AGA rules out college partnerships and ‘risk-free’ advertising in new code update

Code of Conduct
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The American Gaming Association (AGA) has updated its Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, prohibiting college partnerships and banning the use of the terms ‘risk-free’ in advertising. 

Aiming to maintain a high bar for marketing standards in the US, the AGA has also prohibited sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and college athletes. 

Other measures include adding age restrictions for any individual featured in sports betting adverts, and changing all references to the legal age of wagering to 21-plus.

Meanwhile, the association is aiming to formalize an annual process for reviewing and updating its Responsible Marketing Code. 

“Established in 2019, AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code reflects the commitment of our members to set and adhere to a high bar for responsible advertising,” stated AGA President and CEO Bill Miller

“Today’s updates advance that commitment and represent our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures.”

Despite this intervention, many operators have already outlined their intentions to cease using terms like ‘risk-free’ in their marketing after some high-profile interventions from regulators. However, this move from the AGA will standardize the practice across the industry. 

The updated standards are set to come into effect immediately, though operators have been allowed a grace period until July 1 to cover any existing or already-deployed marketing materials. 

Meanwhile, the AGA has added Dr. Jennifer Shatley as its co-chair of the Code Compliance Review Board. Shatley has over 25 years of experience in responsible gambling policy and will oversee the compliance board and review Code violation complaints. 

“Advertising plays an essential role in migrating consumers away from predatory illegal sportsbooks and into the protections of the legal, regulated market while providing responsible gaming resources,” added Miller. 

“The AGA and our members are committed to building a sustainable marketplace that protects vulnerable populations and gives consumers the knowledge and tools to keep sports betting fun for adults.”