Congressman Seeks Removal of Sports Betting Ads from Television

In the years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling, the unanswered question has been whether the federal government would seek to regulate the sports betting industry. On Thursday, a seasoned legislator called for a clampdown on sportsbook advertising.

US Rep. Paul Tonko, D-NY, said in a statement that Washington must take action as sports betting ads entice people – particularly children and young adults – into a potentially addictive habit. He consequently presented the Betting on Our Future Act.

Under the bill, Tonko wants “to prohibit the advertising of sportsbooks on any medium of electronic communication under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.” This would include television and radio commercials as well as online advertisements.

The lawmaker stated that the unrestrained, uncensored promotion of these websites needs to be reined in. “My legislation puts a stop to this dangerous practice and sends a powerful message to the online sports betting advertisers. Congress must take the necessary steps to contain an industry with the capability to cause real, widespread harm to the American people.”

Tonko drew inspiration from the federal law that bans cigarette advertising.

This is not the first gaming-related bill that Tonko has proposed. He previously worked closely with US Rep. Andy Barr