A serious issue on the FanDuel Sportsbook platform in Indiana allowed underage people to register for online gambling accounts, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission, but the good news is that FanDuel’s platform worked to prevent them from wagering.
According to a settlement agreement with the IGC dated May 25, FanDuel was fined $1,500 for allowing 32 underaged individuals to register for an account, a mistake which also led to them receiving direct marketing materials. The legal age for casino gambling and sports betting in Indiana is 21.
A check later in the registration process blocked those who were underage from placing bets, the regulator said.
Here’s what happened, per the IGC
“On December 22, 2020, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Affairs for FanDuel notified the Commission’s Sports Wagering Investigator that beginning in July 2020, a settings error occurred with FanDuel’s back-up KYC [Know Your Customer] verification provider. As a result of the error, a number of underaged patrons between the ages of 18 and 20 were inadvertently verified on FanDuel’s sportsbook platform during the KYC process when they should have failed due to being underage. These customers satisfied KYC verification; however, their age successfully flagged them as ‘ineligible’ in the subsequent mandatory eligibility filter which prohibited them from depositing, wagering, or taking any other wagering-related actions on the platform.”
Furthermore, the regulator said, “[d]ue to the erroneous KYC verification, underaged individuals received marketing materials related to wagering. A total of thirty-two (32) underage individuals in Indiana received the direct marketing emails.”
While the “settings error” resulted in a serious issue on the platform, the idea behind regulating a platform like FanDuel is having safeguards for individuals who are not old enough to play and for those with addiction. Research has shown youth are more susceptible to developing gambling addictions. Offshore online sportsbooks that are not licensed in the U.S. but still offer action to Americans commonly allow people 18 and older to play.
FanDuel, which also offers a daily fantasy sports product in the U.S., is widely able to allow that form of gambling as 18+. It is likely some people still are confused about the difference between the company’s DFS and traditional sports betting products, potentially exacerbating underage registration attempts.
Twenty-one as the legal traditional sports betting age is standard in the U.S., though there are some who think it should be 18. Kentucky, Indiana’s neighbor, has considered sports betting bills with the lower legal age. Kentucky has not yet legalized sports betting.