Future Of NY Sports Betting Marketing May Be Affected By Latest Assembly Bill

Written By Grant Lucas on March 1, 2023
ny sports betting gambling advertising problem gambling messaging new york assembly

For the second straight year, the New York Assembly passed a bill to improve gambling-related marketing in the Empire State.

Earlier this week, A1118, sponsored by Assemb. Clyde Vanel, was approved on the Assembly floor and sent on to the Senate for approval.

The proposal calls for gambling and NY sports betting companies to include information within its advertising that highlights the potential dangers of legal gambling.

“Requires all advertisements for gambling and sports betting to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling; requires the state gaming commission to cooperate with the commissioner of addiction services and supports to ensure that all advertisements for gaming activity state a problem gambling hotline number.

Should the Senate approve the bill, this law would go into effect 60 days after passage. While the bill soared through the Assembly with a 142-0 vote, and hopes are high that the Senate will follow suit, this piece of legislation has followed a similar path to a year ago.

Details of bill cracking down on NY sports betting ads

When online sports betting in New York launched at the beginning of 2022, residents saw their legal gambling options expand exponentially. Gambling, as noted in the justification for A1118, has become more accessible than ever before.

“In New York State,” the bill reads, “gambling can be found everywhere from physical casinos to a multitude of online websites and apps.” Similarly, the growth of marketing from gambling companies has spiked.

As a result, the proposal notes, “the number of lives negatively affected by gambling has also increased.” And with more serious consequences potentially looming for gamblers and their families, now is the time to require more of gambling companies.

The state spends just $1 million each year on public service announcements regarding problem gambling. Which, as many can attest and agree, is not nearly enough. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, nearly 10 million people struggle with gambling-related issues in the United States.

From the bill:

“In the unprecedented growth of gambling, where it is easy to place bets with PayPal, credit cards, bitcoin, or money-transfer apps; it is also important as a state to be proactive in identifying and preventing potential problems of gambling. If signed into law, this bill would require industries to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling.”

Odds of Senate approving of Assembly bill

As noted, similar legislation passed through the Assembly in 2022 with a 147-0 vote. The Senate, however, continued to send the bill back to Assembly for refining. And it never saw the light of day again.

Just like last year, the Senate has an identical bill in motion. In 2022, this effort never made it out of committee.

Lawmakers at the state and federal levels have started to take aim at gambling companies and their marketing tactics. That includes Congress, which features a bill that would eliminate such advertising from radio, TV and internet altogether.

It would seem as if this year’s Assembly iteration has more steam heading into the Senate. Time will tell if lawmakers can get on the same page and pass the bill in 2023.

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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