BOSTON (SHNS) – Gaming regulators decided this week to allow a ban on certain sports betting marketing arrangements to take effect next month and made a number of tweaks to advertising regulations that had been sought by 

Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s office. The Gaming Commission on Monday finalized regulations that require sports betting companies to use “all available targeted controls to exclude all individuals under 21” from advertising and marketing on social media and connected TV platforms like Hulu or YouTube TV, ban operators from paying spokespeople to advise or encourage bettors to place a specific type or amount of wager, require that paid social media influencers and other endorsers disclose payments they get from betting companies, and require “clear and conspicuous” ways for people to opt out of direct advertising, marketing or promotional materials. 

Third-party affiliate marketing, in which a company pays content websites and publishers to drive customers to its product, got a lot of attention during Monday’s meeting. While Campbell’s office wanted to see the commission fully reinstate a prohibition on agreements “dependent on, or related to, the volume of patrons or wagers placed, or the outcome of wagers,” the commission instead adopted what members on Monday referred to as a compromise. When the advertising regulations take full effect on April 14, sports betting companies will not be allowed to enter into marketing agreements “in exchange for a percentage of net sports wagering revenue earned from users that the third party directs or causes to be directed to the Operator.”

“You would be prohibiting revenue sharing based on a percentage of revenue where it’s a particular user tied to a particular marketing affiliate. You would not ban general revenue sharing, a sort of rising-tide-lifts-all-boats kind of revenue sharing, or flat fee payments, in a sense,” Mina Makarious, an attorney at Anderson & Kreiger who has been working with the commission to write sports betting regulations, explained as he walked commissioners through the regulations on Monday.

The language was adopted unanimously, though Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said she was still concerned that it might keep smaller and less-established marketing affiliates like the one founded by Boston Celtics great Kevin Garnett from competing with larger entities.

Commission Nakisha Skinner said she had some of the same concerns, but thought the compromise language “strikes a good balance between the AG’s concerns and the operators’ concerns.”