When and how often does a sports betting operator need to state that its products are aimed at adults? That’s a question that’s been debated in newly opened regulated sports betting markets across the United States. In Massachusetts, that debate is now focused on a Boston icon, the Green Monster.
Regulators, led by Commissioner Eileen O’Brien, are trying to make sure that operators aren’t marketing to children, but they also don’t think that a promotional sticker or water bottle needs a detailed warning about age restrictions. This is especially tricky when it comes to brands like Betr, that market to the younger end of legal players.
In comments reported on by SBC Americas, O’Brien explained the challenges the Commission is facing saying, “We are inundated with complaints about advertising in general. I have a lot of concerns when I watch the interplay of branding and crossing over between things and getting people loyal when they’re younger, and I said this when the Betr application came up, getting people loyal to the brand when they’re under the age and getting an affinity and affiliation to something.” O’Brien said.
“I do not think it’s a huge ask to put 21+ on it. And if you don’t want to differentiate so there’s a vagueness to your branding that says, ‘Well, it could be my sweatshirts, and it could be my gaming’, then slap 21+ on it or differentiate your branding. And if you’re not doing it, then you’re doing exactly what I’m concerned about, which is arguably being predatory with your branding and trying to blur the lines between how much of it is under 21 and how much of it is over,” she added.
In the end, the Commission decided to extend the current regulatory scheme so that they can work out the details of how, exactly, a DraftKings logo can be properly displayed in Fenway Park.