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Louisiana Lawmaker Looks to Ban Sports Betting Ads

One of the biggest criticisms of regulated sports betting, in the US and abroad, is that gaming operators saturate their markets with wall-to-wall advertising. According to the critics, this barrage of advertisements encourages problem and under age gambling – and Louisiana State Representative Shaun Mena wants to see it banned entirely.

Mena is the lone sponsor of House Bill 727, which would ban all sports betting and fantasy sports advertising from Louisiana television broadcasts. The bill does not, however, mention any other advertising including social media and radio.

In a recent interview with WDSU News, Mena explained that he’s not anti-gambling, he’s just out there trying to protect vulnerable young people from the perils of problem gambling. “There has been an increase to 1-800 numbers to help gambling addicts. I’m fighting for the young men and women who are addicted to these products. Young men under the age of 35 are the largest demographic of online gambling addicts,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Mena’s plan has met some resistance from his more gambling-friendly peers in the Louisiana Statehouse. State Sen. Kirk Talbot did not mince words in his opposition to the bill saying, “I would say, if I had to bet on it — no pun intended — that the bill will not get very far.”

When asked whether or not the bill was friendly to business as a whole, Talbot responded saying, “No, I don’t think it is — the casino industry has a right to advertise like everyone else, and is investing a lot of money. I know Harrah’s is building a hotel and put money in the Superdome.”

House Bill 727 is currently in committee, where it may languish indefinitely unless it finds additional supporters.