U.S States Setting Divergent Standards for Sports Betting Advertising, New Research Tool Reveals

Washington, October 5, 2023 – U.S. states are beginning to establish more prescriptive rules to govern the advertising of sports betting, but are yet to copy some of the stricter controls in place in European markets, according to a new research tool launched today by Vixio Regulatory Intelligence, the leading provider of regulatory and business intelligence to the global gambling and payments industries.

Vixio’s new Advertising Comparative Overview Tool for North America reveals that states with legal sports betting and iGaming have adopted markedly different approaches to advertising, with some putting in place detailed rules and restrictions and others limited to minimal requirements.

The tool, available on Vixio’s GamblingCompliance intelligence platform, provides a visual comparison of advertising rules established by state laws and regulations across 10 specific policy areas. It accompanies Vixio's equivalent tool covering advertising requirements across European online gambling markets and is designed to allow for an immediate state-by-state overview of differing regulatory requirements in a pressing policy area for operators, regulators, media companies, sports leagues and other key stakeholders.

“It is not surprising that states coming somewhat later to the regulated sports betting game are imposing stricter advertising rules than those earlier adopters who established their markets when there was markedly less political and media scrutiny over the issue,” said James Kilsby, Chief Analyst for Vixio.  Statutory and regulatory requirements on sports betting advertising are most comprehensive in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia, followed by Illinois and Arizona, in terms of the range of advertising policy areas covered by those states’ rules.  In contrast, advertising regulations are far less developed in Arkansas, Delaware and West Virginia, among other states.

The most common policy requirements for sports betting and iGaming advertising are the inclusion of responsible gambling messaging in ads, followed by rules prohibiting marketing targeted at minors, vulnerable or self-excluded persons.

However, less than half of regulated states have any formal rules that limit either the media or physical locations where sports betting can be advertised.

To date, no U.S. state has adopted the more onerous restrictions now commonplace across European markets that either limit broadcast advertising to late in the evening or ban some or all forms of gambling advertising.

Arguably the most restrictive North American market from an advertising point of view is Ontario, which does not allow for “inducements” such as welcome offers or free-bet promotions in advertising. The province’s regulator is also set to ban the use of athletes and certain other celebrities in any ads for online gambling in early 2024.Recent policy developments have also underlined that sports betting advertising remains a fluid area, with laws and regulations continuing to evolve, according to Kilsby.Advertising policy trends observed by Vixio in recent months include states such as Massachusetts, Ohio, New York expressly banning any marketing to under-21s or on college companies, while ensuring that operators will be responsible for marketing conducted on their behalf by third parties, such as affiliates.

States such as Ohio and Maryland have also started to impose higher monetary penalties for violations of advertising regulations, per the Vixio GamblingCompliance Enforcement Tracker.

The Vixio Advertising Comparative Overview Tool will be continually updated to reflect new state laws and regulations.

“State policy approaches on advertising are far from set in stone,” Kilsby added. “Already in 2023 we have seen significant regulatory changes or new best practices adopted in such major markets as Ontario, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland – as well as by the industry through voluntary standards.

“There has been a clear trend across Europe and Australia over the past six or seven years to ever tighter marketing restrictions; we expect it will be a similar story in North America even if constitutional limitations and cultural differences mean that the specific policy restrictions established on this side of the Atlantic may be different from those of European markets.”Vixio will be exhibiting and demonstrating the new tool at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas from October 9 to 12.

ENDS

ABOUT VIXIO REGULATORY INTELLIGENCE
Headquartered in London and with offices in Washington DC, VIXIO Regulatory Intelligence provides insights, intelligence, and data to some of the world’s biggest brands involved in the global gambling and payments industries. VIXIO’s powerful intelligence solutions empower organisations to understand complex regulatory frameworks, helping them to confidently manage compliance risk, while analysing and pursuing new opportunities in fast, volatile markets.

For further information about VIXIO, please visit www.vixio.com.

Media inquiries please contact media@vixio.com or damien.fletcher@streetsconsulting.com

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Insights and intelligence for some of the world’s biggest brands

What our clients say

"Vixio Regulatory Compliance offers excellent legal and regulatory analysis and provides us with a trustworthy, organised and credible single source solution, which keeps us ahead of the game."

888.com

CEO

"Vixio GamblingCompliance is an invaluable source of regulatory information, making it an excellent tool for the gambling industry. The quality of analysis is unmatched and the ease of use searching for topics, regions and themes makes it very simple to identify relevant stories."

Morgan Stanley

Senior Researcher

"Vixio GamblingCompliance is crucial to keeping a finger on the pulse of gambling regulation. Accessing a single, credible source of information and news helps us efficiently evolve our systems to align with regulatory developments."

PayPal UK

Head of Risk Management

"Hands down one of the most unique full suite sources of this subject matter anywhere."

UnionPay International

Managing Counsel

"The ever-increasing change coming from various regulators in different territories makes Vixio Regulatory Intelligence a must for a compliance team at a business like ours."

Truevo

Head of Legal & Compliance

"Using Vixio PaymentsCompliance gives us a comprehensive view of the critical changes in regulation in our key markets, and reduces our business resource requirement which saves us on average £100k per annum, we wouldn't be without it!"

Well known e-money company

Regulatory Compliance Team Lead

Download Brochure