The top US sports leagues have formed a new group called the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising to help shore up responsible gambling efforts and self-regulated advertising practices. Membership in the group is voluntary, but it doesn’t take a Goldman-Sacs analyst to tell you that this group is an attempt to self-regulate gambling advertising before lawmakers and gaming regulators do the same thing.
Membership in the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising includes the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, WNBA, and NASCAR (noticably absent from this group are the PGA and the NCAA). FOX and NBCUniversal are also members and Legal Sports Report reports that Fox and the NFL were the main forces behind the group’s formation.
The group is based on six key principles which include:
- 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 ads.
These principles are aimed at protecting consumers from the perils of problem gambling, but are also aimed at protecting sports betting operators from lawmakers who are chomping at the bit for more regulation of gambling ads.
The new coalition’s worldview was summed up by a nameless spokesperson in a recent press release saying, “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.”
Membership in the group is voluntary and it won’t be surprising to see other sports leagues join at some point.