Massachusetts To Be Strict On Underage Sports Gambling

Written By Caleb Tallman on September 16, 2022
Which Boston native is the sports betting G.O.A.T.: Portnoy or Simmons?

Advertising is the lifeblood of sportsbooks, especially when they initially launch. This is doubled when their launch in a particular state comes at the same time that the state is also launching sports betting for the first time. This is precisely the case for Massachusetts, which is working fast to launch sports betting in the state. 

Each sportsbook has brand ambassadors who encourage Massachusetts bettors to use their platform. Here are the state’s proposed advertising ambassador recommendations:

  • Not allow sports betting ads targeted at college sports venues where the majority of viewers or event participants are under the legal betting age of 21 years old
  • Not allow anyone in ads under the legal betting age of 21 years old
  • Not allow ads on smartphone applications, internet, tv, radio, billboards, print, and social media where data reliably shows 85% of average user ages is under the legal betting age of 21 years old
  • Not allow sports betting ads where the likeness, images, symbols, celebrities, role models, or endorsers whose primary age group they appeal to is under the legal betting age of 21 years old 

These recommendations are just the start. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will likely approve these provisions and expand other recommendations that are currently targeted at Casinos. 

Potential Massachusetts Sportsbooks: A Look At Five Newcomers To The Massachusetts Sports Betting Race

Is Underage Betting Likely To Be An Issue?

Potentially. The good news is that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission seems to be trying to get ahead of any possible issues. Studies show that underage gambling has increased in states where sports betting is legal. 

Massachusetts Council of Gaming and Health executive director Marlene Warner has shared several concerns saying, “I think we have to pay attention to the most vulnerable populations, youth being one of them. I think the time for (MGC) to act upon this and think about bans or limitations on advertising is now, not until we have it all figured out.” 

Regulation Approved: Massachusetts Gaming Commission Approves Emergency Regulations to Test Sports Wagering Equipment

Massachusetts Gaming Regulations Still Being Developed

It is likely that if the current recommendations are adopted, they could be made into enforceable regulations. That type of official action is still likely a few weeks away. 

At the moment, there are over 200 regulations that have to be approved before sportsbooks can launch. These regulations will mostly be looked at one by one. Then they can be made into permanent regulations, a temporary one, or not a regulation at all. 

An official sports betting launch date for Massachusetts has yet to be announced. This is due to the need to go through all the regulations yet to be voted on. Plans are that the state wants to launch as early as possible. Yet, at worst, the state wants to launch before the end of football season. 

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