The formation of the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising, a voluntary association of sports leagues and media entities committed to doing their part to help ensure a responsible approach to sports betting advertising, was announced Wednesday.
Consisting of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, National Basketball Association, Women's National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, NBCUniversal and FOX, the coalition has committed to implement and maintain consumer protection policies consistent with the following six principles:
• 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
Joint statement from the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising: "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."
Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising principles:
1. Sports betting should be marketed only to adults of legal betting age
The content of sports betting advertising, marketing and promotion should primarily appeal to individuals of legal betting age, and sports betting should never be endorsed or otherwise promoted by any person who is, or appears to be, below such legal age.
Sports betting promotional materials should (i) only appear in media where a significant majority of the audience is reasonably expected to be of legal betting age and (ii) never primarily appeal to children in content or theme.
2. Sports betting advertising should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling or degrade the consumer experience
Sports betting advertisements should always contain a clear, prominent, responsible gaming message, including information on responsible gambling resources, and never be directed to individuals known by the advertiser to be self-excluded. Gambling advertising, promotion and other integrations that encourage irresponsible gambling or degrade the consumer experience (e.g., by appearing excessively) should also be avoided.
3. Sports betting advertisements should not be misleading
Sports betting advertisements should never be false, deceptive or misleading. For example, sports betting advertisements and marketing should not promote unrealistic expectations of financial gain, or suggest that social, financial or personal success is guaranteed by engaging in sports betting. Nor should any such messaging state or imply that a bet is without risk if the customer must incur any loss, or risk the customer’s own money, to use or withdraw winnings from such bet.
4. Sports betting advertisements should be in good taste
Sports betting advertisements should (i) adhere to contemporary standards of good taste applicable to all commercial messaging, taking into consideration the applicable medium and advertising context and (ii) never undermine public perception of sports or their integrity.
5. Publishers should have appropriate internal reviews of sports betting advertising
Publishers showing sports betting advertising should (i) provide appropriate training to their relevant employees regarding responsible sports betting advertising policies and (ii) implement internal processes to ensure compliance with such policies. To the extent possible, such processes should include a separate review of advertising and marketing materials by company employees outside the marketing and sponsorship departments.
6. Publishers should review consumer complaints pertaining to sports betting advertising
Publishers showing sports betting advertising should develop and implement a process to review consumer complaints pertaining to that advertising.
Coalition of Responsible Sports Betting Advertising quotes
National Football League
David Highhill, general manager, sports betting
"We’re proud to join these prominent sports industry stakeholders in this important effort. Legalized sports betting offers fans another way to engage with their favorite sports, but just as we must support problem gambling prevention and resourcing, we must also remain mindful of how sports betting is presented and advertised to consumers, and this coalition should greatly aid in that cause."
Major League Baseball
Kenny Gersh, executive vice president, media & business development
"Forming this coalition with fellow leaders in sports and entertainment is another important step for our industry as legal sports betting continues to grow. While providing new fan engagement opportunities to enjoy our sport in more ways, we have to continue to be mindful and deliberate with how these sports betting options are presented and to whom they’re directed. Layering this coalition’s work in the advertising arena on top of our efforts to promote responsible gambling and address problem gambling challenges will lead to more thoughtful planning and implementation across the board.”
Major League Soccer
Chris Schlosser, senior vice president, emerging ventures
“As betting on soccer continues to have a strong presence around the world, it becomes increasingly imperative to educate the fans about responsible gambling. A big part of this is how sports betting is marketed and promoted. That’s why we are committed to joining this important coalition of leaders in the sports industry. This is an opportunity to work together to implement guardrails and ensure that sports betting advertising is done appropriately and thoughtfully.”
Joe Solosky, NASCAR managing director of sports betting
“As the number of fans engaging with our sport continues to grow through the legalization of sports betting and gaming, it is critical that we play a meaningful role as a coalition member to ensure the availability to bet on sports is presented to fans in an appropriate and responsible manner. Moving forward in this space, responsible sports betting advertising will join responsible betting education as the two pillars that make up the foundation of our gaming strategy.”
National Basketball Association, Women's National Basketball Association
Scott Kaufman-Ross, head of gaming and new business ventures, NBA and WNBA
“The NBA and the WNBA are proud to join this coalition of industry leaders dedicated to prioritizing and standardizing responsible sports betting advertising. These fundamental efforts will contribute to creating a safe, entertaining and sustainable market for sports fans to engage with legalized sports betting.”
National Hockey League
Keith Wachtel, NHL chief business officer
“As more sports fans have the opportunity to legally and responsibly bet in their home states, the fan experience continues to be one of our utmost priorities. We are proud to be part of this coalition of leagues and media entities to publicly state our ongoing commitment -- with our partners -- to promoting responsible advertising for sports betting.”
Mike Mulvihill, executive vice president, head of strategy and analytics, FOX Sports
“FOX and FOX Sports are proud to be charter members of this broad and important coalition. As America’s leader in live sports, we are committed to providing fans a responsible and ethical engagement with sports betting, keeping the integrity of the games and our broadcasts at the forefront at all times.”