Public Comment Welcome On Ohio Responsible Gambling Rules Until Jan. 3

Written By Dan Holmes on December 27, 2023
Poker chips behind outline of Ohio, where regulators are seeking public comment on responsible gambling rules through Jan. 3

The public is encouraged to share comments on responsible gambling rules with the Ohio Casino Control Commission from now until Jan. 3.

The comment period is mandated by state laws “at least once every five years” and, in this case, applies to legal gambling taking place at casinos and online via sports betting apps.

This comment period applies to four “no-change” rules regarding responsible gambling in Ohio, meaning the OCCC does not propose any changes to these rules. However, that could change depending on feedback from the public.

The “no-change” rules revolve around the VEP (Voluntary Exclusion Program) for individuals in Ohio who wish to restrict or terminate their participation in wagering at casinos or sportsbooks. The language for all relevant sections of the responsible gambling rules can be seen in a document from the OCCC.

Compulsive and problem gambling plans for casinos and sports betting operators in Ohio

Under current law, casinos and sportsbooks, both online and retail, are tasked with formulating a responsible gambling plan of action that addresses VEP procedures, as well as the risk of underage gambling.

The current language reads in part:

“Each excluded entity and facility, who is a casino or sports gaming facility or an online sports pool, must provide to the Ohio casino control commission a disordered and problem gambling plan for approval.”

In addition, casinos must have “(p)rocedures for excluded facilities to prevent patrons impaired by drugs or alcohol, or both, from gambling,” and adopt a plan for “posting signs within an excluded facility, containing information on gambling treatment and on the Ohio VEP, including examples of the language and graphics to be used on the signs.”

Ohio law requires individuals to be at least 21 years of age to register and wager legally with an Ohio sports betting site or mobile app. Previously, the state has cracked down on sports betting operators who promoted their products near to or targeted at college or high school students under 21. Both Barstool Sports and DraftKings were fined as a result.

Ohio allows as many as 46 sports betting apps, with 20 licenses currently being utilized. There may be as many as 40 retail sportsbooks, and the state now has 15 in operation. In addition, Ohio permits sports betting kiosks, with roughly 900 such machines in the state, located at convenience stores, in rest stops, and elsewhere.

Deadline for public comment on responsible gambling regulations

The public can submit formal written comments to the OCCC, or email comments and suggestions to [email protected]. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 3, 2024.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayOhio with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio and Maryland, and the sports betting props — Prop 26 and Prop 27 — in California. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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