The American Gaming Association has spoken out against a proposed federal ban on sports betting advertising.
A bill introduced last week by Congressman Paul Tonko of New York would ban all sportsbook advertising on any media that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as is the case with tobacco advertising.
“The excessive, uncensored promotion of these sites needs to be put in check,” Congressman Tonko said of his proposed bill, the Betting on Our Future Act.
“My legislation puts a halt to this dangerous practice and sends a powerful message to the online sports betting advertisers. Congress must take the necessary steps to reel in an industry with the power to inflict real, widespread harm on the American people.”
The ban is opposed by the American Gaming Association, which has warned that such a move would only benefit illegal offshore operators.
“The American Gaming Association (AGA) and our members adamantly oppose any legislation that seeks to ban or limit casino gaming advertising, including for legal sports betting,” said the AGA.
“Any such effort only serves to reduce awareness for legal options to the benefit of illegal, offshore operators and the detriment of consumers and communities. The proposed legislation would violate well-established free speech protections and undermine the expertise of more than 5,000 state and tribal gaming regulators across the country.”
The AGA added that Congress should instead focus on eradicating unlicensed gambling that offers no responsible gaming measures, age verification or problem gambling resources.
“Responsibility is a foundation of the legal gaming industry and that includes with advertising. In fact, there’s never been more attention paid or resources invested in responsible gaming and problem gambling resources,” the AGA concluded.
“This includes our proactive efforts establishing the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, which mandates responsible gaming message inclusion and imposes restrictions on target audiences, outlets and content.”