AGA bans members from using ‘risk free’ in advertising

Ban concept
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The American Gaming Association has updated its Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering, notably banning its members from using “risk free” in advertising.

AGA CEO and President Bill Miller noted that the code, setting the responsibility standard for the association’s members in marketing and advertising of sports betting, has been adjusted to set and adhere to a “high bar for responsible advertising”.

The updated standards, developed in collaboration with AGA members, have also been called by the association the “most significant” changes since the code’s creation in 2019, including two changes to further enhance protections for college-aged audiences. 

Miller commented: “Established in 2019, AGA’s Responsible Marketing Code reflects the commitment of our members to set and adhere to a high bar for responsible advertising. Today’s updates advance that commitment and represent our intention to protect consumers and evolve our standards as this nascent market matures.”

As well as banning all use of “risk free” in advertising, other changes to the AGA’s code include: 

  • Prohibiting college partnerships that promote, market or advertise sports wagering activity (other than to alumni networks or content focused on RG initiatives or problem gambling awareness). 
  • Prohibiting sportsbook NIL deals for amateur and college athletes.
  • Adding age restrictions (21+) for any individual featured in sports betting advertising.
  • Changing all references to the “legal age of wagering” to 21-plus.
  • Formalising an annual process for reviewing and updating the Code.

These updates to the code have gone into effect immediately, with a grace period until July 1, 2023, for existing and deployed assets.

Alongside the code updates, Dr Jennifer Shatley has been named co-chair of the Code Compliance Review Board, bringing more than 25 years of responsible gaming policy experience to the role.

Now overseeing the AGA compliance board and reviewing code violation complaints, Shatley is currently the founder and principal consultant at Logan Avenue Consulting LLC and consulting partner for the Responsible Gambling Council.

“Advertising plays an essential role in migrating consumers away from predatory illegal sportsbooks and into the protections of the legal, regulated market while providing responsible gaming resources,” added Miller.

“The AGA and our members are committed to building a sustainable marketplace that protects vulnerable populations and gives consumers the knowledge and tools to keep sports betting fun for adults.”