For Violating Self-Exclusion List Regulations, Iowa Gaming Officials Fine DraftKings $5,000

Kevin Richardson

Wed Oct 28 2020

DraftKings was fined $5,000 by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for breaching a rule concerning the self-exclusion list of the state. An audit performed by the Iowa gambling regulator concluded that during the necessary seven-day timeframe, the gambling operator did not upload a list containing information on new self-banned gamblers.

The IRGC, in compliance with the Iowa Code, manages a program for individuals to voluntarily exempt themselves from wagering with approved casinos, race tracks, or fantasy sports operators.

No person included in the list of self-banned gamblers signed up with DraftKings, and the Racing and Gaming Commission said that it considered that when it decided on the company’s penalty. The IRGC imposed the fine on DraftKings because that was not the first time that the DFS operator had violated its license conditions concerning the requirements of self-exclusion. Previously, Draftkings was found to allow consumers from the self-exclusion list to open daily fantasy sports accounts, and as such, the commission imposed a $1,000 fine to the operator.

There are four ways a person can register for self-exclusion, according to the IRGC website. They can do so by sending a mail to the commission or signing up at the IRGC Des Moines office in person. Also, registrations can be made at either an agent of the Iowa Gaming Recovery Program or at a gaming location licensed by the state.

The self-exclusion policy also specifies that, in addition to deactivating any club membership or accounts used for betting or DFS, “all approved organizations in the state are forced to exclude people in the program from their marketing lists.” And the self-exclusion list should be updated at least once every 7 days, according to license specifications for Daily Fantasy Sports operators.

DraftKings neglected to update its self-exclusion list with the state regulator until January 3. They violated the license requirements, thereby having to pay the IRGC a $5,000 penalty fee. In addition to the financial penalty, specific protocols had to be enforced by the DFS operator. This is to ensure that any potential deadlines for updating the self-exclusion list were immediately met.

Draftkings’ Activities In Iowa

In October 2019, the Boston-based Daily fantasy sport and sportsbook provider DraftKings entered the betting market in Iowa. They signed a partnership agreement with Wild Rose Entertainment to open retail sportsbooks in Jefferson, Clinton, and Emmetsburg at Wild Rose Casino & Resorts.

As DraftKings released its state-of-the-art mobile sports betting app and website, both parties extended their partnership into the mobile betting space in February 2020. Mobile sports betting requires prior personal registration at a physical gaming facility, as licensed by the state.

In June, as the IRGC unanimously approved virtual sports contests, DraftKings’ operations in Iowa were cleared for further expansion into eSports daily fantasy contests.

In addition to the DraftKings sanction, two land-based gaming establishments, Rhythm City Casino in Davenport and Diamond Jo Casino in Worth County, have been fined by the IRGC for repeated surveillance camera failures. The two casinos were fined $7,500 for their offenses.

Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson