MA lawmaker wants sportsbooks subject to deceptive advertising laws

deceptive sportsbook advertising visual representation
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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is not the only group in the Commonwealth concerned about protecting consumers from sportsbooks.

The same week the MGC is mulling over the final regulations that will oversee sports betting, including limits on sportsbook advertising, a lawmaker in the Massachusetts legislature introduced a bill that would subject sportsbook operators to the same consumer protections as other businesses in the state.

The bill, SD766, is sponsored by Sen. John Keenan of the Norfolk and Plymouth area. The text of the bill stipulates the following promotions would be subject to Chapter 93A of the state’s General Laws:

  • Bonus promotions
  • Same game parlays
  • Odds boosts
  • Risk-free, no-sweat, or other free wagers

These laws expressly outlaw deceptive business practices by businesses taking part in marketing tactics like bait and switch schemes, a lack of a clear return policy, or, more broadly, any marketing that misleads customers in any way.

Violations of Chapter 93 open the door for consumers to seek legal action and damages against the companies if they can prove intentional violations.

The current proposed regulations from the MGC already limits some of the things listed in Keenan’s bill. The measures in place would restrict the use of “risk-free” in advertising on offers that require a financial deposit from the customer. A similar regulation is in place in Ohio.