Home > Legal & compliance > Legal > FanDuel lobbied against New York rules on advertising near colleges

FanDuel lobbied against New York rules on advertising near colleges

| By Robert Fletcher
FanDuel Group lobbied against rules that prohibit advertising sports betting near colleges and universities in the state, according to unredacted documents released by the New York State registrar.
FanDuel New York betting

Updated rules on sports betting in New York were introduced in October. This came after the New York State registrar considered opinion from various licensees, including Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel.

The ban on betting adverts near education establishments is now in place. However, state registrar documents now show that FanDuel voiced its opposition to such a move.

New York Self Exclusion

Dated 18 October, the document said FanDuel objects to a ban on adverts in the “area of a college or university campus”. This, the document says, may be interpreted to “include unaffiliated residential and commercial areas that border a college or university campus”.

However, the New York State Gaming Commission disagreed. The regulator said adverts near colleges and universities could be regarded as an “objectionable marketing effort”. It added that prohibiting such ads would help prevent “predatory” marketing to underage persons. 

FanDuel opposed other New York advertising rules

This was not the only proposed rule that caught the attention of FanDuel. The operator also spoke out against a number of other measures put forward in October.

FanDuel called to remove a requirement for compulsive-play-assistance messaging in ads. It said such messages should only be required on its website and would take up “too much” space in adverts. The operator also said any alterations in New York would also mean it having to amend its marketing in other states.

In response, the Commission said such a requirement is “not inconsistent” with state law. It also said ads for betting in New York “should be regulated appropriately”.

FanDuel also spoke up against a measure that would make operators directly responsible for “false, deceptive or misleading” statements made by companies marketing their services.

However, the Commission defended its position. It said that operators should be able and willing to control “appropriately” the behaviour of affiliates promoting their offering.

Argument over website keywords dismissed

Other areas of concern for FanDuel included prohibiting the use of keywords that could attract problem gamblers. 

FanDuel said such a measure was “impractical” to enforce and would be the same as liquor stores not being able to advertise to people who may be alcoholics. The operator called for the measure to be removed or only applied to “known” problem gamblers.

Again, the Commission disagreed, saying licensees could take steps to remove certain words to limit the risk. It gave the example of not including phrases such as “problem gambling help” in website keywords that would cause those seeking help to click through to a betting site. 

“The proposed regulation would prohibit such misleading behaviour by licensees,” the Commission said. “Restricting the rule to “known” problem gamblers would not address the issue appropriately.”

Fantasy sport also an issue for FanDuel

A separate argument focused on daily fantasy sports and this being classed as sports betting. As part of this, the Commission was seeking to make operators strictly liable for allowing prohibited persons to enter its contests.

FanDuel objected to this, but the Commission held its ground. The regulator said that it is “appropriate” for licensees to take responsibility. However, the Commission also said it would evaluate each case individually based on its merits before making a decision on possible punishment.

Additional areas of concern included having an independent testing laboratory certify that a registrant’s platform performs in line with standard. FanDuel opposed the measure but the Commission says it is necessary to retain public confidence in the integrity of the system.

In addition, FanDuel suggested eliminating anti-money-laundering requirements entirely or for an annual compliance statement. However, the Commission rejected the appeal. 

FanDuel remains the market leader in New York


Publication of the document comes as FanDuel again took top spot in the New York online sports betting market.

FanDuel posted the highest handle and revenue total for November. It took $923.4m worth of online sports bets and posted $69.2m in revenue.

New York also processed a record number of online bets in November. Consumers spent $2.11bn betting on sports online during November, the highest amount ever bet in any US state in a single month.

Online revenue for the month reached $150.9m. This was 9.3% behind the record $166.3m set in October.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter