By the first of next month, the Ohio Casino Control Commission intends to announce the launch date for sportsbooks to operate in the state. However, sportbooks in Ohio can advertise now, before the official sports betting launch date.
All expectations point to a date not much earlier than Jan. 1, 2023, given all the preparations required. They expect to receive 3,000 license applications.
Sportsbooks are itching to get a head start on advertising and recruiting users before then. And who can blame them? After all, strategic marketing and jockeying for customers are crucial parts of gaining a competitive edge in a new industry.
New and old rules on advertising
Sports betting advertising and marketing has been around in Ohio for quite some time through multi-jurisdictional advertisements of online games. The commission realizes this and has no intention of imposing any restrictions on it.
There are, however, a set of stipulations required by HB-29 that all sports gaming advertisements must follow, such as:
- Clearly convey all conditions.
- Disclose the identity of the proprietor, mobile management service provider, or management services provider, as applicable.
- Do not target certain individuals.
- Include problem gambling messaging and resources.
- Don’t be false, misleading, or deceptive.
It’s advisable for Ohio sports gaming companies to adhere to these new standards as quickly as possible. The commission may make these standards a prerequisite for licensure. A company’s reputation, experience, and integrity could also be deciding factors in the application process.
Advertisements won’t have to carry the name of the sports gaming proprietor or the service provider. Only the name of the entity offering sports gaming is necessary.
Sports betting advertisements appearing in Ohio must all contain a responsible gambling message that includes the Ohio Gambling Helpline (1-800-589-9966) or the National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700). The numbers need to be noticeable and should clearly indicate that they are there to help those experiencing problems with gambling.
Once sports betting is live, there will be a slew of affiliate marketers ready to help advertise for sportsbooks. At this point, the commission does not plan to put in place regulations that would require an affiliate marketer to obtain a license.
New rules also apply to acquiring customers
Sportsbooks are also eager to get a head start on user recruitment before the launch date. The commission understands. Companies can sign up Ohio users for sports betting accounts or alerts now.
Users just aren’t allowed to place any bets within the state until the official launch date.
The commission will pay particular attention to user recruitment efforts and make sure they adhere to the advertising standards outlined above. In addition, to ensure user recruitment does not target individuals with a gambling problem, any recruited user must be given the chance to unsubscribe or cancel any account created.
Furthermore, the proprietor shall authorize the user to voluntarily restrict themselves from opening any other accounts. If they so wish, they may also opt out of any further recruitment attempts.
Before any account is allowed to place a wager, it must meet all account creation standards currently stipulated under the commission’s rules. A check against the sports gaming voluntary exclusion program must also be in place.
Lastly, should a sportsbook or proprietor be denied a license, withdraw from consideration, or decide not to seek licensure, it is obliged to inform all recruited users that it shall not be offering sports gaming in the foreseeable future. It must also permit all users to unsubscribe or cancel any accounts.
To obtain more information about Ohio sports gaming, visit the Commission’s sports gaming website.