With the new year comes to a major shift in Ohio’s gambling landscape – sports betting has become legal! While this is exciting news, it is important to be cautious. Despite the ads that have been aired trying to induce you into betting on sports events, many of them are actually in violation of the state’s regulations.
It is important to fully understand the laws and do your research before you place any bets, as being misled or unaware of the restrictions can put you in a difficult situation. With that being said, legal sports betting opens up new doors for experienced bettors and even those who have never tried it before.
Ban Of ”Free” Or ”Risk-free” Advertising
Ohio authorities have noticed that many of the multibillion-dollar Ohio sportsbook companies within the state are not following a few basic regulations put in place by Ohio law. To advertise their services, betting companies are required to avoid phrases such as “free” or “risk-free”.
Furthermore, they must provide an easily visible link for problem gamblers and they cannot market their services to those under 21. Despite these requirements, authorities point out that these companies often ignore them, resulting in a lack of oversight that can have serious consequences on vulnerable populations. Regulators need to ensure that all commercial gambling activity follows Ohio law.
Regulators Are Doubtful After Numerous Violations
Despite the commission’s efforts to educate operators about Ohio’s sports betting laws, several violations occurred when the state opened for business on January 1. Commission members were “deeply disappointed” with this rough start, as the state is well behind other existing legal sports betting operations.
Jessica Franks, a commission spokeswoman, suggested that Ohio may have faced more difficulty than other states due to simultaneously launching online and retail outlets in addition to kiosks located at liquor permit establishments. Regulators acknowledge the challenge of launching such a complicated process but expressed dismay given their educational efforts before opening day. She stated:
“We kept seeing these instances where the ads were violating the law as well as our rules,” Franks said. “And the industry claims to take responsible gambling very seriously. The commission definitely does. And we needed to see their actions matching their words and that they hold that to the same value that we do.”