NY to Explore Changes to Lottery Advertising

New York State is looking into putting restrictions on how lottery products are advertised to Empire State residents. Members of the New York State Gaming Commission are exploring whether to limit the use of the word “play” in advertising by lottery courier services. The change aims to protect players and eventually provoke opposition from the industry.

The suggested change would apply to lottery courier services in the Empire State, which are licensed businesses which are devoted to accepting orders and buying lottery tickets on behalf of a customer. Over the last few years, the services have gained popularity among locals, as access to smartphones and other devices made access to lottery tickets easier.

Reviewed This Week

New York State Gaming Commission’s newest proposal wants to protect local players, and it will be considered at this week’s meeting of the regulator on Monday, February 27, 2023. In the proposal, the regulator suggests adding limits on how the companies can advertise to protect customers as part of an effort to prevent false, deceptive, or misleading advertising by providers.

In its press, the regulator noted that there have been cases of a lottery courier service using heavy marketing around the word “play” in a connection with its courier service application. The commission’s intent is to have a courier service, instead, may promote its actual services such as fulfilling orders for the purchase of a lottery ticket from a licensed lottery sales agent and delivering tickets to the customer.

Brianne Doura, a former vice president of policy and strategic development with the National Council of Problem Gambling and now a consultant said the change could lead to confusion. In her expert opinion, the legislation could confuse people who are using said services as the terminology of ‘play the lottery’ is ubiquitous and any variation thereof could lead to confusion by the public.

In addition to that, she said that allowing transparency and truth in ads in courier services for lottery tickets would help avoid any confusion. She reckons that it would support the public that this activity even via a third-party agent does come with risks that they are knowingly agreeing to. However, it remains to be seen whether the legislation will pass.

Further Expansion in on the Cards

Over the last few years, the Empire State has upped its gambling scene as more and more options are available at hand. On top of its successful mobile sports betting market, currently, state legislators are now considering adding wagers on awards. Sen. Joe Addabbo shared the news in January and legislators review if the addition would require a change in the constitution.

But in addition to that, the state is also seeking major land-based expansion of casino offerings. At the start of the year, the Gaming Facility Location Board commenced the Request for Applications, for interested parties in one of the state’s full-scale commercial casino licenses. The panel and the NYSGC are expected to announce the three winners in late 2023.

Source: Reisman, Nick “Gambling regulators consider limiting use of ‘play’ in some lottery advertisingState of Politics, February 24, 2023