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Sports Betting Ads Jump 25 Percent in 2023 Despite Concerns

Responsible gaming support has pointed at sports betting ads for their role in drawing the vulnerable. So it comes as a surprise that the number of ads has risen this year.

Sports Betting Ads Jump 25 Percent in 2023 Despite Concerns

You’d think that all the hand wringing about sports betting ads and its potential impact on impressionable youth and even adults, would reduce the number of ads.

You’d think wrong.

Sports betting ad impressions between January 1 and August 15 in North America grew 25 percent, according to iSpot, which tracks ad metrics.

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Turns out that operators do pay attention to warning signs, but rather than dial the numbers down, they adjusted their approach to reduce the negative messages. As football season opens, you might think it will get worse.

You might be wrong. The growth comes from ads outside the NFL season.

U.S. regulators—and legislators—are tightening the messages on marketing. One congressman, Rep. Paul Tonko, has proposed restricting sports betting ads on FCC-regulated channels. So sports leagues and the media are seeking to limit attention drawn to the industry with the advent of the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising.

The American Gaming Association formed a new marketing code for its members. Ontario regulators now prohibit use of athletes in sports betting ads, according to Legal Sports Report.

Newcomers with big names—ESPN BET and Fanatics Sportsbook—expect to launch sportsbooks with large marketing budgets to make a dent in the leaders’ control. That would be FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM. Existing sportsbooks may have no option but ramp up its spend to minimize losing customers to the upstarts,

U.S. market leader FanDuel is also the ad leader with almost 49 percent of impressions in the first part of the year, followed by DraftKings at 20.7, BetMGM at 16.37 percent and PointsBet at a tad over 3 percent.

Another interesting tidbit from the iSpot report is that 41.3 percent of impressions occurred outside of sporting events programs, up close to 26 percent from a year ago. The most popular programs for these ads: “Friends,” “OnPatrol: Live” and “South Park.”

“To optimize TV ad placements, advertisers across industries should gain a comprehensive understanding of their audiences viewing habits beyond premium programs and dayparts,” the iSpot report reads.