Don’t Expect Many Sportsbook Ads Aimed At 18+ KY Bettors, Legal Expert Says

With Kentucky’s sports betting regulations released and a launch date of Sept. 7, industry experts around the country now have a better idea of what to expect when Kentucky sportsbooks go live — and what the state should prioritize to keep betting safe.

One such expert is Gilbert Brooks, an attorney with extensive gaming law experience at national firm Duane Morris.

Brooks touched on a variety of Kentucky sports betting topics with Gaming Today.

This is the second story from our interview with Brooks. In the first story, he focused on how the rapid launch in Kentucky compares to how quickly New Jersey launched online casinos.

Importance of Responsible Sports Betting Advertisements

Brooks also brought up New Jersey as an example of the importance of responsible sports betting advertising.

“New Jersey took the forefront on this a little bit, (with) the advertising and marketing” he explained. “Because some of the concerns were that the marketing that was going on was very aggressive. You don’t want the husband to be gambling away the mortgage payment in the basement.”

He added that now, states and operators are cooperating much more than in years past to combat the issue.

We’ve seen a number of operators fall into hot water within the past year due to their advertising lingo. Gone are the days of “free bets,” “risk-free” wagers, and “can’t lose parlays.”

Kentucky regulations say that sports betting promotions will be “full, accurate, concise, transparent and shall not contain misleading information.” The terms “free” or “risk-free” are banned.

“I know New Jersey has been active in trying to encourage the industry to move forward in that regard and respect standards,” Brooks said. “That way, you can achieve the best of both worlds: You’re not so regulated that you can’t operate, but by the same token, you’re respectful of responsible gaming.”

Advertising to the 18+ Community

Kentucky is in a fairly unique position. It’s one of the few states in the country that will allow 18-year-olds to bet on sports. It will be the largest such US jurisdiction to allow that — by far.

“From a policy perspective, I would be agnostic to it,” Brooks said. “The only thing you have to be careful or is there’s a difference between 18 and 21. (At 18), you’re going to be a little more aggressive, you’ll take chances.”

Brooks explained that he doesn’t recall seeing any sort of advertising directed at those under the age of 21 in those select states where 18 is the legal age limit. And Kentucky residents can expect the same.

The emergency regulations state that “a licensee shall not advertise or market at elementary, middle or high school activities.”

In other words, don’t expect to show up to your son or daughter’s high school basketball game and see any sort of BetMGM Kentucky Sportsbook advertisement.

Why Kentucky’s Self-Exclusion List Is So Important

Kentucky regulations say that the state will have self-exclusion lists for individuals looking to voluntarily ban themselves from wagering. It’s common in states that offer any sort of legalized gambling, whether that’s sports betting or casino wagering.

Regulations state that each operator licensee will create a commission-approved self-exclusion list.

Brooks said that way of operation is common.

“The operator will maintain a list of people who made that election,” he explained. “They click to exclude and then they maintain that. Then they’ll share it, typically with the regulator. They’ll reconcile the regulator’s list with their own list to make sure it’s up-to-date and compliant with regulations.”

Brooks did stress, however, the importance of these operator self-exclusion lists. Brooks has seen instances where bettors will self-exclude in one state but then cross state lines and bet in another jurisdiction.

“If I open an account in Kentucky, Kentucky has a lot of bordering states (with sports betting). If I cross state lines, now I’m over in (Ohio) and I want to access my account,” he said. “Assuming I’ve opened up an Ohio account and I’m located there, then I can use my wallet and my account. Those are all things that you need to engineer and get the regulators to sign off on to make sure there aren’t any blips in it. From an exclusionary perspective, if they are excluded in one state, you’ve got to make sure they don’t go to another state and gamble there.”

Processing Payments Requires Great Technical Work

It’s a given, but Brooks pointed out that in his experience, he’s seen the importance of precise engineering when it comes to processing payments.

Customers don’t think about it, but when a bet is placed, there are many hoops to jump through, even with most of it happening within the state the bettor resides.

“The issue you have with payment processing is the data has to cross state lines,” Brooks said. “Despite the fact that it’s an intrastate wagering situation – I’m in Kentucky, I’m placing my bet and the servers are in Kentucky, it’s being processed in Kentucky – but as soon as I give my credit card information, all that data crosses state lines.”

About the Author
Carson Mundy

Carson Mundy

Brand Content Manager
Carson Mundy is the brand content manager of Gaming Today. With a background in politics, sports, and SEO, he covers the legislative side of the sports betting industry. Carson has more than a decade of experience in the media and marketing industries, with time spent at resulta, The Canadian Press, Microsoft News, The Canadian Olympic Media Broadcast Consortium, Sportsnet, and other national outlets.

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