Report: FanDuel Pushed Back On NY Responsible Gambling Rules

Written By

Updated on


FanDuel lobbied New York regulators to reconsider rule changes meant to protect problem gamblers, according to The Guardian.

The news outlet cited unredacted documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as the Oct. 18 edition of the NYS Register in its report.

Ultimately, the requests on responsible gambling and other issues from FanDuel fell on deaf ears at the New York State Gaming Commission as the updated sports betting rules went into effect in October.

Where did FanDuel push back?

There were a number of public comments from FanDuel listed in the NYS Register.

One change concerned a sports betting rule in which the amount required to wager to receive a bonus had to be in the same size and style of font as the amount of the bonus: “It is possible to ensure fair disclosure without mandating identical size and font requirements,” FanDuel said.

The commission disagreed, saying the same size requirement will “appropriately promote transparency to patrons.”

Put blame on affiliate shoulders?

According to FanDuel, the company should not be held accountable for what some of its partners do.

FanDuel objected to a rule that said New York sports betting operators will be held accountable for compliance of their marketing affiliates, but the commission did not budge.

“The Commission disagrees. Placing regulatory responsibility on the sports wagering licensee to control its affiliates should foster compliance.”

Do keywords matter?

FanDuel objected to a requirement that prevents sportsbooks from using keywords or similar methods to attract current or potential problem gamblers.

FanDuel stated that the requirement is impractical to enforce and that it is ‘analogous to a liquor store not being able to advertise to customers who “may be” alcoholics.’ FanDuel suggested either eliminating that aspect of the rule or amending the rule to have it apply only to “known” problem gamblers.

Page 26, NYS Register 10/18

The commission disagreed and cited an SEO example as the primary reason:

“Website operators can use embedded keywords, which may be general, in order to optimize their positioning in Internet search results and attract certain audiences. For example, a gambling site could, in theory, embed a phrase such as “problem gambling help” in its website in order to attract a user, who might then click through to a gambling website, even though assistance for problem gambling had been sought.”

Age just a number?

FanDuel also wanted two rules concerning age to change.

First, it wanted a more specific number concerning sports betting ads “where the reasonably foreseeable percentage of the composition of the audience that is under minimum wagering age … is greater than the percentage of population in the state that is under such age.”

The commission said state population always changes, though, so a fixed percentage would require constant updating.

The operator also objected to advertising in the area of a college campus. The commission again disagreed.

FanDuel disagreed on DFS rules, too

FanDuel wanted to remove a requirement on fantasy advertising for compulsive play-assistance messaging, saying it is only required on an operator’s website. The change would require FanDuel to update national marketing pieces and would “take up too much space” in an ad.

The company also objected to a rule that would make operators liable for allowing prohibited persons to play.

Another rule FanDuel wanted to eliminate included anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, or alternatively, removing the requirement for an annual compliance statement.

All of the rule updates passed as written.