NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 30: Connor Carrick #5 of the New Jersey Devils skates during an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Blues won 3-2.
(Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Sen. Joseph P. Cryan (D-20) recently introduced S4021, a New Jersey sports betting bill designed to narrowly target gambling advertisements that may be described as “fraudulent, or designed to entice individuals on the self-exclusion list or who are under the legal age to gamble.”

The sports betting and casino advertising bill is designed to “protect vulnerable populations” in the state from potentially adverse effects associated with sports betting and gambling.

Halting Fraudulent and Deceptive Ads

Cryan introduced the bill and the legislation has been referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

The bill would restrict deceptive or fraudulent sports betting and casino gambling advertisements in the state.

Several states have recently cracked down on sports betting advertisements deemed to be misleading or targeting those under the legal age to gamble.

Cryan’s bill will regulate sports betting advertisements as follows:

“(12) sports pool related advertising of sports wagering licensees, or their contracted operators, to ensure their advertisements are in no way deceptive or fraudulent, do not direct unsolicited advertisements towards individuals on the list of self-excluded persons established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2001, c.39 (C.5:12-71.2), and do not appeal directly to individuals under the legal age to wager.”

The bill would require the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to promulgate rules to restrict advertisements in this way.

States Cracking Down on Sports Betting Ads

No details were provided on what exactly is a “deceptive” or “fraudulent” sports betting or casing gambling advertisement, but the legislation could very well look to eliminate “free bet” or “risk free” language from sports betting advertisements.

Ohio and Massachusetts have approved such restrictions as well, with Ohio doling out hundreds in thousands in fines to operators that have not abided by the advertising rules.

In January, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) issued two notices of violation after DraftKings failed to include a required responsible gaming message on one of its platforms. Additionally, the commission noted that the operator advertised promotions or bonuses that used the term “free” or “risk-free” when patrons were required to incur a loss or risk their own money to obtain the promotion. These violations resulted in a $150,000 fine for the operator.

It’s likely that Cryan’s new bill will restrict similar issues for New Jersey sports betting operators and casinos.

“Gambling on casino games or sporting events is a potentially addictive behavior that can result in mental, social, and financial stresses to an individual, their family, and their community. While gambling in various forms and through various mediums is legal in this State, it is necessary to take steps to protect vulnerable populations in this State from the adverse effects associated with gambling. This bill narrowly targets gambling advertisements that are fraudulent, or designed to entice individuals on the self-exclusion list or who are under the legal age to gamble, while leaving available all other means and methods of advertising,” Cryan wrote in the legislation.

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