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New York set to implement tougher sports betting advertising laws

New York sports betting laws are set for change

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) made moves to tighten its sports betting advertising regulations on Monday.

The regulator’s decision comes amid several unflattering media reports and similar attempts by state lawmakers.

The new advertising rules will affect the marketing, promotion, and advertising of the activity, which targets underage people and college students. It will also serve to promote responsible gaming practices.

In the meeting on Monday, the NYSGC unanimously approved the proposed regulations to restrain New York’s legal online sports betting advertising. There was reportedly little discussion about the proposal before its approval.

According to a spokesperson for the commission, the bill is not yet in effect and will have to go through a 60-day public comment period first.

MORE: Sports betting in New York

Lawmakers in New York previously introduced a statute to alter the rules surrounding sports betting-related advertising. If approved, the bill would have placed a federal ban on all forms of televised commercials.

During the meeting, Brian O’Dwyer, the chairman of the NYSGC, extended his thanks to Commissioner Jerry Skurnik for informing the commission of the concerns.

He noted that online sports betting had proved highly successful in its first year of operation in New York. The chairman, however, noted that success on that scale was usually followed by irresponsible wagering and gambling-related problems.

“After one year, it is obvious that the introduction of legal online sports wagering has been a net positive for people in New York.” However, the commission is also cognizant that, along with the success, comes the potential for problem gambling, O’Dwyer said.

After its launch in New York on January 8, 2022, online sports betting in the state grew to become one of the most prominent in the country in terms of revenue generated. New York has yielded over $900 million in new revenue from the legalised gaming market, including the gaming venues’ licencing fees.

O’Dwyer also said that the approved rules would aid in stopping the vulnerable individuals in the state from being barraged with sports betting advertisements.

The approved sports betting rules read, “A casino sports wagering licensee or sports pool vendor shall not allow, conduct, or participate in any advertising, marketing, or branding for sports wagering that is aimed at persons under the wagering minimum age set forth in Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering, and Breeding Law section 1332(1).”

The rules will also discourage sports betting companies from displaying “false, deceptive, or misleading statements” in advertisements. It would ban the use of the terms “free” and “free of risk” if the gambler had to risk their money. Instead, they must “clearly and conspicuously” reveal all the promotion’s material terms and conditions.

There will also be a prohibition to stop gambling companies from advertising any form of sports betting on college campuses. A ban was placed on advertising contracts that would have third parties pay other partners depending on how many customers the deal yielded or the number of wagers placed.

The rules must be published in the state’s register before they can take effect. If submitted to the Department of State by Tuesday, the new rules will be published in the Register’s March 15 edition. This will be the start of the 60-day public comment period.

O’Dwyer also revealed that at the end of the 60-day public comment period, the NYSGC would revisit the rules and comments from stakeholders.

“After further review, if we find additional steps are necessary to achieve the goals of our legislative mandate, they will, of course, be considered,” O’Dwyer said.

New York’s moves to regulate online sports betting advertisements align with a movement occurring in several other U.S. states to erect safeguards and protect vulnerable individuals from gambling harms.

The state’s lawmakers are currently considering two responsible gaming bills, S1550 and A1056, The former seeks to set up a new problem gambling advisory council in New York, while S1550 intends to ensure responsible gambling messages are appropriately displayed on every gambling and sports betting ad in New York.

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