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8/25/20  3:39 pm
Commenter: DraftKings

DraftKings Comments on 11 VAC 5-80 Sports Betting Consumer Protection Program (Sections 120-150)

DraftKings Comments on 11 VAC 5-80 Sports Betting Consumer Protection Program (Sections 120-150)

PLEASE NOTE text in underlined bold denotes an insertion and text between [brackets] denotes a deletion.

11 VAC 5-80-120         Protections for at-risk or problem bettors

A. In accordance with chapter 60 of this subtitle sports bettors have the right to self-exclude from and to self-impose restrictions on their participation in sports betting in the Commonwealth. Sports bettors may self-exclude through the voluntary exclusion program as provided in § 58.1-4015.1 or directly with a permit holder. In addition to participation in the voluntary exclusion program as provided in § 58.1-4015.1, a permit holder shall honor requests from a sports bettor to self-exclude from all sports betting activities, to set deposit limits, to set limits on the sports bettor’s total betting activity, or to limit participation to bets below an established limit on a platform owned by the permit holder.

DraftKings respectfully requests clarification on what limit the Department intends for permit holders to offer bettors when it states in the above requirement, “to set limits on the sports bettor’s total activity.” We interpret this to be a “spend” limit, which is a standard feature on our platform that allows players to set a limit on the amount of money they wish to spend while playing, which is different than a deposit limit, which we also offer.

B. 1. Opportunities to self-exclude from or to set self-imposed limits on [any] each permit holder’s sports betting platform used by that sports bettor to make deposits into a segregated account;

DraftKings respectfully requests the above modification to clarify that each individual permit holder is responsible for providing consumers with self-imposed betting limits and exclusions. While a master self-exclusion list run through the lottery is an effective way to control bettors who need a prolonged break from all sports betting, there is no way to effectively implement a master list of betting limits to share between platforms that would be responsive to customer needs, while fulfilling the consumer protection objectives of these regulations. Therefore, we respectfully request the above modifications in order to stipulate that each permit holder is responsible for implementing an individual’s limits and exclusions set by that individual on its platform.

[B. 2. Options to set pop-up warnings concerning excessive sports betting activity: and]

DraftKings respectfully suggests deleting this requirement as the term “excessive” is ambiguous and would be difficult for operators to comply with. Further, permit holders are required to provide different types of limit options outlined in 11 VAC 5-80-120(A). Finally, per our comments with suggested edits to 11 VAC 5-80-90(A)((2), there are requirements in place that ensure a bettor is aware of the time spent on an operator’s platform.

B. 3.Options to implement [permit holder-enforced]limits and timeouts (e.g. cooling off periods). Sports bettors shall have the option to adjust self-imposed limits to make them more restrictive as often as they like but shall not have the option to make limits less restrictive [within 90 days of setting such limits.] before such limit expires.

DraftKings respectfully requests this change to create greater consistency across the proposed regulations. While allowing consumers to self-restrict is extremely important, not allowing them to reduce the self-selected time of restriction just as important and setting a specific time to make changes may conflict with the self-selected time out. For example, DraftKings provides individuals the opportunity to set daily, weekly and monthly limits, and individuals are not able to remove or make the limit less restrictive unless the initial limit has expired. Additionally, an individual must take affirmative action for this limit to be removed or become less restrictive, so a daily limit could, in theory, stay active on an individual’s account the entire duration their account is open with DraftKings.

C. A permit holder shall not directly market sports betting by mail, phone, email, or social media or by knowingly directing any form of individually targeted advertisement or marketing material to a sports bettor if the sports bettor is self-excluded or otherwise barred from participating in sports betting.

DraftKings respectfully requests this change to reflect the operational realities of social media. Social media advertising and presence, especially in a state with a direct mobile market, is an important tool to bring players into the legal market. While platforms can ensure consumers on the self-excluded list are not specifically targeted by coordinated advertising campaigns, operators have less control over whether consumers interact with or are exposed to social media organically. This slight change removes overly burdensome requirements from operators’ business practices, while promising safety for consumers who have opted to exclude themselves from gaming activity.

G. A permit holder shall provide a conspicuously available link on its responsible gaming page to the Department’s responsible gaming page that details information [develop and prominently publish procedures] for honoring requests made by third parties to exclude or set limits for sports bettors. Such procedures shall include provisions for honoring requests to exclude sports bettors for whom the requester provides documentary evidence of sole or joint financial responsibility for the source of any funds wagered on sports betting on [a] any platform owned by [the] a permit holder, including:

DraftKings respectfully requests the above modification to allow the Department to administer this program and manage such requests. Given the high bar needed to exclude a third party it’s appropriate that this action be done on the statewide basis rather than on an operator by operator basis. Permit holders should provide links to and text on information related to the third-party exclusion process, as administered by the Department. If a requester has documentary evidence of sole or joint financial responsibility and raises concerns over the related-individual’s sports betting, this is something that is likely best handled after the Department can validate and honor the requester’s request, place the related-individual on the state-wide exclusion list, and operators will then add these individuals to its exclusion database upon receipt of the list from the Department.

11 VAC 5-80-140         Promotional Offers

A. A permit holder shall fully and accurately disclose the material terms of all promotional offers involving sports betting at the time any such offer is advertised and provide full disclosure of the terms of and limitations on the offer before the sports bettor provides anything of value in exchange for the offer. If the material terms of a promotional offer cannot be fully and accurately disclosed within the constraints of a particular advertising medium[, such as on a billboard, the promotional offer may not be advertised in that medium] the material terms and conditions shall be accessed by hyperlink that takes the individual directly to the material terms or directs the individual to the site to access the offer or bonus terms and in reasonably prominent size.

DraftKings respectfully requests the above modifications to allow individuals to access material terms of all promotional offers as easily as practical. Specifically, our requested changes would allow a permit holder to provide an individual that sees a promotional offer, for example on a billboard, and the billboard directs the individual to a page on the permit holder’s website to receive that promotional offer, if the material terms of the promotional offer did not fit on the billboard, they must be prominently displayed on the permit holder’s directed landing page or provide a link that takes the individual directly to the material terms.

[B. No promotional offer available to a sports bettor who sets up a new user account may contain terms that delay full implementation of the offer by the permit holder for a period of longer than 90 days, regardless of the number or amount of wagers in that period by the sports bettor.]

DraftKings respectfully suggests removal of this proposed regulation to provide additional flexibility to consumers, as well as operators. A consumer’s ability to complete a deposit bonus should not be required to be completed within a specific timeframe. Allowing a consumer to spread out wagering activity over an extended period of time should be at the discretion of the operator, as there may be individuals that register for a sports betting account to wager on the Super Bowl and do not bet again until the following National Football League season.

11 VAC 5-80-150         Advertising in General

B. An advertisement for sports betting may not [depict] feature: 1. Minors, other than professional athletes who may be minors; 2. Students; 3. Primary or secondary [S]schools or Virginia colleges; or 4. Primary or secondary [S]school [or college] athletic associations.

DraftKings respectfully requests modification of this provision to permit incidental depiction of minors or educational campuses, for example in a video of a crowd or a shot of a city skyline. As to the prohibition on depicting colleges or college athletic associations, we note that Virginia’s law and regulations only prohibit wagering on contests that feature colleges from the Commonwealth, but allows for bets on the results of other college sporting events. Wager options in Virginia will include college sports, and advertising should be able to reflect the full scope of wager options in order to draw bettors to the legal market.

CommentID: 84233