We are back in the courtroom for today’s episode of iGaming Daily, supported by Optimove

Jessica Welman, Editor of SBC Americas, is joined by SBC’s Media Manager, Charlie Horner, to delve into MGM’s ongoing battle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where MGM alleges that the regulatory oversight group is overstepping its bounds.

The operator has filed a lawsuit in the DC District Court that argues it is not a financial institution and therefore does not fall under the remit of the FTC. The FTC has hit back with a lawsuit of its own in Nevada, where MGM is headquartered, asking the court to compel the operator to submit the documents requested by the FTC.

The FTC argues that as MGM extends lines of credit to gamble it falls under the category of a financial institution.

Jess said: “Casinos are subject to all sorts of laws that are related to banking [such as] anti-money laundering. I’m pretty sure that if you can launder money through it there’s a lot of financial components to a casino. I think the line of credit is where I’m on their side that if you are essentially creating a loan for someone, I don’t know what else that would make you but a financial institution.”

Charlie then asks about what will happen next and what information the FTC want from MGM.

Jess explains that the FTC want information on how MGM protect customer information given the data breach caused by the cybersecurity incident. She adds that if the FTC are given the chance to investigate MGM any ramifications will likely come in the form of a fine.

After a short break, the show moves on to discuss new rules in Ohio regarding how operators can offer non-sportsbook-based promotions.

The pair agree that the new rules are likely in response to a promotion run by Fanatics last year.

The operator offered credit on Fanatics Sportsbook when customers purchased merchandise from the Fanatics store. The issue with the offer was that customers who were under the legal age to gamble were sent notifications about receiving the sportsbook credit.

Regarding promos, the proposed rule now states “Sports gaming proprietors must not offer a promotion or bonus in connection with or as a result of a non-gaming, consumer transaction.” 

The only exception to the rule is if operators can ensure they are not targeting individuals under the age of 21 or individuals ineligible to participate in sports gambling, such as athletes or those who suffer from problem gambling.

The pair go on to discuss how operators will be able to ensure any such promotions are only targeting the correct people. 

Charlie said: “I think that it’s just about operators and advertisers knowing who these people are who are being targeted for sports books. Knowing your customer is so important in this industry and I don’t see why it shouldn’t also extend to the marketing side of things as well.”

Ep 296: MGM battle the FTC and all change in Ohio