Global Advertising Code For Gambling Needed Even If Impossible

May 25, 2023
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As daunting as the challenge may be, the international gaming community needs to establish regulations governing how sports betting and the industry’s other products are marketed, two leading gambling analysts said on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

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As daunting as the challenge may be, the international gaming community needs to establish regulations governing how sports betting and the industry’s other products are marketed, two leading gambling analysts said on Wednesday (May 24) in Las Vegas.

Becky Harris, who chaired the Nevada Gaming Control Board from January 2018 to January 2019, called for a “uniform mandate about what our priorities are with regard to responsible gambling and how that intersects with sports betting and the ability to advertise the product.”

Jane Tsai, a gaming consultant for JCT Holdings Limited of Hong Kong and former vice president of international development at Galaxy Macau, went even further, saying she would like to see “some sort of global efficiency measurement or standard from the gambling industry to put together a framework by which we can all operate in.”

Harris and Tsai spoke during a panel discussion on Wednesday at the International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking at the Park MGM casino in Las Vegas.

The three-day conference, sponsored by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), features a broad array of gambling researchers from multiple countries as well as the United States.

Harris, who is a member of the faculty at the International Center of Gaming Regulation at UNLV, said the backlash against gambling expansion and the advertising that comes with it has provoked several countries to contemplate, and in some cases impose, limits on gambling.

Armenia, Colombia, France, the Republic of Georgia, Ireland and Ontario are among the jurisdictions mulling new restrictions on gambling, Harris said.

She said students in Africa who receive government money to pay for their tuition are instead spending the money on sports betting.

“To date, very little has been done worldwide to [control gambling] advertising,” Harris said.

“We’ve got all these different countries kind of working independently, and we’ve got the different states in the United States working independently.”

Harris lauded efforts by the American Gaming Association, professional sports leagues and regulators in Ohio and New Jersey to create and enforce rules that will “frankly not overwhelm the public with sports betting advertising.”

But at some point, Harris said, “we’re going to have to have some kind of a contraction of all these efforts” with a global regulatory scheme.

More than 65m American bets on sports, Tsai said, and she called for “evidence-based regulations,” which are effective but “don’t make it untenable for operators to operate.”

“If you make it so convoluted that it makes it impossible for somebody to sell their product — you make it impossible for them to do business — then it begs the question, ‘What is the legislation really accomplishing?’’’

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