New York Senator Introduces Bill To Restrict Sportsbook Ads

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 7, 2022
NY sports betting ads addressed by new bill

A New York legislator filed a bill calling on the state regulator to take action on “predatory sportsbook bonuses” as they pertain to NY sports betting.

It happened only a few weeks after the New York Times released a story questioning the amount of advertising US sportsbooks are using.

In the meantime, many industry trade bodies, including the American Gaming Association and iDEA Growth, criticized these articles debating industry lobbying.

Senate Bill 9605 to limit NY sports betting promo credits

Sen. Pete Harckham introduced Bill 9605 to the New York State Senate. That bill would give the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) the power to “promulgate rules and regulations regarding predatory sportsbook bonuses in mobile sports betting.”

The bill refers to but is not limited to:

  • Deposit matching
  • Risk-free betting
  • Free money
  • Free bets
  • Site credits
  • Profit boosts

In the explanation for the bill, Harckham cited a group of articles recently published by the New York Times as the reason for the bill.

“The mobile sports betting industry is utilizing targeted advertising that is personally tailored to lure in new customers from right within their homes.

This means that following legal sports betting in New York State, multitudes of people who were not formerly presented with these predatory practices will fall susceptible to gambling addiction that could have otherwise been avoided.”

The bill did not provide any detail on what action and what kind of rules the NYGC can create. Should regulators ban the so-called “predatory sportsbook bonuses” or have them face stricter regulations? It only said the regulators should take action to address the issue.

The bill will be assigned to the Senate Rules Committee. The 20-member committee includes Sen. Joseph Addabbo, a devoted advocate for legal gambling and responsible gambling.

New York operators offered high-value bonuses to attract players

New York legalized online sports betting in the state in January this year, allowing eight operators to launch.

A high tax rate of 51% makes it difficult for operators to make a profit. Therefore, offering large bonuses is common to try and win over the competition.

During the launch, some operators, like Caesars, offered welcome bonuses of up to $3,000. Caesars offered their bonuses even though New York state did not allow promo credit deductions.

Still, from Jan. 8-Nov. 27, New York sportsbooks have combined for:

  • $14.4 billion in handle
  • $1.2 billion in total gross gaming revenue
  • $616.1 million in tax revenue

Several industry executives continue to push for a tax reduction through lobbying and legislative efforts.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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