Economy

Democratic rep. sponsors bill to fight harmful sports betting

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(NewsNation) — A new bill targeting predatory gambling promotions hopes to protect against betting-related harm in the era of high-tech sports betting.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, a New York Democrat, is a co-sponsor of the bill. He joined “NewsNation Now” to discuss his legislation, saying it aims to make gambling safer “as a known addictive product.”

“I believe that we need to take this measure, which has three basic principles: affordability and artificial intelligence,” Tonko said. I think it’s important to have the standards and protections etched into law. Sportsbooks come and go. I think it’s important to know that the safety net of legislation that would be implemented and the follow-through is very important.”


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Among other things, the SAFE Bet Act would ban sportsbook advertising during live sporting events, ban language from sportsbook advertisements promoting “bonus” or “no sweat” bets and prohibit sportsbooks from accepting credit cards from customers seeking to make deposits.

“We need to make certain the sportsbooks take action. They have relied upon this responsible gaming model where the onus is placed upon the gambler, on the one who might have the addiction, the gambling addiction. We need to change that. We need to put the onus on sportsbooks,” Tonko said.

In the nearly six years since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal statute restricting regulated sports betting mostly to Nevada, legal betting markets have launched in 37 states. Since the ruling, American sportsbooks have taken more than $337 million in bets, according to ESPN.

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