A pair of senators in Kansas have proposed a bill that would eliminate virtually all online sports betting advertising in the state.
Titled “An Act concerning gaming; relating to sports wagering; prohibiting advertising of sports wagering through internet websites and electronic device applications,” Senate Bill No. 432 would ban any online or in-app sports betting advertising with two exceptions: sports betting apps and websites.
If passed, the ban would go into effect on or before Jan. 1, 2025, and send Kansas sports betting a step backward.
Kansas bill takes advertising regulation to another level
All states that allow online sports betting have regulations and laws around how a sportsbook can advertise its services. For example, it’s a general rule that sportsbooks can not market their platform to minors and children.
Additionally, states typically require all sports betting ads to include clear information about where to find responsible gambling resources.
Kansas’ laws are an example of this. They required sportsbooks to ensure that “that advertisements, including limitations on the form, content, quantity, timing, and location of such advertisements, do not target children and minors, or other persons who are ineligible to place wagers, or problem gamblers or other vulnerable persons.”
Additionally, the law states that each ad must indicate which sportsbook it’s promoting, provide a toll-free number for compulsive and problem gambling help, and avoid all “false, misleading or deceptive advertisements.”
Again, this type of language is pretty standard for sports betting rules and regulations across the country.
However, senators Cindy Holscher and Virgil Peck are leading the bipartisan effort to strengthen the state’s sportsbook ad laws to a level we haven’t seen before in the United States.
Per the senators’ proposed bill:
“No advertisements for sports wagering shall be published, broadcast, or otherwise presented through any internet website, other online medium, or electronic device application, except such advertisements may be published as part of the content offered by an interactive sports wagering platform that has been affirmatively accessed by an individual holding an account with such platform.”
In other words, the senators are hoping for a Kansas in which the only time you see sports betting ads online is when you open a sportsbook app or website.
The proposed bill makes small carve-outs for existing ad contracts
As severe as the bill is compared to the rest of the country, it makes one exception to the proposed law, albeit a small one: Any companies with ad deals in place on July 1, 2024, could see their contracts through to completion.
That’s a small consolation prize for sportsbooks, which fight tooth and nail to gain new customers and keep them.
If the bill becomes law (it still has multiple key votes ahead), then expect to see a marketing blitz by sportsbooks as they try to get their last advertising campaigns through before Kansas descends into what would be the sports betting advertising Dark Ages.