Casinos for you
NY Gaming Commission Tightens Regulations for Sports Betting AdsBy Jeff Osienya Mar 04, 2023 LegalityThe Empire State has tabled a new set of stricter advertising guidelines for sports betting operators to protect youngsters and vulnerable groups. New York’s new measures are now going through a 60-day public comment period before implementation.
In a bid to protect youngsters more aptly, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) unanimously approved notable changes to the advertising code of conduct for the sports betting scene within state lines. The new set of regulations focuses on college students and underage youth and will go through sixty days of public comment before finally being adopted. During this period, public views will be considered, and if the commission sees fit, they will be included in the revised versions of the rules after the period.
Recently, there has been a wave of media reporting in the Empire State claiming that problem gambling has become rampant among New Yorkers. And so, the NYSGC resorted to drafting a new set of regulations to prevent vulnerable groups from being bombarded with sports betting ads. Further, as the regulator swings into action, legislators are also looking into tweaking New York’s advertising rules, with a potential federal ban on all televised gambling commercials also on the agenda.
Protection of the Younger Generation Tops the Priority List
The focal point of reference to the new regulations will be its strong standing against access to sports betting ads by individuals the legal age for wagering in NY. Moreover, the rules point out that sports betting ads in the Empire State should also be entirely mature with depictions of cartoons, entertainment, or music that may attract younger bettors.
With that in mind, these newly okayed rules also place a ban on the use of kids’ brand names, logos, trademarks, or even equipment on any sport betting ads. On this matter, the new measures read in part:Quote
“To the extent that promotional products carry sports wagering messages or brand information, a sports pool licensee and its employees shall use commercially reasonable efforts to distribute such products only to those who have reached the legal age for sports wagering.”
Under the new advertising code, sports betting operators are also prohibited from using underage individuals to promote their services or endorse their platforms. Additionally, promoting sports wagering via college and university media has been banned under the new advertising guidelines for sportsbook operators.
New York’s Rule Change Inspired by Other States
No doubt, the regulatory changes come on the back of severe allegations in the public space that sports betting operators have been predatory to youngsters. However, NY has also borrowed a leaf from other US jurisdictions with legal sports betting in their borders.
In the Buckeye State, for example, there is a ban on advertising and promoting sports betting on college campuses. As a result, Penn Sports incurred a $250K fine after its subsidiary Barstool Sportsbook aired ads at Barstool Sports College Football Show held at the University of Toledo.
Besides Ohio, the NYSGC, through its general counsel Dan Burn, also mentioned other states with similar advertising guidelines in an official briefing. Part of his statement read:Quote
“Elements of the proposal are derived from the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Marketing code for Sports Wagering which is a private trade association’s voluntary self-association code, and sports wagering advertising regulations from other states, such as Arizona, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia.”
‘Free’ Promotional Rewards Also Addressed Under the New Regulations
The new rules also cast a spotlight on the interests of New York sports bettors at large, but with a focus on problem gamblers. So, if passed, operators will be prohibited from using the words ‘free,’ ‘cost-free,’ or ‘free of risk’ in any sports betting ad as it could be a contributing factor to trigger individuals to problem gambling habits.
Another important rule in the new measures requires operators in the Empire State to disclose the specific dollar amount needed to unlock free items. The code also instructs that this amount be published in a font size similar to the value of the gift or items sports bettors will receive. Ultimately, this clause mainly targets operators who act in bad faith by promising heaven to their clients while actually reeling them in to spend more off, so to speak.
Additionally, the new regulations would require ads sent by email to have a compulsory link that will allow their recipients to opt out of receiving promotional emails.
Affiliate Deals Also Targeted by the NYSGC
One other vital element of the new regulations is that they will ban operators from having advertising contracts with third-party affiliates. What usually happens is that affiliates are paid by the operators based on the quantity of bets or the number of sign-ups they bring in after advertising on behalf of the operator.
Such affiliates usually go to great extents, sometimes even tinkering on the boundaries of illegalities, to bring customers to their operators. For example, there have been cases of universities partnering with operators to bring in students as customers. As you can imagine, with the youth being a vulnerable population, the move to ban affiliate deals might appear harsh, but it is onto something.
You might also like