In a move akin to bringing in the backup shortstop to pitch the ninth inning in an 18-4 loss, the American Gaming Association released updates to the group’s “Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering” this week, months after legislators and regulators all over the country began legislating and regulating the marketing rules on a state-by-state basis — and after the sportsbooks themselves started making the changes.
The updates — which the AGA says are the “most significant” to date — include the following changes, taken directly from a press release sent out by the trade group.
- Enhancing protections for college-aged audiences by:
- Prohibiting college partnerships that promote, market, or advertise sports wagering activity (other than to alumni networks or content focused on RG initiatives or problem gambling awareness).
- Prohibiting sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and college athletes.
- Adding age restrictions (21+) for any individual featured in sports betting advertising.
- Changing all references to the “legal age of wagering” to 21-plus.
- Banning all use of “risk free” in advertising.
- Formalizing an annual process for reviewing and updating the code.
“Established in 2019, AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code reflects the commitment of our members to set and adhere to a high bar for responsible advertising,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in the release. “Today’s updates advance that commitment and represent our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures.”
🚨 RELEASE: The AGA and our members have updated AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering—the industry standard for responsibility in advertising—to prohibit “risk free” promotions and enhance college-aged protections.
— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) March 28, 2023
It starts now
The updated standards go into effect immediately, with a grace period extending to July 1 for marketing materials that have already been released.
“Advertising plays an essential role in migrating consumers away from predatory illegal sportsbooks and into the protections of the legal, regulated market while providing responsible gaming resources,” Miller said. “The AGA and our members are committed to building a sustainable marketplace that protects vulnerable populations and gives consumers the knowledge and tools to keep sports betting fun for adults.”
The changes to the code come after numerous states and regulatory boards have made similar moves. For instance, the AGA’s banning of “risk free” in advertising has already happened in Ohio and Massachusetts, with other states in the pipeline. Additionally, FanDuel, DraftKings, and others have all moved away from the terminology.