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Sports MarketingJUN 2023|Mark Bett

Sports Betting Ads and What Makes them Work

Sports betting advertising, or sports bets ads, has been on the rise ever since the Supreme Court opened the door for legalized sports betting in several US states. The exciting world of sports betting has captured the attention of millions of fans, but with this surge in popularity comes a growing concern about the impact of sports betting ads on society. In this exploration of sports betting ads, we will delve into the strategies employed by companies, discuss the effects on vulnerable populations, and examine the role of regulations and the American Gaming Association in addressing these concerns.

Short Summary
  • Sports betting advertising has increased following the Supreme Court decision to overturn PASPA in 2018.
  • Advertising strategies employed by sports betting companies have raised ethical concerns about targeting vulnerable audiences and potential for problem gambling.
  • Regulation of sports betting ads is necessary to protect vulnerable populations, with calls for stricter regulations in the US and international initiatives already established.

The Rise of Sports Betting Advertising

The sports betting industry has experienced rapid growth following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports betting in many states, leading to a surge in advertising. This newfound legality has opened the floodgates for gambling advertising, as companies race to capture the attention of sports fans and potential bettors.

The question remains, however, what is the impact of these ads on society? Are we creating a new generation of problem gamblers, or are we merely giving people a new way to enjoy their favorite sports?

Supreme Court Decision

In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, paving the way for legalized sports betting in the US. This decision enabled states to make their own choices regarding the legality of sports betting, affecting various sports leagues.

With this newfound freedom, companies have eagerly entered the sports betting market, investing heavily in advertising campaigns to capture the attention of potential customers.

Influx of Sports Betting Ads

The legalization of sports betting has led to an influx of advertising, with companies spending large amounts to promote their services. FanDuel, MGM, and Caesars are among the industry leaders that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in sports betting advertising, targeting sports fans, including those who follow Major League Baseball.

Sports betting advertisements often appear alongside sports gambling ads for other products, such as slot machines, contributing to the saturation of gambling-related content in our media landscape.

Strategies Used by Sports Betting Companies

Sports betting companies use various strategies to attract customers, including “risk-free” bets, promotions, and celebrity endorsements. These tactics are designed to entice potential bettors and keep existing customers engaged, but they also raise concerns about the ethics of targeting vulnerable audiences and the potential for problem gambling.

The use of these strategies has been criticized for preying on vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities.

"Risk-Free" Bets and Promotions

Companies offer attractive promotions such as “risk-free” bets to attract new customers, but these may not be as risk-free as they seem. While these offers provide customers with an opportunity to place a wager without risking any of their own funds, refunds are typically paid out as free bets instead of cash.

This can lead to a cycle of continued casino gambling, with customers chasing losses and hoping for that elusive big win.

Celebrity Endorsements and Partnerships

Celebrity endorsements and partnerships are used to increase the credibility and visibility of sports betting brands. By partnering with famous athletes, musicians, and other renowned figures, companies hope to draw in more customers and create a sense of trust in their brand.

However, the use of celebrities in sports betting advertising can also contribute to the normalization of gambling and potentially influence the behavior of impressionable fans.

Regulation of Sports Betting Advertising

Regulation of sports betting advertising varies internationally, with some countries implementing stricter regulations than the US. For example, Italy and the UK have imposed restrictions on sports betting ads to protect vulnerable populations, while the US has limited federal oversight in this area.

As concerns about the impact of sports betting advertising continue to grow, there are increasing calls for stricter regulations in the US to protect vulnerable audiences and promote responsible gambling.

International Regulations

Countries like Italy and the UK have imposed restrictions on sports betting ads, while the US has limited federal oversight. These restrictions include:

  • Prohibiting ads from appearing in media outlets primarily aimed at children
  • Age restrictions for individuals featured in ads
  • Limitations on the times and channels for advertising

By implementing such regulations, countries can better protect vulnerable populations from the potential harms of sports betting advertising.

Calls for Stricter US Regulations

There are increasing calls for stricter regulations on sports betting advertising in the US to protect vulnerable populations. Some states have proposed more stringent regulations, such as prohibiting the targeting of minors and deceptive advertising, while others have implemented voluntary rules.

At present, there are no federal regulations on sports betting advertising, highlighting the need for a more unified approach to protect vulnerable audiences.

The Role of the American Gaming Association

The American Gaming Association (AGA) plays a role in promoting responsible gambling and industry self-regulation. By engaging with legislatures and regulators, the AGA aims to ensure that policy frameworks are structured to draw consumers and promote responsible gambling practices.

They have also established the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports wagering to set a high standard for advertising in the industry.

Responsible Gambling Initiatives

The AGA supports responsible gambling initiatives and provides resources for those struggling with gambling addiction. Through employee assistance and training, responsible gaming regulations and statutes guide, and significant contributions to responsible gaming research, the AGA demonstrates its commitment to promoting responsible gambling practices within the industry.

They also host the annual Responsible Gaming Education Week to further emphasize their dedication to responsible gambling.

Industry Self-Regulation

The AGA advocates for industry self-regulation, arguing that it is sufficient to address concerns related to sports betting advertising. By implementing a Responsible Gaming Initiative and promoting responsible gaming practices, the AGA ensures that the industry meets a high standard in advertising and protects vulnerable populations from potential harm.

However, the ongoing debate surrounding sports betting advertising regulations highlights the need for continued conversation and collaboration between stakeholders.

Online Sports Betting Apps and Advertising

Online sports betting apps and advertising are becoming increasingly popular, with companies utilizing various channels and techniques to promote their services. As more people turn to their smartphones and tablets to place bets, sports betting companies must adapt their advertising strategies to reach this growing audience. From targeted ads to retargeting, digital advertising techniques play a crucial role in the success of online sports betting companies.

These strategies must be tailored to the specific needs of the target audience, as well as the specific needs of the target audience.

Mobile Betting Platforms

Mobile betting platforms have become a popular way for users to place bets, leading to increased advertising efforts targeting mobile users. Some of the most widely-used mobile betting platforms include:

  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings
  • Caesars
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers

As people increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment and communication, sports betting companies must find new and innovative ways to reach potential customers on these platforms, including tapping into the growing interest in online gambling and developing a user-friendly sports betting app.

Best Channels to Advertise

Companies use various channels to advertise their sports betting services, including:

  • Social media
  • Search engines
  • TV channels that broadcast sports events
  • Sports websites

These channels have a wide reach of sports fans and can target specific audiences based on their interests.

By utilizing a variety of advertising channels, sports betting companies can maximize their reach and appeal to a diverse range of potential customers.

Digital Advertising Techniques

Digital advertising techniques, such as targeted ads and retargeting, are used to reach potential customers. By analyzing user behavior and trends, sports betting companies can create more effective advertising campaigns and tailor their messages to specific audiences.

Additionally, techniques like content marketing, influencer marketing, and social media marketing can help sports betting companies engage with their target audience and build lasting relationships.

Top Sports Betting Companies

In conclusion, top sports betting companies like:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • BetMGM
  • William Hill

Have been successful in capturing the attention of sports fans through a variety of advertising strategies. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as the rise of sports betting advertising has sparked a debate surrounding the need for stricter regulations and the potential impact on society.

As the sports betting industry continues to grow, stakeholders must work together to find a balance between advertising needs and the well-being of society.


Throughout this exploration of sports betting advertising, we have delved into the strategies employed by companies, the impact on society, and the role of regulations and the American Gaming Association. The rapid growth of sports betting advertising has generated both excitement and concern, with questions raised about the potential consequences for vulnerable populations and the need for stricter regulations. As the sports betting industry continues to evolve, it will be crucial for all stakeholders to collaborate and find a balance that protects vulnerable audiences while allowing for the continued growth and enjoyment of this popular pastime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run ads for gambling?

Ads for gambling are allowed in countries where online gambling is legal, and advertisers must request permission from Meta using a specific form. The approval will be limited to URLs listed in the permission, the ads must target approved countries, display information about responsible gambling, and never target minors.

Additionally, advertisers must follow all applicable laws and include targeting criteria consistent with Meta’s requirements.

What are the rules for gambling ads?

Gambling advertisements must not suggest success is guaranteed, encourage chasing losses or imply that betting is a solution to financial problems. All messages should make clear the associated risks of engaging in sports wagering.

Who is the actor in the DraftKings commercial?

Kevin Hart is the actor in the DraftKings commercial, appearing alongside other athletes like Emmitt Smith, David Ortiz and Lisa Leslie.

What impact does sports betting advertising have on society?

Sports betting advertising can have a negative impact on society, potentially leading to problem gambling and its associated issues.

However, it can also generate revenue and create new jobs.

What strategies do sports betting companies use to attract customers?

Sports betting companies employ various strategies such as risk-free bets, celebrity endorsements and advertising campaigns to attract customers. These strategies are designed to entice customers to bet more and increase their profits. They also use data analysis to identify trends and target specific customers.