Caesars Sportsbook, which received a notice of violations from the Ohio Casino Control Commission earlier this month, opted to pay a $150,000 fine Wednesday rather than request a hearing on the matter.
Caesars Sportsbook received the penalty for advertising materials that used the language “risk-free bet.” The OCCC doesn’t want that phrasing used, as “risk-free bets” often still include some financial risk.
Representatives from the company addressed the OCCC at its meeting Wednesday. While they didn’t deny the violation, they did explain that it was a third-party affiliate making the mistake rather than Caesars Sportsbook’s own marketing materials.
“We have various provisions that require a marketing affiliate to only use content that has been previously approved by Caesars Sportsbook,” a Caesars representative said. “In this instance, the affiliate did not follow those procedures.”
Caesars Sportsbook terminated its national relationship with the unnamed affiliate as a result of the error. The sportsbook operator also reached out to its other affiliates, pointing out Ohio’s guidelines.
“I think the fact that your organization terminated your affiliate relationship not only speaks volumes about your values and your philosophy and your leadership, but I think for us it’s a model in compliance,” OCCC Chair June Taylor said. “We hope that those who are listening, also are learning.”
Barstool Sportsbook and DraftKings are among the other operators to run into issues with the OCCC for marketing practices that violated guidelines.
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) December 30, 2022
“The sports gaming industry has received multiple reminders of the rules and standards for advertising and promotions, yet continues to disregard Ohio law,” Matthew Schuler, the OCCC’s executive director, said in a recent press release concerning violations. “These repeated violations leave the Commission no choice but to pursue administrative action to bring operators into compliance. The Commission takes responsible gambling seriously — and expects the industry to value the same.”
WynnBET approved for mobile license
During Wednesday’s meeting, the OCCC approved WynnBET to operate a mobile sportsbook in Ohio. The state currently has 16 mobile sportsbooks operational after the Jan. 1 launch of legal sports betting.
WynnBET continues its push across the U.S. It expects to launch its mobile sportsbook in Maryland soon and also received a mobile wagering license in Massachusetts last month. The operator is currently available in nine states.
A couple of additional sportsbooks, including Underdog and Fanatics Sportsbook, are expected to launch in Ohio in the near future.