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H.R. 967: Betting on Our Future Act

This would make it harder to discover such real sports bets as which color the winning team’s Gatorade shower will be.


In 2018, the Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports betting. The court struck down a 1992 federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as unconstitutional, which had largely outlawed the practice.

Authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the 6–3 decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association opened the floodgates. Just in the five years since then, more than half of all states have legalized some form of sports betting. (Although numerous differences still exist between states, such as whether betting on in-state teams or on college teams is allowed.)

Even if you’ve never placed a sports bet yourself, you’ve probably seen some of the biggest sports betting companies’ ads. DraftKings ads have featured Kevin Hart, Ludacris, and Tony Hawk; Caesars Sportsbook ads have featured Peyton Manning and Halle Berry; and BetMGM ads have featured Jamie Foxx and Wayne Gretzky.

What the bill does

The Betting on our Future Act would ban most advertising for sports betting.

Specifically, it would ban such advertising from any medium regulated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), including television, radio, and the internet. Such ads would still be allowed in certain other forms of media not regulated by the FCC, such as print newspapers, magazines, or ads on public transportation.

The bill was introduced in the House on February 9, as H.R. 967, by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY20).

What supporters say

Supporters argue that sports betting ads should be banned for much the same reasons as television and radio ads for cigarettes have been banned for 53 years: that they run the risk of hooking children and teenagers to a dangerous vice. The cigarette ad ban is a relatively noncontroversial policy that few are angling to overturn.

“This Sunday, millions of families across the U.S. will tune in to watch the Super Bowl,” Rep. Tonko said in an early February press release. “Between the plays, the halftime show, and the excitement, tens of millions will be bombarded by ad after ad from DraftKings, FanDuel, and others promising so-called ‘risk free’ or ‘no sweat’ bets in their ruthless pursuit to get new customers hooked on their products.”

“In the years since the Supreme Court legalized sports betting, these unfettered advertisements have run rampant, with betting companies shelling out billions to ensure they reach every screen across America,” Rep. Tonko continued. “These ads pose a particularly dangerous threat to adolescents and young adults unaware of the risks involved in gambling, and to individuals prone to addiction.”

What opponents say

Opponents counter that, like for alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s, bans often prove ineffective and drive an activity underground instead. Opponents also note that regulations are already in place for sports betting itself, if not for the advertising — such as age minimums.

“Any such effort only serves to reduce awareness for legal options, to the benefit of illegal offshore operators and the detriment of consumers and communities,” American Gaming Association’s Senior Vice President Chris Cylke said in a statement. “Congress should instead focus its attention on combatting the predatory and pervasive offshore illegal market that offers no responsible gaming measures, age verification, or problem gambling resources.”

“This is just another example of overreach by the federal government on an issue that [the Supreme Court] said is a states’ rights issue,” B Global managing partner Brendan Bussmann told Sports Handle. “This is a government that can’t pass a budget, can’t figure out a border, let alone can’t figure out what’s flying over its airspace, and they think they can regulate sports betting advertising? Give me a break.”

Odds of passage

The bill has not yet attracted any cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Last updated Mar 22, 2023. View all GovTrack summaries.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 27, 2023.

Betting on Our Future Act

This bill prohibits certain advertising of sports betting. Specifically, it makes it unlawful to advertise sportsbooks (persons engaged in the business of taking sports bets or wagers and paying out winnings) using a medium of electronic communication that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.