Following the American Gaming Association’s (“AGA”) recent adoption of a new responsible sports betting marketing code, several U.S. professional leagues and broadcasters have created the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising – a voluntary alliance to address how sports betting advertising is presented to consumers.  The Coalition, made up of the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NASCAR, Fox Broadcasting and NBC Universal, has recommended that “excessive” advertising be avoided and that such advertising is targeted to an appropriate audience.

Addressing issues similar to those in the AGA’s code, the Coalition has committed to implement the following six core 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

The formation of the Coalition and the AGA’s implementation of a new code demonstrates that those in the sports betting industry are attempting to police themselves, with the likely goal of preempting the government from stepping in and regulating sports betting advertising.  However, certain state regulators have already taken action – New Jersey regulators recently banned the use of “risk free” and other deceptive terms from sports betting advertising and Ohio regulators fined several casino operators for violating Ohio advertising regulations.