Assembly Bill Aimed At Fine-Tuning NY Sports Betting Advertising Laws Passes Senate

Written By Grant Lucas on June 5, 2024
Image of New York Capitol for a story on the Senate passing a bill regarding sports betting ads.

With only a day left before New York lawmakers break for the summer, one bill appears destined for passage.

Last week, the Senate passed A1118, a bill that would require NY sportsbooks to include warnings regarding “harmful and addictive effects of gambling in their advertisements,” according to the bill.

The bill was sent back to the Assembly for any last-minute consideration and then only needs a signature from Gov. Kathy Hochul to go into effect. But legislators will need to work quickly, as June 6 stands as the last day of the session.

Assembly bill fine-tunes NY sports betting advertising laws

The Senate unanimously approved the Assembly bill by a 57-0 vote. Introduced by Assemblyman Clyde Vanel and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, A1118 directs the New York State Gaming Commission to implement advertising guidelines on its website.

In addition, all advertisements will need to also feature a problem gambling hotline number.

This state-level bill comes on the heels of NY Rep. Paul Tonko hinting at a federal bill that would address perceived deceptive marketing tactics, artificial intelligence and fiscal safeguards via the SAFE Bet Act.

“We’re not looking to outlaw gambling,” Tonko said of the unfinished bill. “I think this unrestricted, Wild West environment is not helpful to anybody, and we think it’s necessary to have some restrictions so there are not these targeted audiences that are preyed upon (by advertising).”

Other NY gaming bills facing June 6 deadline

In the Senate, three gambling-related bills have closed in on passage with time running out.

The closest, S8777, would allow sportsbooks in New York to offer seasonlong proposition bets and award futures. The bill notes that such bets “shall be limited to those wagers that the commission determines not to be at risk of undue interference, insider trading of information, or other issues that could compromise the integrity and fairness of the sports wagering program.”

On top of that, S8777 would permit sportsbooks to take bets on coin tosses, a popular Super Bowl prop. The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday and was referred to the Assembly.

Two other Senate bills, S1557 and S8439, advanced to their third readings.

The first bill would prohibit any individual under the age of 21 from gambling. Currently, the law states that you must be over the age of 21 to gamble at tribal or commercial casinos, but it allows for any individual who is at least 18 years old to take part in horse betting. This bill would raise that age to 21.

Finally, S8439 would amend state gaming laws that would funnel 1% of NY sports betting revenue and no less than $6 million toward problem gambling education and treatment each fiscal year.

It was this bill that was omitted from the state budget, a bill Sen. Joseph Addabbo labeled as “a no-brainer.”

Photo by Hans Pennink / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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