The American Gaming Association (AGA)’s has introduced a new code of conduct to prevent irresponsible advertising by its members for their sportsbook products.
The code, titled the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, states that “messages will not promote irresponsible or excessive participation in sports wagering” and that “each message will contain a responsible gaming message, along with a toll-free help line number where practical”.
In addition, advertisements may not suggest “ social, financial or personal success is guaranteed by engaging in sports wagering”.
The code also includes a series of rules specifically around protecting minors, including that gambling ads should not feature “entertainers or music that appeal primarily to audiences below the legal age within the jurisdiction”, nor should they be placed on social media outlets that appeal primarily to these groups.
In addition, sports wagering messages should not be “licensed for use on clothing, toys, games, or game equipment intended primarily for persons below the legal age for sports wagering”, or promoted or advertised on college or university campuses. Last week, Pointsbet – which is not an AGA member and thus not required to comply with the code – signed a deal with the University of Colorado Buffaloes that will see its product advertised at the university’s on-campus stadium, among other locations.
Furthermore, ads “should adhere to contemporary standards of good taste”.
In order to enforce the code, the AGA has launched a Code Compliance Review Board, made up of two independent co-chairs and five AGA member representatives who each serve three-year terms. It has also launched a complaint form by which members of the public can flag messages they believe to be in violation of the code.
Joe Bertolone, executive director of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation and Becky Harris, distinguished fellow in gaming at the UNLV International Gaming Institute will serve as the co-chairs.
The five initial AGA member representatives will be Laura McAllister Cox, vice president of regulatory compliance & legal counsel at Rush Street Gaming, Stephen Martino, senior vice president & chief compliance officer at MGM Resorts International, Sharon Otterman, chief marketing officer, William Hill, Paul Pellizzari, vice president for global social responsibility at Hard Rock and Chris Soriano, vice president & chief compliance officer at Penn National Gaming.
AGA members will provide training on the code and will deliver a copy of this code to advertising agencies, media buyers, third-party marketers such as affiliates.
The launch coincides with the AGA’s Responsible Gaming Week, from 15-20 September.