COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s only been a few days since sports betting was legal in Ohio and already some big names in the gambling industry are coming under fire.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced Thursday that it has notified BETMGM, LLC
(BetMGM), American Wagering, Inc. (Caesars) and Crown OH Gaming, LLC (DraftKings) that it
intends to take administrative action against them for violations of Ohio law and administrative
rules pertaining to advertising and promotions.

According to a news release from the commission, gambling ads are supposed to contain “clearly and conspicuously” a message to prevent problem gaming as well as a helpline for resources. The commission said that BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings all ran advertisements that violated that provision, even after they were given explicit guidance on Dec. 30 about the rules.

In addition, the commission said that all three companies advertised promotions or bonuses described as “free” or “risk-free” when patrons were required to incur a loss or risk their own money to obtain the promotion, also violating commission rules.

According to the rules, you can’t use “free” or “risk-free” in gambling advertising or promotion where someone has to spend their own money to get what is being promoted.

The commission is seeking a $150,000 fine from each company as well as other remedial action to ensure personnel is trained in all applicable laws, rules and policies relevant to sports gaming advertising and promotions in Ohio.

The companies can request a hearing on the matter and the commission will vote on any action.

Any fines collected are put into the Sports Gaming Revenue Fund.