Online sports betting sites in the United States are facing a steady drumbeat of tougher regulation and new legislation, including a bill in New York that could ensure operators warn customers about the possible risks they face by gambling.
Sponsored by Democratic senators Leroy Comrie and Luis Sepúlveda, Senate Bill 1550 would require operators of sports betting sites in New York to be explicit about the potential pitfalls associated with wagering.
The legislation “requires all advertisements for gambling and sports betting to include warnings about potential harmful and addictive effects of gambling,” a summary of the bill says.
It also “requires the state gaming commission to cooperate with the commissioner of addiction services and supports to ensure that all advertisements for gaming activity state a problem gambling hotline number.”
Follow the leader?
The bill was referred to the Senate's racing, gaming, and wagering committee on Thursday, but how it progresses from there remains to be seen.
Still, the introduction of the proposed ad rules follows the filing of another piece of legislation in New York that targets "predatory" sportsbook bonuses. More broadly, it comes as regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. are toughening their treatment of the legal sports betting industry in the wake of reporting from the New York Times and others.
The industry has expanded widely in the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for states to legalize event wagering. Recently, though, sportsbook operators have faced the prospect of more fines and stricter tax rules.
New York has quickly become the biggest market for legal sports betting in the U.S. following its launch of mobile wagering in January 2022. The state's nine online sportsbooks handled more than $1.6 billion in bets during December, more than any other U.S. jurisdiction, so any legislative steps taken in New York will likely be noticed in legislatures elsewhere.