When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Congress Proposes Legislation to Further Regulate Marketing for Sportsbooks

Written by: Michael Savio
Published March 26, 2024
6 min read
Legislation to Further Regulate Marketing for Sportsbooks

Major news from the US Congress came amid a turbulent week for the sports betting industry.

New York Representative Paul Tonko announced this week that he will propose legislation to restrict marketing for US sportsbooks. Tonko shared that he believes sports betting is like the Wild West, where loose regulations let operators run wild. 

The proposal would establish the SAFE Bet Act. If passed, it would place the following regulations on operators across the country:

  • No more advertising during live sporting events

  • No language like “bonus bets” or “no sweat bet” in any advertisements

  • Credit cards banned as a deposit method

  • No more than five deposits from a bettor in a single day

  • Prohibit the use of AI to track gambling habits or create prop bets

The proposal is drastic, but it comes at a time when problem gambling continues to rise. While many states are pouring money into programs aimed at curbing the issue, some believe that sportsbook advertising is hurting that effort. In proposing the Act, Tonko compared sports betting to the tobacco industry.

"Just as in the tobacco industry when it was determined that that industry was posing a public health situation, we have now displaced Joe Camel with celebrity spokespeople and, yes, free product," Tonko said of the SAFE Bet Act.

Congress has failed to pass legislation to limit sportsbook marketing in the past, but that could change given the spike in problem gambling.

Rough Week for the Sports Betting Industry

Aside from the news from Congress, two other significant storylines marred the sports betting industry this week. One involved a friend and employee of Shohei Ohtani allegedly stealing millions from the star to cover gambling debts. Ohtani’s story about the incident changed during the week, leading many to question if the funds were stolen or if the gambling debt actually belonged to the reigning MVP.

This week, Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff also ripped the state of sports betting in the US. He spoke of death threats he was receiving and ripped the current regulations around the industry. Bickerstaff is not alone; several pro and college players have reported similar issues. While some states have made their own laws to prevent harassment of athletes, coaches, and referees, many believe it should be addressed at a national level.

While these issues are unrelated, expect both to take center stage as Congress debates the upcoming proposal.

Image for Michael Savio

AUTHOR

Michael Savio

423 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

More info on Michael Savio
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork
WorldSportsNetwork

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.