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Louisiana Bill Would End TV Advertisements For Sports Betting, Fantasy Sports

Written By J.R. Duren on March 25, 2024
Louisiana State Capitol Building In Baton Rouge

A new bill submitted to the Lousiana House of Representatives would outlaw sports betting and fantasy sports television ads.

Submitted by state Rep. Shaun Mena, the bill would prohibit sports betting and fantasy sports license holders from advertising on TV. If the bill becomes law, any operator that violates it will lose its sports betting and/or fantasy sports license.

The bill’s aim, while not expressed in the bill, is most likely to curb advertising from attracting potential problem gamblers into sports betting and fantasy sports apps.

Analyzing what the Louisiana bill says

Here are two important sections of Louisiana’s HB 727:

  • Fantasy sports: “Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, no holder of a license to operate fantasy sports contests provided for in this Chapter, shall advertise fantasy sports contests in the state of Louisiana.”
  • Sports betting: “Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, no holder of a license to operate sports wagering as provided for in this Chapter shall advertise sports wagering in the state of Louisiana.”

The definition of “TV” is unclear

While the bill seems pretty straightforward, it leaves some questions about what “television” means and how effective a TV ban would be.

Would TV include streaming apps from TV networks, live TV from providers like YouTube and Hulu, or only broadcasts through cable boxes and antennas?

Secondly, how effective would a ban be, assuming the intent is to protect TV viewers from sports betting ads? Streaming services account for the biggest group of watchers in the United States, according to the latest data from research firm Nielsen:

  • Streaming: 37.7% of viewership
  • Cable: 27.6%
  • Broadcast: 23.3%
  • Other: 11.3%

Assuming that the bill’s use of “television” refers only to cable and broadcast, then the bill would reach, on average, around 51% of Louisiana’s viewers.

Those viewers span all age ranges, so it’s hard to tell what impact the bill would have on the population that is most vulnerable to problem gambling: minors.

What we do know, though, is that Gen Z and millennial viewers spend three times and twice as much on streaming as they do on cable, respectively, according to MNTN Research. Minors make up the biggest chunk of streaming patrons with 41.3 million views,  more than every other age group MNTN studied.

So, if the Louisiana bill passes and only TV sports betting and fantasy sports ads are banned, the state’s young people could still see ads on the streaming platforms they watch and any fantasy sports apps they use. Additionally, casinos could advertise on television.

In short, the bill’s scope may end up being so small its impact on responsible gaming would be relatively limited.

What’s next for Louisiana’s sports betting and fantasy sports TV ad-ban bill?

The bill will move into a committee for review. If the committee approves the bill, then it’s possible it could head to the House floor for a vote. If it passes in the House, it must pass in the Senate and get a signature from Gov. Jeff Landry to become law.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren
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