AGA unveils responsible marketing standards for sports betting

On Tuesday 14 May, the one-year anniversary of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the American Gaming Association (AGA) unveiled its responsible marketing standards for sports betting in the US.

The AGA’s “Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering” is essentially a code of conduct that its members have pledged to follow when it comes to marketing sports betting.

According to the AGA’s statement, the code was developed with its member organizations which include gambling giants such as Caesars, MGM Resorts, FanDuel and The Stars Group.

What does the code cover?

The code includes several measures that are intended to help restrict underage gambling, promote safe and responsible gambling and ensure that traditional and digital marketing methods are appropriate for US audiences.

The new marketing standards state that sports betting advertising should only take place on media channels where at least 71.6% of the audience is expected to be of legal gambling age. The provisions also state sports betting should not be promoted in colleges or universities.

Under the code, operators that use websites and digital media to advertise products must have geolocation technology in place to ensure that bets can’t be placed in states that have yet to legalize sports betting.

The guidelines also apply to “entities operating in partnership with or as agents of AGA members,” which suggests that this code applies to affiliate marketing companies operating in the US market.

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the AGA said: “The gaming industry has an obligation to extend our decades-long commitment to responsibility to this growing sector, and that’s exactly what this effort codifies. We are setting a high bar for sports betting advertising and will continue to ensure that everyone involved in the expansion of legalized sports betting across the country – gaming operators, sports leagues and teams, broadcasters and other businesses – rise to this standard.”

The AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering can be read in its entirety, here.

Responsible marketing around the world

In other markets across the world, there has been a massive shift in the advertising and marketing of gambling products in an attempt to protect underage gamblers and reduce the spread of problem gambling.

In 2018, Australia banned all forms of gambling advertisement during live sporting events that take place between 5 am and 8:30 pm. However, sports broadcaster ESPN were made exempt from the law.

Last July, the Italian government approved a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertising. This came into effect in January 2019 and outlawed gambling advertising on all media channels – including television, the internet and radio. The ban also restricts sports teams from wearing gambling brands on their kit.

In December 2018, the UK’s gambling market saw several developments in regard to gambling advertising. The most significant came in December when the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) announced a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising during sporting events that take place before 9 pm.

The AGA is the latest entity to release sports betting marketing guidelines, but only time will tell how effective they will be.

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