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The Connecticut bill details strict advertising guidelines, focusing on wagers involving local colleges.

In April, a bill was introduced in Connecticut that could potentially reshape sports betting and online gaming in the state. Proposed by the Public Safety and Security Committee, the bill aims to restrict betting advertisements while also permitting wagering on Connecticut college teams in certain situations, among other proposed changes.

In May 2021, Connecticut lawmakers legalized digital and retail sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and online gambling. The latest bill, File No. 271 (substitute for HB 5284), has received little attention but aligns with several emerging industry trends. HB 271 proposes stringent advertising guidelines similar to those already implemented in Ontario, Maine, and Massachusetts. It aims to:

  • Prohibit the use of celebrities in advertising.
  • Mandate the use of “21+” (or “18+” in some cases) on advertising materials.
  • Restrict sports betting advertisements from being shown where the audience is presumed to be primarily under the age of 21.
  • Ban advertising or marketing via media or social media platforms that would primarily appeal to individuals under the legal age for gambling.

In Connecticut, the legal age for sports betting and iGaming is set at 21, while the legal age for daily fantasy contests, lottery, and keno is 18. Several other states are also considering implementing stricter advertising guidelines.

Some affiliate agreements are in jeopardy.

The bill addresses various facets of legal gambling and seems to prohibit certain types of affiliate marketing agreements. According to the bill, licensees are prohibited from entering into contracts with third-party advertisers or marketers whose compensation is tied to the number of individuals who become patrons, the volume or amount of wagers placed, or the outcome of wagers.

Massachusetts regulators amended their rules last year to prohibit revenue-sharing affiliate agreements but still permit “cost per action” agreements.

Responding to the NCAA’s call to ban prop bets on college players, Connecticut lawmakers included language in the bill explicitly prohibiting college-player prop bets. However, the bill would permit betting on local college teams.

Under the current law, betting on Connecticut college teams is not permitted under any circumstances. Despite this, the UConn Huskies have achieved back-to-back national championships in men’s basketball and are perennial contenders in women’s basketball. The proposed legislation would allow wagering on local college teams in certain situations. Interestingly, every state bordering Connecticut currently allows online betting on Connecticut college teams.

Betting on local college teams might pose some confusion.

The proposed legislation in Connecticut, inspired by neighboring Massachusetts, would permit betting on Connecticut college teams participating in tournaments. According to the proposed legislation:

“In this subdivision, ‘permitted intercollegiate tournament’ refers to an intercollegiate esports, sporting, or athletic event involving four or more intercollegiate teams, including one or more Connecticut intercollegiate teams. Betting on the tournament is based on the outcome of all games within the tournament.”

Similar guidelines in Massachusetts have caused problems for operators, as they have inadvertently allowed betting on local college teams in situations where it was not permitted.

The legislation also addresses regulations regarding independent gaming labs used by operators. Additionally, it would prohibit the use of “confusing” or “misleading” language in advertising and marketing.

Connecticut’s General Assembly is in session until May 8th. The substitute bill has progressed through the committee and is now on the house floor.

You can read all about the rules and laws about the best Connecticut casinos here.