As reported by iGaming Business, Penn Sports Interactive’s (PSI) Barstool Sportsbook is facing fines in Indiana after two incidents this year crossed the line in the eyes of the state regulator. The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) levied fines for two different complaints this year.
PSI’s sportsbook operator Barstool got a slap on the wrist from regulators this month for two different incidents in 2021. The incidents involved different allegations and concerns, but both counts were resolved through fines levied by the IGC totaling $12,500.
One of the problems identified by regulators involved compliance, while the second was related to social media use and problem gambling. In both cases, the regulator found significant enough violations that fines were levied for each instance.
Details of the Charges
Barstool fell victim to two different problems. The first involved compliance, while the second was a social media issue. Both concerns revolved around responsible gaming.
The first issue crossed the regulations during a period in May when the operator was planning to launch its mobile sportsbook operation in Indiana.
IGC was informed that the operation was to go live, and it responded to PSI pointing to insufficient responsible gaming language on its website. IGC was informed that those requirements were met through Terms and Conditions, and House Rules, but a further investigation revealed those documents had not yet been created or released publicly.
That forced bettors to accept blank Terms and Conditions with an impact on nearly 4,000 users. Regulations in Indiana (Section 68 27-5-3(b) of the Indiana Administrative Code) clearly require the responsible gaming language and posting of Terms and Conditions and House Rules to ensure patrons know what they are getting into.
The second violation cited by the IGC started as a social media fail. A junior member of Barstool’s social media team put up a video with a discussion of gambling losses. The video stepped over the line in regard to the required responsible gaming messages, but it was quickly removed by the operator’s social media manager once they became aware of it.
The internet being what it is however, the video was shared by another user and is still viewable online. In the company’s defense, the employee in question was suspended without pay for a month, and all staff got a refresher course in responsible gaming messaging.
The IGC deemed the TikTok video the most egregious problem, levying the biggest fine of $7,500 for that offense. In response to the lack of responsible gaming language surrounding the launch of Barstool’s mobile sportsbook operation, the IGC slapped the company with an additional $5,000 fine.
That put the total penalty at $12,500 for the two offenses. When Barstool pays the fines, it will waive rights to further judicial review in the case, while the IGC will agree not to pursue the matters further.