New Federal Sports Betting Bill Could Limit Advertisements

a man punching a television

a man punching a television

We’ve all seen them. Advertisements for sports betting have ramped up significantly since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. As domestic sportsbooks have become commonplace in the United States, gambling venues are extra eager to make their potential clientele aware of their existence.

And why not? The relentless pummeling of online and televised commercials has resulted in record sportsbook revenue collections across the country. We’re talking billions of dollars in intake nationwide, and the numbers continue to rise.

Nearly 40 US states now permit some form of sports gambling. With the elevated income these states are experiencing, so too are the number of cases of problem gaming.

A New Act To Curb Sports Betting Advertisements

United States Representative Paul Tonko has introduced the “Betting on Our Future Act,” intent on curbing aggressive sports betting advertisements across all media platforms. The bill’s next stop is the Ways and Means Committee.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the US Senate in the coming weeks.

It is no secret – gambling is a legitimate addiction that affects thousands per year. That’s why there are problem gambling hotlines and services available in every state, even where all forms of domestic gambling are illegal.

Tax earmarks are set aside in most sports betting states for problem gaming services.

Because of gambling’s addictive properties, Rep. Tonko has used the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 as a template.

Specific concerns have been expressed about the younger demographic of bettors that are being targeted by these advertisements. Mobile sports betting seems to be the target of Rep. Tonko as the addictive qualities are increased when using smartphones and tablets, according to the data.

Is There Any Opposition To The Act?

The American Gaming Association stands in opposition to Tonko’s Act. They feel that any limitation placed on domestic operators will only serve to enhance the offshore market.

“Any such effort only serves to reduce awareness for legal options to the benefit of illegal, offshore operators and the detriment of consumers and communities,”

American Gaming Association Senior Vice President Chris Cylke

Some of the logic used to usher in this new domestic sports betting era in the USA is based on the presence of offshore gambling sites. When dollars are spent there from within the United States, no taxes are collected on those expenditures locally.

The AGA believes the Betting on Our Future Act, if passed, would limit domestic options while allowing offshore sportsbooks to flourish. Heavy lobbying is expected and the Act is projected to progress slowly on the debate floor.

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Author: Alan Morris