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Barstool Facing $250K Fine for Ohio College Marketing

Barstool Sportsbook is looking at a $250,000 fine in Ohio for allegedly marketing its sports betting products to students at the University of Toledo recently. According to reports published in the Toledo Blade, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) has issued notice of the potential fine to Barstool for two separate violations related to the incident.

At the heart of the matter is a live filming of The Barstool Tailgate Show that was done in the parking lot of Glassdoor Stadium, at the University of Toledo before its November 15 game with in-state rival Bowling Green. According to the Blade, about 1,000 people, including underage students, were in attendance.

It’s the presence of underage students, and the event’s location on a college campus that perked the attention of the OCCC. During its most recent meeting, the OCCC slapped Barstool with infractions for both marketing their products to underage students, as well as for marketing their sportsbook on a college campus.

The problem, in the eyes of the OCCC, wasn’t The Barstool Tailgate Show, which focuses on sports information but does not necessarily include a call-to-action to download Barstool’s sportsbook app. Unfortunately, Barstool employees appear to have strayed from strict sports talk and were actively engaged in a call-to-action. “They were encouraging folks to preregister; they were advertising the Sportsbook,” said Jessica Franks, director of communications for the OCCC.

The next step in the process is for Penn Entertainment, the company that runs Barstool’s sports betting operation in Ohio, to either accept a fine or request a hearing on the matter.

Franks didn’t comment on the specifics of the Barstool case, but pointed out that Ohio will not be playing games when it comes to enforcing its gambling code. “We do take responsible gambling very serious here at the commission, especially the fact that sports gaming hasn’t even officially launched. We do take this very seriously. We do not actively seek out to fine or sanction companies,” Franks said.