Senate Passes Bill to Strengthen Guidelines for Sports Betting Ads in New York

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General view at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Luke Hales/Getty Images/AFP

With time running out before New York lawmakers adjourn for the summer, a bill directing the New York State Gaming Commission to implement advertising guidelines on its website seems poised to become law. 

The Senate overwhelmingly approved A1118 (57-0), which mandates that New York sportsbooks include warnings about the potentially harmful and addictive effects of gambling in their advertisements. The bill has been returned to the Assembly for final review, and if it receives approval there, it will only require Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature to take effect.

“In the unprecedented growth of gambling, where it is easy to place bets with PayPal, credit cards, bitcoin, or money-transfer apps; it is also important as a state to be proactive in identifying and preventing potential problems of gambling. If signed into law, this bill would require industries to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling,” the authors wrote in the bill.

The bill will go into effect 60 days after it’s potentially approved and signed into law.

What the Sports Betting Ad Bill Calls For

SB1550/AB1118 would require the New York State Gaming Commission to collaborate with the New York Office of Addiction Services and Supports in developing clear messaging about gaming risks and promoting the state’s problem gambling hotline (1-877-8-HOPENY). 

Additionally, the legislation mandates that the Gaming Commission make information and technical support related to advertising guidelines available on its website. 

New York lawmakers got involved in regulating gambling ads after a woman from the Bronx filed a lawsuit against DraftKings. She claimed that DraftKings used misleading language by saying their bets were “risk-free”. People thought they wouldn’t lose money, but it turns out the “$1,000 Risk-Free Bet” was only given as betting credits, not cash.

Some states have already banned this kind of advertising language to avoid similar issues.

But this isn’t the only gambling-related bill that lawmakers are trying to put to bed before the summer break. Let’s break down the key points from the other bills that are currently on the table.  These bills address various aspects of gambling regulation, from specific betting types to age restrictions and funding for responsible gambling programs.

S8777

  • Allows sportsbooks in New York to offer seasonlong proposition bets and award futures.
  • Limits these bets to wagers that the commission deems not at risk of undue interference, insider trading, or other issues compromising the integrity and fairness of sports wagering.
  • Permits sportsbooks to take bets on coin tosses (a popular Super Bowl prop).
  • Passed the Senate and was referred to the Assembly.

S1557

  • Proposes raising the minimum gambling age from 18 to 21.
  • Currently, individuals aged 18 and older can participate in horse betting, but this bill would change that to 21.

S8439

  • Aims to allocate 1% of NY sports betting revenue (and at least $6 million) toward problem gambling education and treatment each fiscal year.
  • We’ll continue to monitor the moves New York lawmakers are making and which bills will be signed into law.