Connecticut gambling bill aims to limit enticement ads and joint-card payments

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A bill coming out of Connecticut would seek to limit the advertising capabilities of operators by outlawing the advertisement of financial incentives such as bonuses and free bets. 

Raised Bill 971 also seeks to ban players from funding their online accounts using jointly-owned credit or debit cards. 

The former proposal would mirror the regulatory framework in Ontario, which prohibits operators from advertising inducements and offers  as it seeks to keep problem gambling rates at a low level. 

On advertising restrictions, the amended act now reads: “No advertisement of online casino gaming, online sports wagering or retail sports wagering may…offer or advertise for a financial enticement to participate in such gaming or wagering.”

The latter would also be seen as a way to protect innocent people from their joint-card holders’ gambling losses. 

However, as reported by Yahoo, the three operators in the state – FanDuel, DraftKings, and Rush Street Interactive, are all against the measures and claim that there is little legal room to make these changes. 

Addressing a committee hearing on the bill, David Prestwood, DraftKings’ government affairs manager, told the committee that implementing a ban on joint-card holders is not only an unwelcome step but would be difficult to implement. 

He explained: “DraftKings respectfully submits that no other jurisdiction in the United States has taken such a step because it is simply not possible for sports wagering operators to comply with such a requirement.

“At no point in the payment chain does any processor, network, or issuer return to the operator information about ownership of the account.”

Similarly, FanDuel’s representative raised concerns over players flocking towards offshore and black market operators if regulated sportsbooks cannot offer suitable inducements or enticements. 

Advertising of gambling has been in the headlines recently, with the series of New York Times articles at the back end of last year casting a shadow over the industry’s practices, which has put legislators to work during this legislative season to ‘fix’ some of these issues. 

Several advertising bills have been proposed, the most drastic of which is the federal bill brought forward by Paul Tonko of New York. Tonko’s ‘Betting on our Future Act’ would effectively outlaw any advertising of sportsbook advertising across radio, TV and the web.