To be or not to be: Massachusetts regulators to decide third-party affiliate marketing fate

March 29, 2023
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Debate regarding a January ban has prompted the state commission to make a final decision.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulators have been discussing whether to permit certain marketing arrangements throughout the state, according to a local report from The Eagle-Tribune. The Attorney General’s Office and the sports betting industry have been debating the issue of third-party affiliate marketing, which includes paying publishers and content website to attract consumers to sportsbook products.

The Gaming Commission issued a decision in January that prohibited sports betting companies from entering revenue sharing or cost-per-acquisition deal with third-party marketing affiliates “if the compensation is based on the number of people who sign up for an account or based on the number or amount of wagers placed because of those advertisements.”

The commission promulgated this on an emergency basis, according to the local report. However, regulators allowed for a waiver that delays this part of the regulation from taking full effect until the middle of next month. Since the initial decision, reactions on both sides of the debate have promoted the commission to consider making a final decision quickly.

Mina Makarious, an attorney at Anderson & Kreiger, told The Eagle-Tribune that sports teams have reached out to the Commission and asked for the restriction to be removed.

Makarious commented: “The operators, the broadcasters, entities like [iDevelopment and Economic Association], the teams, the sports teams who also commented on this like the Red Sox – basically everybody in the regulated industry side has advocated for removing this section either in its entirety or limiting it in different ways.

“The Attorney General’s Office has asked, in their comment letter initially and in the comments they provided yesterday, that this section be retained.”

The Commission is scheduled to make a final decision early next week.


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