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New proposal aims to ban all wagering ads in the US
A newly introduced federal bill aims to prohibit all advertisements for sports betting throughout the United States.
Titled “Betting on our Future”, the act aims to restrict wagering advertisements on all verticals regulated by the FCC. This includes mediums such as television and radio channels, as well as the internet.
The bill mentions a couple of factors as its rationale, namely the rapidly growing popularity of the pastime in the country, with around a fifth of US adults having partaken in the activity in 2022, and the increase of problem gambling helpline calls, which saw a 45% rise in 2021.
Furthermore, the act estimates that around seven million adults in the United States have a gambling problem of some sort. It mentions that sports wagering operators utilize predatory advertising methods, such as “risk-free” bets, to engage players.
Another point made by the bill is the rapidly growing population of young gamblers. It highlights the problems of colleges partnering with operators across the states, driving students to partake in the activity.
Unsurprisingly, the introduction of this bill has been met with criticism by many industry professionals and organizations, as it could allow the country’s unregulated iGaming black market to grow rapidly.
The proposal draws parallels with the US “Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act”, despite the iGaming industry being much more nuanced than the tobacco industry. Many experts point out that, unlike all tobacco products, many forms of casual wagering are completely harmless forms of entertainment.