Betting Ads: Industry Weighs How Much is Too Much?
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N.J. (AP) If youve turned on a television
in the last three years, chances are youve been
inundated with advertisements for sports betting,
and not only during game broadcasts.
featuring an emperor addressing the masses, a woman
urging bettors to make it rain and companies
enticing gamblers with the chance to turn a few dollars
into a fortune are blanketing the airwaves. Concern
is starting to grow over how much is too much.
the SBC Summit North America, a major international
sports betting conference being held this week in
northern New Jersey, industry players are voicing
concern about possible backlash they fear could lead
to harsh government restrictions on such advertising,
like what has happened in Europe.
Miller, president of the American Gaming Association
the gambling industrys national trade
association called the current level of sports
betting ads an unsustainable arms race.
it annoying? he asked. Is it too much?
It is an unsustainable thing.
and others warned that if the U.S. sports betting
industry does not restrain itself, it could fall victim
to the same sort of government regulations that an
orgy of sports betting ads prompted in Europe.
the U.K., teams are subject to a whistle-to-whistle
ban on sports betting ads appearing during the broadcast
of their games. Italy has banned all gambling ads
since 2019, and Spain prohibits sportsbooks from advertising
on players jerseys or appearing as part of stadium
names. It also restricts broadcast ads for any other
forms of gambling to the hours between 1 and 5 a.m.
far, the U.S. has not imposed such regulations on
sports betting ads. And many in the industry want
to keep it that way.
Fernandez, vice president of business development
and ventures for the New York Jets, said the industry
and its professional sports partners need to
make sure we dont have to go to a whistle-to-whistle
ban like what happens in the U.K.
Asher, president of sports betting for the gambling
technology company IGT, also warned of a backlash
on the advertising going on today, and the excessive
amount of it going on.
not something that lends itself to self-regulation,
said Asher, also the former CEO of gambling company
William Hill. I do worry about when we get to
Jets, like most other pro sports teams, heavily promote
their numerous sports betting partners during games,
including logos on the building, scoreboard mentions
and ads for an in-stadium sports betting lounge.
of the most frequent advertisers is Caesars Entertainment,
whose ads featuring an actor playing Caesar seem to
be everywhere. At Thursdays conference, Ken
Fuchs, senior vice president of sports for Caesars
Digital, echoed the caution that the industry says
it has regarding advertising.
do have to draw lessons from the U.K.: you have to
self-regulate, he said. Its about
how does a customer interact with Caesars as a brand.
Its not about shouting at people: Free
money! Free money! Free money! Thats what
wears people down.
Avello, director of race and sports book operations
for DraftKings, said his companys current level
of advertising is working as planned.
was at the (train) terminal in Hoboken yesterday and
I saw DraftKings on every kiosk and every wall,
he said. And I think its effective. It
said advertising is needed to attract new customers
and hold onto existing ones.
have taken a focused view by listening to what our
bettors want and reaching them where they are,
said Kyle Christensen, the companys chief marketing
officer. We have a philosophy not to spend irrationally
but be aggressive and disciplined. It has served us
well, made our users happy, and will continue to be
our perspective as we look at future advertising budgets.
Thursday, PointsBet debuted two new ads featuring
recently retired New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew
Brees telling people how to live their bet life.
Thursday night, the NFL was set to debut a responsible
betting ad during the Dallas Cowboys-New Orleans Saints
game, urging people to only bet what you can
and BetMGM, two other major advertisers, declined
comment. FanDuel became the official provider of sports
lines and betting odds for The Associated Press in
a commercial agreement starting in April 2021.
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