Fixed branding signage at venues in the MA sports betting market will require “21 and over” language.
State regulators voted 3-2 on Thursday in favor of mandating that “21 and over” language appear on all standalone Massachusetts sports betting logos at Fenway Park, TD Garden and Gillette Stadium.
This would include, for example, the DraftKings sign above the Green Monster needing to add “21 and over” language.
Parties will have 90 days to comply, with the rule going into effect as of Friday.
Teams fight Massachusetts regulation
The Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics and Boston Red Sox submitted a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) opposing the regulation.
Their argument centered on the following questions:
- Is there a real likelihood that the display of a logo by itself on a sign might make minors more interested in betting on sports?
- Is it necessary to require a disclaimer accompanying an operator’s branding logo, when the operator’s actual website or in-person sportsbook will have very clear limits preventing minors from registering and placing bets?
- Are there any other examples in the U.S. where a standalone corporate logo is required to be accompanied by a legal disclaimer?
Sportsbooks against change as well
A number of sportsbooks also opposed the regulation change:
- Barstool Sportsbook
MA sports betting rule compromise
Commissioner Eileen O’Brien wanted the language required on all sports betting logos. But other commissioners disagreed, and eventually a compromise was reached that would just require the carveout for sports venues.
Commissioners Jordan Maynard, Nakisha Skinner and O’Brien voted yes. Chair Cathy Judd-Stein and commissioner Bradford Hill voted no.
The Commonwealth already features some of the strictest advertising regulations in the country.