Ohio Sports Betting Regulators Taking Responsible Gambling Seriously, Issue Warnings

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No matter who you are or where you’re betting on sports, it’s always important to gamble responsibly. And the state of Ohio is taking responsible gambling very seriously as Ohio sports betting launches at 12 a.m. ET on Sunday, New Year’s Day.

Every gambler needs to know their limits, have a plan, establish a bankroll, and know where to reach out if they do have a problem, including incredible resources such as 1-800-GAMBLER.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission, which will regulate sports betting in Ohio, has made it clear to sportsbook operators and their partners that they absolutely must make such responsible gambling language and advocacy clear in everything they do, especially advertising around acquisition of customers in the lead-up to Ohio sports betting’s launch at midnight ET on New Year’s Day.

The Commission issued a fine to one sportsbook and a letter to all parties reminding them of the guidelines earlier in December, with the Commission emphasizing all advertisements must contain responsible gambling language that is conspicuous and not hidden/obscured in any way, and that sports betting advertisements cannot target anyone under the age of 21.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission shared frustration with recent sports betting advertisements within the state.

(via @BennettConlin)https://t.co/12i8dpnRjG

— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) December 30, 2022

Then, in the hours leading up to the 12 a.m. ET Sunday launch of Ohio sports betting, the Commission sent another memo to sportsbooks and their partners emphasizing its “disappointment” that many advertisements still were not following these three guidelines, particularly in making responsible gambling messaging clear and conspicuous across all platforms (such as social media, streaming services and promotions on websites).

The memo cited multiple examples across several operators and partners, featuring both major and minor violations on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube and more.

“Again, the Commission does not take administrative action lightly, but it will take swift and immediate action to correct violations of Ohio law—especially any violation targeting underage individuals or other vulnerable populations,” read the memo in part. “The bottom line: all operators must immediately ensure that their advertising is compliant.”

The Commission’s commitment to responsible gambling goes beyond the warnings issued to sportsbook operators and their partners. The Commission has its own extensive responsible gambling program that is front and center on its website, tailored toward sports bettors in Ohio. The website offers resources for people with gambling problems, resources for identifying signs of a gambling problem, ways for people to voluntarily exclude themselves from sports betting in Ohio, and much more.

We encourage everyone to gamble responsibly, including those who might be doing so for the first time as Ohio sports betting launches at 12 a.m. ET on Sunday. If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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