Representatives for the Massachusetts Attorney General asked regulators to adopt two policies regarding sports betting advertising in the state during Thursday’s Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting.
Pat Moore, First Assistant Attorney General, laid out these two regulation requests for commissioners:
- In media where advertising age filters are optional (such as connected TV like Hulu and YouTube TV), require sportsbooks to set all their ads for 21-plus audiences only.
- Review promotions that sportsbooks advertise before they’re able to roll them out.
Moore and his fellow representatives spoke with the MGC on Thursday, mostly focusing on how commissioners must prioritize protecting state residents whenever they consider Massachusetts sports betting regulations.
Commercial age filters, review promotions
Moore said he watches every Celtics game with his 10-year-old son regarding advertising age filters. They’re both bombarded with sportsbook commercials during those games.
“He’s getting the message that to enjoy the Celtics game he’s got to bet on it,” Moore said of his son.
Moore said Massachusetts shouldn’t go as far as other states that actually review all sports betting ads before they can be distributed. However, he did say regulators should consider reviewing the bonuses that sportsbooks promote in those ads before they promote them.
“Particularly where they get into the hundreds of dollars … ask operators why they’ve chosen to structure them in that matter,” Moore said. ” … Are they consumer focused? Are they responsible gaming focused? Or is there some other motive at play?”
Mychii Snape, Acting Chief of Consumer Protection, echoed Moore’s message. She also said commissioners could look back on language from regulations on daily fantasy sports, which the state formally legalized in 2016.
Sportsbook ads already an issue
Sportsbook advertising has already been a responsible gambling issue in Massachusetts.
FanDuel Massachusetts has pulled two ads and was in the process of pulling a third due to potential violations.
The ads refer to iGaming, free bets, and credit cards and pre-paid cards. iGaming, or online casino gambling, is illegal in Massachusetts. State law prohibits using “free” in sportsbook ads. And credit cards can’t be used for sports betting deposits in Massachusetts.