According to the story, IGT made a donation to the Republican Governors Association, which immediately turned around and funneled the money to the Right Direction PAC and then the Free Ohio PAC — which benefited DeWine. Transfers all happened on the same day, raising a flag about “whether RGA was used as a pass-through to benefit DeWine.”

It appears Right Direction PAC moved $2.2 million into the Free Ohio account earlier this year, and campaign records show that IGT also donated to the Democratic Governors Association in 2022.

An IGT spokesman told U.S. News & World Report that the company regularly donates to political organizations.

Local flavor

According to WKBN 27, Youngstown-based Bet IGG is currently delivering and installing 100 sports wagering kiosks that will be ready by Jan. 1.

Those 100 kiosks — which will be at bars, restaurants, and other approved locations — represent only a fraction of the number of kiosks that could ultimately be available in the state. As part of the new law, Ohio legislators made it so lottery vendors could apply for kiosks. According to the lottery, approximately 900 have so far, but there could be up to 2,000.

“Out of that list, only about 900 have actually applied for the licenses as of this moment,” Ricky Volante, Bet IGG attorney, told WKBN. “So we anticipate that, you know, there will be a significant wave of additional posts in Q1 and Q2 of 2023.”

Other articles on OH Bets this week

Expect a gradual sports wagering kiosk rollout in Ohio

Comfy seats, giant video wall await bettors at MGM Northfield Park

Ohio MAC schools favored in upcoming bowl games

From Twitter …

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Ohioans already feeling inundated by sportsbook ads:


And … can we get on with it already?

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