The OCCC has imposed a $150,000 fine against Caesars, less than a month after sports betting was legalised in the state.
According to the OCCC, the operator ran sports gaming advertisements that violated its rules. Caesars used free bets as part of its advertising, which is specifically banned by the commission. It also failed to include a message designed to prevent problem gambling.
Earlier in January, the OCCC sent sports betting operators BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings notices of violations concerning advertising and promotions carrying potential $150,000 fines for each.
OCCC director of communications Jessica Franks said: “Despite repeated attempts to gain compliance, we weren’t able to. That’s when we need to see these financial sanctions issued. But, as was noted today, we do appreciate the work that Caesars has done in going well above what the commission was asking in addressing this issue.”
Caesars’ explained that the advertising that did not follow the regulation was from a company affiliate and that the operator finished their agreement.
The $150,000 in fine money will go to the state Sports Gaming Revenue Fund, which is mainly used for K-12 education, sports and extracurricular activities.
Legal sports wagering launched in Ohio on January 1. After three years of debate, Ohio approved sports betting in December 2021. Governor Mike DeWine signed legislation to allow sports betting in the state following approval of House Bill 29 by the House and Senate.