July 5, 2023 3 min read

likes:

Massachusetts Mandates Age Warning on Stadium Sportsbook Logos

The new rule, the first of its kind in the United States, aims to ensure that individuals under the age of 21 are not exposed to betting marketing efforts.

In a groundbreaking move aimed at protecting minors from the influence of sports betting, Massachusetts regulators voted on June 29 to require sportsbooks operating within the state to incorporate age warnings on their logos displayed inside sports venues. 

New Regulation in Massachusetts Requires 21+ Warning on Sportsbook Logos in Arenas

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approved the policy change in a close vote of 3-2, after several months of extensive deliberations and public feedback. Under the new regulation, sportsbook operators will be given a 90-day grace period to comply with the requirement once it is officially published.

The mandate primarily targets standalone logos for sportsbooks in sports arenas, where minors are more likely to come across such branding. Popular venues like Boston’s Fenway Park will now be required to prominently display the age restriction warning to all spectators.

Sportsbook advertisements in Massachusetts already carry a disclaimer stipulating that individuals must be at least 21 years old to participate in sports betting. The newly passed change extends this requirement to standalone logos displayed at sports arenas. To comply with the new rule, sportsbook operators can simply add a clear “21+” label to their logos.

However, the mandate comes with certain limitations. It applies solely to fixed signage within sports arenas and does not encompass logos featured on apparel, letterhead, or business cards. Additionally, it does not extend to other public displays of a sportsbook’s logo, making the focus strictly on sports venue advertisements.

Massachusetts Sportsbook Logo Rule Puts Fanatics in a Bind

Among the companies significantly affected by this rule change is Fanatics, a well-known brand that utilizes the same logo for both its sportsbook and apparel business. To conform to the regulation, Fanatics will either need to design a separate logo exclusively for its sportsbook or add a “21+” disclaimer to all instances of its logo within stadiums if it chooses to maintain a unified brand image across all its products.

The commission’s decision to implement this new requirement garnered support from Commissioners Eileen O’Brien, Nakisha Skinner, and Jordan Maynard. However, Chair Cathy Judd-Stein and Commissioner Bradford R. Hill opposed the move. Judd-Stein expressed concerns about the potential effectiveness of the rule in deterring young people from engaging in sports betting and emphasized that Massachusetts is diverging from the approaches adopted by other states.

Nevertheless, the majority prevailed, with the commission emphasizing its commitment to protecting vulnerable age groups from exposure to gambling-related marketing in the sports arena. The move is expected to set a precedent for other states to follow suit in prioritizing the safeguarding of minors amidst the growing popularity of sports betting across the country.

The MGC keeps striving to make gambling safer in the state with various initiatives. In April, it announced plans to involve sportsbooks in providing data to support research on gambling addiction and responsible gambling, while in March it introduced a voluntary self-exclusion program.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *