DraftKings hasn’t yet taken a bet in Ohio, but it already faces a steep potential penalty from the state’s casino control commission.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced today it has notified the sports betting operator that it intends to take administrative action against the company for violating the Ohio’s sports betting advertising rules, according to a release.

It will seek a $350,000 fine against DraftKings and require the operator to implement new procedures to ensure markets materials are not directed to individuals whose age has not been verified. The operator has the right to a hearing and due process.

The commission will vote on any potential action against DraftKings in a public meeting

Mailed advertisements ran afoul of regulation

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, DraftKings allegedly mailed approximately 2,500 advertisements directly addressed to individuals under the age of 21.

“The Commission has been very clear about the rules and standards for sports gaming advertising with the industry, and are disappointed with the lack of compliance we have seen despite reminders,” said Matthew Schuler, Executive Director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “While we do not take administrative action lightly, DraftKings’ conduct in this case warrants the
Commission’s intervention to ensure the integrity of sports gaming.

The announcement came one week after the commission sent out a notice to all gaming stakeholders to make sure they adhered to the state’s sports betting regulations when it came to advertising. The commission said it had already seen violations of three core tenants of its sports betting regulations. The violated tenants are:

  • All advertisements must have a responsible gaming message
  • All responsible gaming messages must be conspicuous
  • Advertisements must not target individuals under the age of 21

According to the message sent to stakeholders, the industry “does not want to have people participating in gaming if they are underage or have a gambling problem” and failure to meet the advertising standards “will result in administrative action.”

PENN Entertainment fined earlier this month

The Casino Control Commission has already levied a hefty potential fine on PENN Entertainment for one of its college football shows that took place on a Tulsa Campus.

Penn Entertainment, the parent company of Penn Sports Interactive and Barstool Sports, is facing a $250,000 fine after an alleged violation of Ohio sports betting regulations against advertising on or targeting a college campus and/or individuals under the age of 21.

The violation, sent to Penn Sports Interactive as part of its Barstool Sportsbook brand, stems from a Nov. 15, 2022, Barstool College Football show which took place “on, or targeting the area of, the University of Toledo’s Campus.” During the show, the violation notice alleges that Barstool advertised the Barstool Sportsbook by promoting pre-registration for the sportsbook, including bonus cash and “mycash” rewards for PENN Entertainment casinos. It also said Barstool targeted individuals under the age of 21 in the same way during the show.

“We ask that all operators look at the platforms and areas they are advertising and ensure they are not targeted at individuals under 21. We understand mistakes happen, but it is not a mistake when it appears to be this consistent,” the commission warned in its notice to stakeholders.