The Debate in The US Over Prohibiting Advertisements for Sports Betting Has Resurfaced

February 22, 2022

The value of the USA’s gambling industry increased significantly in the previous year. Bookmakers with international operations made tens of billions of dollars in revenue in 2020. On the other hand, they are facing the prospect of a potential ban on advertisements promoting sports betting.

One of the primary justifications for the prohibition cited by activists in the United States was an increase in the prevalence of online gambling. However, because a large number of people had stayed indoors over the previous year, a large number of Americans were looking for ways to have fun despite not going out much. In the last year alone, over 2,000 Americans have opened accounts at a variety of online casinos and sports betting sites.

However, there has long been a chorus of voices calling for the practice of advertising sports betting to be prohibited. In fact, over the last few years, the same activists have been demanding that all gambling-related advertisements be banned. According to the Alliance for Gambling Reform, there is still much work to be done to protect Americans from the “dangers of gambling.”

A Rise in Market Value

As of the beginning of 2021, the market value of sports betting operators such as Flutter Entertainment (the parent company of SportsBet) and Entain has been significantly increasing. Flutter was able to amass upwards of $30 billion in the last year, while Entain was able to amass $8 billion.

The increase in market value that Flutter has experienced is greater than the Northern Territory’s GDP. It is the owner of not only Sportsbet but also Paddy Power, Poker Stars, and Betfair. They have also had success in the US market, which has increased sales.

The Case Against Online Sportsbook Advertising

The Alliance for Gambling Reform’s efforts resulted in the prohibition of tobacco product advertising in the US. They are now preparing to do the same with sports betting advertisements. According to Tim Costello, the organization’s chief advocate, continuous gambling advertising that promotes “bonus bets” is to blame for the increase in gambling in America. Furthermore, he stated that many people would gamble away their savings from the previous year.

Costello observed that three out of every four American children will consider gambling to be a perfectly acceptable activity at some point in their lives. At the same time, he is capitalizing on the opportunity presented by the fact that the sports betting industry is currently embroiled in its controversy. Tom Waterhouse, the son of bookmaker Rob Waterhouse, is currently facing charges for violating New South Wales government advertising laws. These laws were enacted in response to claims that Tom Waterhouse had violated them.

Despite the sports betting industry’s rapid growth, Costello suggested that it be “put out of its misery” as soon as possible. However, it’s possible that he’s not the only one making a compelling case against sports betting advertising. Two of the most prominent sports teams in the state of New South Wales have expressed similar sentiments.

The teams have discussed the possibility of declining any sponsorships related to the gambling industry. Natalie Wright, Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, stated that the clubs’ intention to decline sports betting advertisements shows that they are taking a proactive role in looking out for their fans and the communities in which they are located.

The Case for Sports Betting Advertising

Members of the American gambling industry have stated that the country’s licensed wagering operators pay up to one billion dollars in taxes each year. These taxes included but were not limited to, point-of-consumption taxes, corporate taxes, payroll taxes, and the goods and services tax (GST). Furthermore, after traditional bookmakers stopped accepting customers and closed their doors, many have moved their operations online.

According to Brent Jackson of Responsible Wagering America, Costello and the Alliance for Gambling Reform’s efforts were nothing more than a self-serving attempt to mislead and demonize responsible gambling. In an interview with Responsible Wagering America, he made this claim. Despite this, Jackson stated that Costello had the right to his opposing viewpoint.

Jackson also claimed that, even though gambling is becoming more popular, the number of people with gambling problems has decreased. Furthermore, the number of complaints received about sports betting advertisements is at an all-time low. Furthermore, Jackson stated that Costello is focusing attention on a problem that does not exist.

This is exactly what the government is doing right now

The American Government is currently keeping an eye on the ongoing advertising reform that will take place in 2018. The government is keeping a close eye on the success of the reform that was implemented for advertising during live sporting events, according to Paul Fletcher, Minister of Federal Communications.

Advertisements for gambling-related products are currently permitted in America. They are, however, not permitted to be broadcast during specific periods. Commercials, for example, will not be broadcast during television shows with a G or lower rating that airairs between the hours of 6:00 AM and 8:00:30 AM and 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Furthermore, commercials were not permitted to be shown on children’s television shows broadcast between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

A study involving children aged 8 to 16 conducted two years prior tobefore the reform in 2018 provided the impetus for the change. At least three-quarters of the children polled were able to identify at least one type of gambling brand (while a quarter could name multiple brand names).

At least three-quarters of the young people polled believed that betting on sporting events or other aspects of everyday life was nothing out of the ordinary. Some people were able to explain specific aspects of the advertisements, such as cashback offers or bonus spins.

A Few Final Thoughts

At the moment, the regulations for gambling advertisements in America are being followed. Activists, however, argue that this is insufficient. However, the sports betting industry continues to thrive, providing opportunities for people like Costello to advocate for the prohibition of advertising once more.

We can’t predict what will happen between now and the end of the year because we don’t know what the future holds. However, for the time being, the gambling industry is still reaping the benefits of its previous year’s hard work in terms of market growth. If such a ban is enacted, the question that must be asked is, “What happens next for the gambling industry?”