This Christmas, sports bettors in Ohio could find a $50 DraftKings gift card tucked away in that annual card from grandma. That bit of holiday cheer will come courtesy of Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) Executive Director Matt Schuler, who approved the sale of gift cards for sports betting deposits earlier this week.
The decision to allow the sale of sports betting gift cards in Ohio comes partially from demand by operators, and partially in response to challenges Ohio players have had using their credit cards to make deposits. OCCC officials were approached by operators about the use of gift cards before regulated sports betting was officially launched, but the regulator initially balked. Shculer and his colleagues had a change of heart after multiple reports of players having problems depositing due to credit card company rules.
According to a report on Cleveland.com, Ohio sports betting cards must conform that seem pretty standard. The gift cards must include a message about responsible gambling; they cannot be sold to anyone under 21; and operators are advised to avoid advertising them to anyone under 21 or anywhere near college campuses.
While the sale of gift cards for sportsbooks seems pretty innocuous, it does have some serious potential to aid problem gamblers in hiding their problem. For example, a problem gambler could purchase a gift card at a grocery store so that their gambling purchases could be disguised as a food purchase on a bank statement.
OCCC officials have not yet announced when sports betting gift cards will be available to the public.