The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) is the latest group to take a more stringent approach to US sportsbook advertising. The group approved an addendum to existing marketing rules to crack down on misleading terms like “risk-free”, revenue share affiliate agreements, and advertising which could appeal to people under the age of 21.
The proposed rules easily passed with unanimous support at Monday’s NYSGC meeting. The rules partially address some of the concerns raised by a proposed bill, S1550, which sought to offer improved responsible gambling messaging on sportsbook ads.
New rules add additional RG measures, including ban on “risk-free”
Per the new rules, advertising must include an opt-out option for anyone who no longer wants to receive marketing. There are also measures in place limiting any sort of advertising that promotes irresponsible gambling behavior or gambling as a right of passage. Operators are no longer allowed to advertise specific bets to bettors in the state as well.
There are also new limitations on advertisements featuring cartoon characters or personalities that predominantly appeal to minors. No ads can be placed in areas where the “reasonably foreseeable percentage” of the audience is under the legal wagering age. There is also a specific stipulation prohibiting wagering in college-owned assets like school papers or radio stations.
This new level of regulation comes just a few weeks after New York Rep. Paul Tonko said he would be introducing a federal bill that would apply severe bans on sports betting advertising akin to those applied to cigarettes in the United States.
New regs prohibit revenue sharing agreements for sportsbook marketing in NY
One interesting result of the new rules appears to be a crackdown on revenue share advertising agreements. Per the new regulations:
“No casino sports wagering licensee or sports pool vendor may enter into an agreement with a third party to conduct advertising, marketing, or branding on behalf of, or to the benefit of, such licensee when compensation for such services is dependent on, or related to, the volume of patrons, wagers placed, or the outcome of the wagers.”
Massachusetts regulators debated the very same issue on Monday, as they have a proposed regulation that would prohibit both CPA and revenue share deals in the state. The group spoke with the major affiliates and the concern around revenue share on their end was that it might encourage marketers to entice people to bet more in an irresponsible manner.
New lottery regulations address responsible gambling, couriers
Sports betting was not the only vertical to get a marketing code update at Monday’s meeting. The regulators also voted on updated language addressing lottery courier services like Jackpocket. The NYSGC’s biggest concern is that these services advertise their services as “playing the lottery online” or other versions of “playing the lottery” when customers are actually just using these apps to obtain tickets, not actually playing.
NYGCS approved the new advertising regulations, which include the North American Association of State and Provincial Lottery Advertising Guidelines. The new regulations similarly added new language and responsible gambling language mandates on ads.
Jackpocket formally objected to the proposed regulations.
One NYSGC member objected as well, but for a much different reason. He reiterated concerns about allowing courier services to operate in the state in the first place and cited confusion around marketing regulations as another example of how problematic and muddled the venture has been so far.
Finally, the meeting addressed how the process of downstate casino licensing is going so far. The commission received hundreds of questions related to the RFA process. They will take the next three weeks to answer these questions before moving to the next step of the process.