Since then, the gambling regulator, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, has issued a litany of penalties that has now topped $1 million. The latest operator to be booked by the watchdog is BetMGM which was slapped with a $150,000 fine on Wednesday.
Penalties Fly All Around in Ohio
In its decision, the OCCC alleges that BetMGM was among the companies to face enforcement action over failure to maintain industry standards in advertising their gambling products. Among the companies faced with a similar penalty were Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook as confirmed by the regulator early into the year.
The OCCC contended that the aforementioned companies had failed to provide proper responsible gambling messaging in their marketing and promotional inducements, leaving gamblers unaware of helpline options for one. Another issue the regulator took with the companies, including BetMGM, was what it deemed a frivolous use of the wording “risk-free” and “free,” used to describe wagers that are not necessarily “free” per se but rather compel consumers to have a second chance with the same money they have wagered.
BetMGM chief compliance officer Rhea Loney accepted the regulator’s ruling appearing before the commission on Wednesday. “BetMGM takes responsibility that we made an error, and we apologize for that error, and we’re going to remedy that,” Loney said, assuring that the company is committed to the highest responsible gambling standards in the country.
Loney has said that the company has already taken it upon itself to train employees on the issue and has sent a message to its affiliate partners. BetMGM has been deploying the GameSense program developed by British Columbia in order to help increase awareness of problem gambling and ensure that vulnerable consumers are linked with the help they need.
All Culprits Accept the Penalties – Promise to Do Better
BetMGM is not the only entity hit with a fine. All DraftKings, Caesars and BetMGM had to pay a $150,000 fine. DraftKings also bore the brunt of regulatory ire as it was forced to pay an additional $350,000 and PENN Entertainment was hit with a separate fine, which saw it pay $250,000.
The operators have accepted these penalties and acknowledge their shortcomings in the matters raised by the watchdog. This means that the total amount of penalties paid by operators in Ohio has already exceeded $1 million.