Ohio Regulator Tightens Bonus Rules after Fanatics Mishap

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has made a significant move to prevent its licensed operators from tying their promotions to merchandise sales.

Bonuses linked to non-gaming consumer transactions must only be offered to players aged 21 and above.

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Last Friday, the regulator proposed a new rule, Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 3775-16-09, to the Common Sense Initiative Office, which clearly outlines the guidelines for licensed operators to offer promotions or bonuses dependent on non-gaming activities.

Additionally, the policy mandates that gambling-related ads be transparent and not use deceptive or misleading content to protect consumers from false information.

The proposed rule also states that sports gaming operators are not permitted to offer promotions or bonuses in conjunction with, or as a consequence of, transactions unrelated to gaming, such as consumer purchases."

Bonuses Must Meet Specific Conditions

However, the rule allows promotions or bonuses to be linked to non-gaming consumer transactions only if they meet specific conditions; they must not target minors, individuals excluded from sports gaming, those with gambling problems, or vulnerable persons.

Furthermore, such promos or bonuses are allowed if they are offered to patrons who have been verified to be at least 21 years old and are not enrolled in the Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program.

The regulator has opened the proposed rule for public feedback until July 12. Additionally, the OCCC has made a Business Impact Analysis available, providing residents and gaming operators with a detailed assessment of the rule's potential effects.

More Regulation News

Fanatics Controversial Promotion

The OCCC introduced this rule following a market blunder by Fanatics Sportsbook. Last year, the company ran a promotion in Ohio that granted customers a bonus bet matching the value of their purchased merchandise.

The regular investigated the promo and found it breached two sections of Ohio's existing gaming laws.

The rules, 3775-16-08 and 3775-16-09, focus on essential operator standards for responsible gaming practices. They mandate that operators display clear, responsible gambling messages and only offer gambling promos to customers aged 21 or older. Furthermore, the rules require operators to provide their users with the option to opt out of receiving future advertisements.


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