- Pennsylvania residents saw online gambling ads during Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
- Indiana sportsbooks have been advertising locally as well.
- European markets banned sports betting ads in the past.
INDIANAPOLIS – With the continued popularity of legal sports betting and the increased competition in the market, more and more sports betting advertisements are starting to pop up.
Commercials for sportsbooks are being advertised online and on TV in legal markets, showing a growing trend in the sports betting arena.
Looking at how advertisements were barred completely in European markets like Italy, we can see how the impact of legal sports betting ads in the US can be affected.
Problem Gambling And Advertising
Recently, during an episode of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ in Pennsylvania, residents saw advertisements for popular sportsbooks in the state. This has led to outrage from anti-gambling advocates in the area.
Thank you @starscasino @FanDuel and @Betfair for airing back to back to back commercials this morning during Sabrina The Teenage Witch on @Phl17 in Philadelphia.
Great job targeting adolescents with online gambling promotions.#Disgraceful
Ethical Gambling Reform is coming.
— HJLExplorer (@HJLExplorer) March 13, 2021
FanDuel quickly responded, declaring that the ad-buy they purchased was not intended to run during a children’s show and that they do not market to children or teenagers.
The negative press surrounding this ad is part of a bigger conversation that sportsbooks that want to advertise are running into. What is the balance between advertising and exploiting?
Sports betting and other forms of gambling have a negative stigma towards it by many due to the simple fact that people can become addicted.
This is why many legal sports betting markets have to donate money to problem gambling efforts, why sportsbooks have to include the national helpline for gambling addicts, and why legislators set the legal sports betting age to 21 in most states.
As sports betting continues to become more popular and more money begins coming in from the practice, sportsbooks need to maintain the balance to avoid drastic federal or local legislation against gambling ads.
Still, sportsbooks continue to spend millions on advertisements as sports betting grows in popularity. This includes partnering with professional sports teams, TV ads, and online marketing campaigns.
With this being Problem Gambling Awareness Month, while also being the month that March Madness betting occurs, the balance is more important than ever.
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Problem gambling can negatively impact mental health, relationships, and finances.
— NBA (@NBA) March 16, 2021
The Effects Of Gambling Ads In Other Markets
At a point in European markets, sports betting ads became a major topic of discussion. Popular football clubs would have their logos stitched on teams’ jerseys and be visible during games.
Eventually, anti-gambling advocates forced the local governments’ hands, and sports betting partnerships were banned altogether.
La Liga restarted in 2020 with no logos allowed on Jersey’s, the UK began having more strict rules on social media advertisements, and Italy completely banned all sportsbook advertisements and sponsorships entirely on a federal level.
Sports betting operations in the US want to avoid such a drastic response, so keeping anti-gambling groups happy is important.
The airing of the sports betting ads during ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ should be used as a warning to sportsbooks, as this could easily snowball into a bigger issue.
While sports betting continues to expand in the US, and ad dollars continue to promote sportsbooks, maintaining the balance will continue to be an important step.
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Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.