NEW YORK — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Tuesday to expand its authority to block websites that broadcast illegal gambling and other forms of gambling.
The vote came after a lengthy public debate and is a result of a lawsuit filed by a group of sports betting owners and the sports networks that own their content.
The rules are expected to take effect in the coming weeks, but a draft version of the proposal had been expected for months.
This is the first time the FCC has expanded its authority since the repeal of the federal ban on sports betting in 2009.
That law, which banned sports betting, was struck down in federal court in 2015.
Before the new rules take effect, sites will need to demonstrate they are “properly operating within their lawful mission and jurisdiction,” the FCC said in a blog post.
If they fail to meet that criteria, the FCC will consider the site’s content or programming “rogue,” and they may be blocked.
The FCC also will require the sites to make the content available to the public in a way that’s “consistent with the public interest.”
The rules do not limit the amount of time that sites may remain on the air, and the FCC says they do not apply to sports programs.
“The commission believes that this new rule is necessary to prevent online gambling from becoming a major source of revenue for online gambling operators,” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said in the blog post, which was issued shortly after the vote.
In addition to blocking sites that are “roguing” sports, the rules also prohibit online gambling websites from using “spam, advertising, affiliate marketing, or any other techniques to generate revenue from gambling.”
In April, the FTC sued several sports betting operators, including the sports sites owned by the owners of ESPN, Fox Sports, and ESPN2.
The suit said the operators have been operating illegal gambling sites since 2009 and are in violation of the FTC’s anticompetitive anti-kickback law.
Last month, the Commission rejected an offer from two sports betting sites that would have created a new online gambling site.
The offer was made by SportsBetCo, a site owned by ESPN, and a separate site that was operated by a company called Roker.
The commission said the offer was “unsubstantiated and unproven.”
The move to broaden the FCC’s authority comes as the NFL has been grappling with a surge in popularity in the NFL’s pay-per-view (PPV) market, which saw the NFL earn more than $1 billion in revenue in 2015 and the first year of a new PPPTV model.
The league has been fighting back against critics who say the league is not paying its players enough, and is not being fair to its fans.
The NFL’s PPPs generate millions of dollars for the league and are popular among some fans.