The Ohio Casino Control Commission revealed application fees and addressed other licensing issues, general wagering provisions, equipment, exclusion programs, and responsible gaming in its two latest batches of sports betting rules.
In Batch 2, the OCCC proposed application fees of $150,000 for Type A licensees (online wagering) and for mobile management providers and $20,000 for Type B (brick-and-mortar) licensees and management service providers. Licensing fees, which were set in the new law, are $500,000 for sports organizations, $1 million for non-sports organizations, and $100,000 for Type B licenses.
Batch 2 was released on Jan. 28 and is open for public comment until Friday. Batch 3, which focuses on Type C licenses and exclusion programs, was released Monday and is open for public comment until Feb. 11.
A look at voluntary exclusion rules
The OCCC also laid out what voluntary exclusion programs for problem gamblers would look like, including offering bettors the option to self-exclude for one or five years or a lifetime. In any situation, those on the list won’t automatically be removed when the time frame is up. They must formally request to be removed, and those on the lifetime list can request to be removed after five years.
As part of the voluntary exclusion language, the regulator covers in Rule 3772-12-03 the “responsibilities of voluntarily excluded individuals.” As part of this draft rule, the commission wrote that if “an individual is owed a cash amount from an excluded entity or facility, the individual still has the right to receive that amount from the entity or facility, even after placement on the voluntary exclusion program.”
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What could bring questions from operators is what the draft rules don’t address — what happens to pending wagers when a bettor joins the exclusion list? This issue has come up in other states, as operators are concerned that the exclusion list could be used as a way to get out of a losing bet.
For example, if a large bet were placed on the World Series, and one team goes out to a 3-0 lead, and a bettor chooses to self-exclude after Game 3, what happens to the wager? Does the bettor get his/her money back? If so, this could be an unintentional loophole in the proposed rules.
Operators might want more lead time
- The OCCC proposes that operators request to add a bet type or event “at least five days before the first requested use” of the change. Operators prefer to have more flexibility, as the sports landscape is constantly changing. Many states do not require as much advance notice to consider new bet types/events.
- The regulator does allow for sports governing bodies to request that a certain bet type or event be banned. While this is common language across many jurisdictions, operators might request a small language change. Under the proposed rule, the regulator must share the suggested restriction with stakeholders, who can then comment. But the language does not appear to require the regulator to consider the comments, as is usual in other jurisdictions. In addition, should the the regulator choose not to ban a particular bet or event, the sports governing bodies would not have an opportunity to appeal.
- There is unusual language in proposed rule 3772-12-06 relating to what information certain facilities must share with the OCCC regarding “bankruptcy, divorce, crime and attempted or completed suicide related to gambling offered by an excluded entity or at an excluded facility.” Stakeholders routinely share information with regulators, but it seems unusual to ask a casino or sportsbook to make the determination about whether or not information it has received is directly related to the above issues.
The OCCC will continue to roll out proposed rules, with the group’s next meeting scheduled for Feb. 16.