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Major Sports Leagues and Broadcasters Form Responsible Advertising Coalition

Published: June 19, 2023

In a move meant to ensure that the sports betting advertising that is now a regular presence on sports broadcasts remains responsible, many of the major sports leagues and several large national broadcasters have voluntarily agreed to form a new consumer protection coalition.

With representatives from the NFL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, WNBA, NHL, NBCUniversal, and FOX, the coalition brings together the biggest names in professional sports, ranging from pro football to women’s basketball to national broadcasters and everything in between. 

All the members of the coalition agree to create and maintain policies that promote consumer protections and responsible practices when it comes to sports betting advertising, according to a press release from the group. Those policies will uphold a set of six principles that have been agreed to by coalition members, which the press release listed as:

  • Sports betting should be marketed only to adults of legal betting age.
  • Sports betting advertising should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling or degrade the consumer experience.
  • Sports betting advertisements 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.

How each member of the coalition will implement those principles remains to be seen, and with so many different coalition members across an array of sports throughout the country, each league and broadcaster will have their own policy version. But the agreement among the members that sports betting advertising should be subject to responsible guidelines is a significant step. 

“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,” the coalition said in a statement. “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.”

Sports betting regulators in Ohio have taken a firm hand with sports betting advertising, as Before You Bet has previously highlighted. In addition to levying fines against sportsbooks that target advertising toward young people, the state has worked to ensure that every sports betting ad includes a gambling helpline phone number. 

Even with those efforts, however, the reach of sports betting advertising in the state is vast. That’s why it’s so important to also ensure that responsible gambling messages are heard in our state, and Before You Bet has created a sub-campaign called Pause Before You Play to help do so. The campaign includes a shareable PSA, printable fliers, and many more shareable resources. Visit the Pause Before You Play page to find those resources and more you can do to raise awareness about responsible gambling in your Ohio community. 

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