Bill banning CT sports betting operators marketing on college campuses passes committee

Yale University, Connecticut
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Sports betting marketing on college campuses has been at the center of industry and regulatory debate in the opening months of 2022. Since a series of New York Times articles last year questioned why campuses were teaming up with sportsbooks, there has been pressure on both parties to step back from that questionable relationship. 

Now a bill has emerged in Connecticut that would prohibit sports betting operators from marketing on college campuses as a direct response to the NYT stories. 

Committee Bill 5232, sponsored by Rep. Any Morrin Bello, Rep. Craig Fishberin, Rep. Eleni Kavros Degraw and Rep. Gary Turco, seeks to prohibit public institutions of higher education from receiving money or profiting from directly soliciting students to gamble online. 

Set to take effect from July 1, should it pass through the House and Senate, CB5232 stipulates that colleges within Connecticut may not “profit or receive money from a sponsor, marketing company or any other entity in exchange for allowing such sponsor, company or entity to directly solicit students to gamble through an internet website, online service or app”.

The bill has made steady progress too, already passing through a committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement. 

Such action on sports betting marketing could be seen as legislators taking positive action on protecting young people, something which is always seen as a voter pleaser. 

Consequently, this isn’t the only action that legislators and regulators are taking in the US on the marketing front. 

In Maryland, two bills, SB620 and SB621, aim to limit the advertising freedoms of operators. The former will, similarly to CB5232, ban colleges from partnering with sportsbooks, whilst the latter aims to vet and audit sportsbook content before publication. Both measures have made progress, with SB621 already passing the Senate. 

Meanwhile, in New York, the state gaming commission approved new rules to crack down on terms like “risk-free” and advertising which could appeal to people under the age of 21.