The push for responsible sports betting advertisements continues to be a pressing topic as seven professional sports leagues band together to further promote the topic.
The move is sure to impact how New York sportsbooks market their product, as well as the partnership deals currently in place with NY pro teams.
In late February, the New York State Gaming Commission unanimously voted to establish tighter laws on the types of advertising, marketing and promotions that NY sportsbooks are allowed to deliver. Before that, NY congressman Paul Tonko proposed a bill calling for the prohibition of sportsbook advertisements on TV, radio and the internet.
Now, the leagues that are most popularly wagered on have come together to call for responsible sports betting advertisements.
Seven pro sports leagues form responsible advertising coalition
In a Wednesday press release, it was announced that the NFL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, WNBA and NHL formed the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising. Both NBCUniversal and FOX broadcast many games and events involving those leagues and are also members of the coalition.
The group describes itself as “a voluntary association of sports leagues and media entities committed to doing their part to help ensure a responsible approach to sports betting advertising.”
Some goals of the coalition include implementing and maintaining consumer protection policies as they relate to these six principles:
- Sports betting should be marketed only to adults of legal betting age (21 and older in NY)
- Sports betting advertising should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling or degrade the consumer experience
- Sports betting advertising should not be misleading
- Sports betting advertisements should be in good taste
- Publishers should have appropriate internal reviews of sports betting advertising
- Publishers should review consumer complaints pertaining to sports betting advertising
The coalition also released this joint statement:
“As the legalization of sports betting spreads nationwide, we feel it is critical to establish guardrails around how sports betting should be advertised to consumers across the United States. Each member of the coalition feels a responsibility to ensure sports betting advertising is not only targeted to an appropriate audience, but also that the message is thoughtfully crafted and carefully delivered.”
This is a trailblazing move by each league involved in the coalition. Safe marketing is important in building a successful nationwide sports betting industry, and the formation of the coalition will help achieve that goal.
NBA agreement allows players to promote, invest in sportsbooks
The formation of the coalition comes on the heels of the newly agreed upon NBA collective bargaining agreement (CBA). According to the CBA, NBA players can now advertise and invest in sports betting companies.
NBA insider Shams Charania reported that sportsbook sponsors must have “complete separation from (the) gambling component.”
To this point, active players were prohibited from partnering with sportsbooks offering NBA markets. This is why retired players like Allen Iverson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have scored sportsbook advertising deals instead of the more popular athletes that currently dominate the hardwood.
Sports betting has proven to be a profitable venture for the states that have legalized it. Now, NBA players will get the opportunity to cash in on its popularity.
What impact will coalition, CBA have on the NY sports betting?
It’s clear that lawmakers and gaming regulators aren’t happy with the advertising efforts made by sportsbooks. As mentioned previously, the NYSGC voted to enact stricter regulations on New York’s sportsbooks.
The goal of the gaming commission’s new laws is to enhance the experience for all NY bettors, while putting NY responsible gaming on the forefront. Before the updated regulations can be officially established, they must go through a 60-day public comment period.
That period will end next week, and it seems likely they will be enacted. This is partially thanks to notable groups like the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising stepping up to make further progress on the topic.
Will NY athletes, teams face restrictions as sportsbook partners?
NBA players are now free to ink partnership deals with sportsbooks, following in the footsteps of the MLB which granted players similar freedom in their CBA agreement last year.
Earlier this year, MGM Resorts and the NFLPA struck a deal allowing active players to advertise with retail casinos. NHL players are also free to become sportsbook ambassadors — Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid is currently a spokesperson for BetMGM.
NY pro athletes will continue getting the opportunity to work with sports betting companies. But considering each of the leagues commitment to responsible advertising, it’s in the best interest of athletes and leagues to monitor the content of the advertising being released.
For NY’s teams, many sportsbook partnerships include signage throughout the team’s home field or arena. None of which seem to be in violation of the new laws proposed by the NYSGC, or the tenants laid out by the coalition.
One rule proposed by the NYSGC prohibits sportsbooks from targeting primarily underage persons. Considering people of all age groups attend NY sporting events, sportsbook signage around a stadium could be considered a violation of the new regulation, though it seems like a bit of a stretch.
However, the coalition’s principles to responsible advertising should put a watchful eye on how NY athletes and teams promote sportsbooks.