The US gambling sector is moving to adopt a new code for responsible advertising that is set to suspend sportsbook operators from joining forces with local colleges to promote sports betting services. Under the provisions of the measure, sports betting companies will also no longer be able to use the names, images or likenesses of college and amateur athletes or use the term “risk-free” or “free” to describe promotional bets they offer.
As revealed by the national trade body for the commercial gambling industry – the American Gaming Association (AGA) – earlier this week, the changes are necessary in order for the sector to keep up with ongoing developments in the quickly-growing legal sports betting industry on a global scale. Currently, more than 30 US states, including Washington, D.C., have legalized sports betting.
The measure has also been unveiled after various regulatory bodies and anti-gambling campaigners across the country have criticized the local gambling sector. A number of states have already outlawed the aforementioned partnership agreements between gambling operators and college and amateur sports teams and individual athletes, and others have started considering the potential renewal of the rules regulating sports betting advertising within their borders.
Establishment of Responsible Marketing Practices and Customer Protection Set as Paramount Priority for the US Gambling Industry
A New York congressman has tabled a bill seeking to suspend all sports betting advertising online.
The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, Bill Miller, noted that establishing responsible advertising practices and protecting consumers had always been important for the commercial gambling sector’s trade body. He also acknowledged that the aforementioned updates in the code take into account issues that had faced the industry’s criticism. Mr. Miller, however, explained that the Association had always been proactive in its willingness to update its marketing code and would start reviewing it every year from now on.
The new rules have been praised by the executive director of the National Council of Problem Gambling, Keith Whyte. He described the AGA’s code as an important standard for the country’s gambling industry and the recently announced updates were crucial to make sure that underage sports fans and people who are more likely to develop problem gambling behavior are well-protected against gambling-related harm.
Under the new code rules, anyone depicted in sports betting adverts would have to be at least 21 years old. The new rules would also restrict advertising to platforms and media where no less than 73.6% of the audience consists of adults.
For the time being, there are five partnership agreements between US colleges and gambling operators as part of which sports betting services are being promoted to local customers. Although the new AGA’s code rules are set to take immediate effect, operators that currently have ongoing advertising campaigns would be allowed to have these campaigns going until July 1st, 2023.