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Kosar Pulled Off the Air for Betting $19K on Browns-Steelers Game

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Jan/09/2023

In yet another sign that sports betting in Ohio has gotten off to a rough start, the Cleveland Browns announced the severing of ties with legendary player Bernie Kosar after it was revealed he had placed a $19,000 bet on the Browns-Steelers final 2022-23 week regular season game.  Kosar was pulled from taking part in the Browns pre-game radio broadcast.

The Browns later confirmed Kosar was pulled specifically because of the league's gambling policy.

"We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history but as team contracted personnel hired to provide content on our media platforms," the Browns spokesperson said, "his bet was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policy."

There were some reports that Kosar's wager was the first to be placed in the state of Ohio since the start of regulated sports betting there on January 1.  Others pointed to the first bet placed by Pete Rose.

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The NFL forbids any team personnel from sports gambling with Kosar believed to be the first nonplayer casualty.

Kosar, incidentally, lost his $19,000 Browns bet.

It's been rough sailing for the sector thus far as two gambling firms were recently shunned.

PlayUp is accused by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) of taking bets from state residents prior to the new law going into effect. PlayUp representatives insist they held a license to do so through a unique type of betting product.  Experts on the matter tell Gambling911.com that license is courtesy of South Dakota.  PlayUp will present its case as part of a hearing later this month.

Barstool Sports saw its application denied following reports it had promoted sports wagering on college campuses.

But the real scorn appears directed at companies already granted a license to offer sports gambling in the state.

Ohio Governor DeWine expressed disgust with what he's witnessed in the few days since the first bet was taken January 1, primarily as it relates to the relentless advertising campaigns.

“The companies that are doing the massive advertising need to be aware that they’re being looked at very closely by the governor and the Casino Control Commission in regard to statements that they are making,” DeWine said. “We believe that at least on several occasions they’ve already crossed the line. My message to them is that this will not be tolerated in the State of Ohio.”

At issue also, DraftKings reportedly mailed out somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 ads to Ohio residents for which around 2,500 advertisements went to people under the age of 21, a group that is not allowed to gamble legally in Ohio.

Regulators say that DraftKings is facing a potential $350,000 fine.

“The commission has been very clear about the rules and standards for sports gaming advertising with the industry, and are disappointed with the lack of compliance we have seen despite reminders,” Matt Schuler, the executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, said in a prepared statement. “While we do not take administrative action lightly, DraftKings’ conduct in this case warrants the commission’s intervention to ensure the integrity of sports gaming.”

The only one coming out of this whole mess smelling like roses is none other than Pete Rose.  His MLB ban for wagering on games in the 1980's and the league continuing to prevent the Cincinnati Reds legend from entering the Baseball Hall of Fame raise even more eyebrows in the wake of the embrace of sports betting by Ohio and pretty much all the sports leagues. 

The NFL and other leagues are now partnering with gambling firms.

The hypocrisy is so thick, one can cut it with a knife.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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