The American gambling industry’s main trade association last week responded on to a U.S. Senator’s demands that sports betting operators stop advertising on college campuses.
Bill Miller, CEO of the American Gaming Association, acknowledged several concerns raised by Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a letter sent to the industry lobby last week.
But rather than signal a crackdown, most of his response alludes to the lack of enforcement power the AGA has and the federal government’s inexperience with sports betting.
‘Direct violation’ of standards
Blumenthal effectively called on the AGA to tell Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet to stop advertising on college campuses.
Each has marketing agreements with two prominent universities — Caesars with LSU and Michigan State and PointsBet with Colorado and Maryland.
Neither sportsbook responded to LSR’s request for comment.
Not in the circle
Advertising on college campuses is a direct violation of AGA member marketing standards according to Miller. There is just one problem: PointsBet and Caesars are not part of the AGA.
“To our knowledge, AGA members do not promote or advertise sports wagering on university or college campuses or in university or college-owned news assets,” Miller’s response reads. “Caesars Entertainment has not been a member of the AGA since 2020, and there has been no communication between our organizations regarding these partnerships.”
“PointsBet is not a member of the AGA and there has been no communication between our organizations regarding this partnership.”
Blumenthal’s office did not respond to request for comment.
Blumenthal sent a similar letter to Caesars CEO Tom Reeg asking him to commit to ending his company’s “disgraceful practice to protect students from irreparable harm” by Friday, though it is unclear if Caesars responded.
Oversight of college sports betting?
Since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018 regulation has been left almost entirely up to states.
Predatory advertising towards minors has been a hot issue in statehouses ever since, though entirely at the initial level of legalizing. So far the only follow-up laws states have passed to regulate their sportsbooks have centered on erasing tax loopholes.
Blumenthal’s letters mark the first time a federal lawmaker has called on a US sportsbook to end any sort of advertising, perhaps a signal of where regulation could focus in the future.