Penn National Pays Fine To Settle Barstool Sportsbook Violations In Indiana

Posted on October 4, 2021
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Written By on October 4, 2021

Penn National paid a $10,000 settlement in Indiana over a “questionable” TikTok video about gambling losses posted by Barstool Sports.

Per an Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) notice last week, Penn self-reported the video in question back in March. The Commission said the video in question breached its marketing regulations, specifically around “false and misleading advertising.”

According to the IGC:

“A junior member of Barstool’s social media team posted a questionable video discussing gambling losses with a 12-second duration on a Barstool-owned and controlled TikTok account.”

Rogue social media?

The video was live for 12 hours and deleted as soon as Barstool’s social media manager became aware of it.

However, a third-party social media account copied the video and posted it on Twitter, where it reportedly remains viewable.

LSR was unable to find it.

IN sports betting regulations in question

Per IN sports betting regulations: “All advertising published by sports wagering operators shall comply with the following …”: 

  1. Must not directly advertise or promote sports wagering to minors. 
  2. Shall conspicuously display a prominent message which states “if you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help call 1-800-WITH-IT”. 
  3. Shall state that patrons must be at least 21 to wager.
  4. Shall not imply a greater chance of winning than other sports wagering operators.
  5. Shall not imply a greater chance of winning based on wagering in greater quantity or amount.
  6. All direction marketing shall allow the option to unsubscribe.

The IGC did not specify which of these clauses the Barstool Sportsbook video breached. 

Barstool Sportsbook moved quickly

Penn said the employee who posted the video was subsequently suspended without pay for a month. The entire company also received a responsible gambling refresher the next day.

Penn also pointed out the content was only on a Barstool Sports account, and not any accounts controlled by Penn or Barstool Sportsbook.

The company still agreed to pay the $10,000 settlement, however. Penn owns a 36% stake in Barstool.

Barstool Sportsbook has mixed RG history

It is not the first time Barstool has courted controversy with its advertising tactics. 

Last year, the company used a child to advertise a bet on its Instagram feed, attracting some backlash. 

However, the company has also taken pains to address those concerns.  The main Barstool Sportsbook social media accounts regularly tweets RG messaging and Penn was hiring for a responsible gaming analyst back in July.

Earlier this year, Penn CEO Jay Snowden told industry publication EGR that “no one takes responsible gambling more seriously than us.”

A Penn representative declined an LSR request for further comment.

Brad Allen Avatar
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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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