Kansas bill takes aim at online sportsbook advertising

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A new bipartisan bill in Kansas is seeking to take Rep. Paul Tonko’s approach to sports betting ads.

SB432 seeks to prohibit advertising sports betting across online media and electric devices in the state, which would severely curb operators from their primary forms of marketing.

Put forth by Republican Sen. Virgil Peck and Democratic Sen. Cindy Holscher, the legislation has been filed and referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

The one-page bill seeks to add new language to existing law, including:

“No advertisements for sports wagering shall be published, broadcast or otherwise presented through any internet website, other online medium or electronic device application, except such advertisements may be published as part of the content offered by an interactive sports wagering platform that has been affirmatively accessed by an individual holding an account with such platform.”

In addition to prohibiting what operators can do, the measure would potentially have a huge impact on affiliates in the state trying to work with sportsbook operators to acquire new customers.

The bill rings similar to Tonko’s proposed federal piece of legislation he introduced roughly a year ago. The bill would essentially treat sports betting like cigarettes and ban them from any sort of broadcast advertising.

The bill’s introduction comes as many in mainstream media are taking a closer look at sports betting and sports betting advertising, in particular.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines is airing four days of segments related to sports betting this week. The news show 60 Minutes also has a sports betting segment planned for Sunday night.

Nonetheless, the major operators continue to operate business as usual and have rolled out a number of announcements related to marketing and the upcoming Super Bowl. Three operators, BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings, all plan to air commercials during the biggest football game of the year. The commercials feature some major celebrities including Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady.

Just this week DraftKings Sportsbook also announced that it has signed active NBA athlete Lebron James to a promotional deal.