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New Updates to AGA Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering Prohibit “Risk Free,” Enhance College-Aged Protections

Tom Brennan: WBJB

“Established in 2019, AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code reflects the commitment of our members to set and adhere to a high bar for responsible advertising,” stated AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Today’s updates advance that commitment and represent our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures.”

The changes—developed in collaboration with AGA members—are the most significant to the Code since its inception, including:

  • Enhancing protections for college-aged audiences by:
    • Prohibiting college partnerships that promote, market or advertise sports wagering activity (other than to alumni networks or content focused on responsible gaming initiatives or problem gambling awareness).
    • Prohibiting sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and college athletes.
  • Adding age restrictions (21+) for any individual featured in sports betting advertising.
  • Changing all references to the “legal age of wagering” to 21-plus.
  • Banning all use of “risk free” in advertising.
  • Formalizing an annual process for reviewing and updating the Code.

The updated standards go into effect immediately with a grace period for existing or deployed assets until July 1, 2023. Full updates to the Code can be found here.

“Advertising plays an essential role in migrating consumers away from predatory illegal sportsbooks and into the protections of the legal, regulated market while providing responsible gaming resources,” added Miller. “The AGA and our members are committed to building a sustainable marketplace that protects vulnerable populations and gives consumers the knowledge and tools to keep sports betting fun for adults.”

In addition to updates to the Code, Dr. Jennifer Shatley has been named co-chair of the Code Compliance Review Board. Currently founder and principal consultant at Logan Avenue Consulting LLC and consulting partner for the Responsible Gambling Council, Dr. Shatley brings more than 25 years of experience in responsible gaming policy to oversee the compliance board and review Code violation complaints.

Background

  • Sports betting accounted for less than half a percentage of total advertising volume last year, down 28% from 2021.
  • 33 states and Washington, D.C. currently feature live, legal sports betting markets, with three additional legal markets awaiting launch.
  • More than half of American adults (146M) live in a live, legal sports betting market.
  • AGA’s Have A Game Plan.®Bet Responsibly.™public service campaign brings sports betting stakeholders together to educate new and seasoned sports bettors about how to bet responsibly.

About the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports WageringThe Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering includes self-imposed restrictions on target audiences, outlets and materials branding, while mandating responsible gaming inclusion. The tenets of the code apply to traditional and digital marketing activity of sports wagering where consumers are encouraged to place real money wagers. Industry stakeholders and consumers can flag perceived non-compliance onAmericanGaming.org.

About the AGAAs the national trade group representing the U.S. casino industry, the American Gaming Association (AGA) fosters a policy and business environment where legal, regulated gaming thrives. The AGA’s diverse membership of commercial and tribal casino operators, sports betting and iGaming companies, gaming suppliers, and more lead the $261 billion industry and support 1.8 million jobs across the country.

I’ve had my dream job of waking up with all the great listeners and members of Brookdale Public Radio since January 3, 2005. Prior to this job, I began my career in radio at NJ 101.5 FM as a producer. From there, I took time off from radio to do other things. (including becoming a mom!)