New York Commission Approves Tighter Sports Betting Advertising Regulations

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Football news


  • New York approved its new plan with unanimous approval
  • There is now a 60-day period for public comment before the rules go into effect
  • The regulations focus on eliminating ads targeted towards young and college audiences

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) adopted stricter regulations for sportsbook advertising during a Monday meeting.

Following a series of legislative proposals, discussions, and analyses of the market, the Big Apple is enforcing restrictions on advertising to underage persons and college students. The rule change received unanimous approval and is just another instance in a series of advertising regulations.

There will be 60 days for public comment before the commission revisits the decision. At that time, if there are no objections, the new regulations will go into effect.

Mo’ money mo’ problems

Online sports betting launched in New York during the second week of 2022. It was a hit from the get-go, setting first-month and monthly records in its first abridged month of operation.

In 2023, over $400 million was wagered on New York sportsbooks by the end of January. Those numbers took another jump during the ever-popular Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

As promising as the participation numbers and returns look for the state, it also recognizes the growing number of issues.

“[Online sports betting] “has been a new positive,” said NYSGC Chair Brian O’Dwyer. “[However,] after one year, it is particularly incumbent on us to understand both the successes and problems engendered by this legislation.”

Part of the new regulations mandates that sports betting companies refrain from allowing, conducting, or participating in marketing directed towards individuals under the minimum age established by the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law section 1332.

Companies will achieve this by modifying designs so that they don’t primarily attract interest from younger audiences. This could be through the use of television characters, musicians, or pop culture icons typically associated with or popular amongst the underage and college demographics.

Another element of the new regulations is that sports betting operators will not be able to advertise or hold promotional events on college campuses. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, about 67% of all college students bet on sports. That is well above the average amongst all adults, which is closer to one in five.

That decision was based on a similar system implemented in Ohio, one that has already resulted in a $250,000 fine for Barstool after it promoted its sportsbook on the University of Toledo's campus.

Sweeping changes

Change has been coming in New York. State lawmakers previously introduced a measure to eliminate “predatory” language used by sportsbooks during promotions, such as “free” and “risk-free” bets.

In addition, a few days before the Super Bowl, Congressman Paul Tonko revealed the “Betting on our Future Act,” which took a similar approach to the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. Tonko’s proposal called for a ban on all online and electronic sports betting advertising.

Although the state did not swing to that extreme, it did reach a middle ground. One that many other states—and nations—are beginning to reach.

Across the pond in England, lawmakers are dealing with how to limit the influence of gambling companies in sports. Their solution, which could be revealed during an upcoming white paper on gambling reform, is likely to be implementing a ban on gambling sponsors for English Premier League teams.

Other European countries have taken different approaches to deal with sports betting companies’ influence. Some have specific time slots, mostly late in the evening until early in the morning when they can run advertisements. Others do not allow digital advertising or restrict it to certain channels.

While the New York sports betting community is preparing to change course, the casino community is coming closer to adding three new attractions. NYSGC Executive Director Robert Williams said that his office received hundreds of questions from interested parties during an open period, and it is busy preparing responses. He hopes to have answers available in three weeks, at which time there will be another four-week window for more questions.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.