Just last week, a combined group of nine professional sports organizations and media outlets came together and announced that they had formed the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising (“Coalition”). Members of this voluntary Coalition are committed to helping to ensure a responsible approach to sports betting marketing. The historic formation comes at a time when sports betting is on the rise, and, consequently, sports betting advertising has become a booming industry. As of this writing, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting. As states throughout the country continue to legalize sports betting, it is more important than ever to understand the various regulations and restrictions that must be complied with. Accordingly, before attempting to create a sports betting advertising campaign, companies should consult with an experienced gaming attorney.
Principles of the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising
According to its press release, the Coalition consists 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’s main goal is a commitment to implementing and maintaining consumer protection policies consistent with the following six fundamental 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 implement appropriate internal protocols to review sports betting advertising before going to publication; and
- Publishers should monitor and address sports betting advertising consumer complaints.
Purpose of the New Coalition for Sports Betting Advertising
The formation of this voluntary Coalition should be considered a powerful message to businesses in the sports betting advertising industry, namely: protect consumers. For example, the Coalition issued a joint statement, reading in part, “[e]ach 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.” These principles are comprehensive, and likely, will inform sports betting advertising legislation and regulations throughout the country in the months to come.
Sports Betting Advertising to Adults Only
Each of the Coalition principles is significant and marketing companies must take heed of these six consumer protection goals or risk regulatory and legal consequences. Most importantly, sports betting advertising should not be directed to minors. Specifically, the Coalition states that, “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.” Another principle expounds on how to avoid creating sports betting advertising that is misleading. As the Coalition explained, marketing campaigns “should not promote unrealistic expectations of financial gain, or suggest that social, financial or personal success is guaranteed by engaging in sports betting.”
Compliance with Principles of Sports Betting Advertising
Marketing industry professionals take heed: with the backing of nine professional sports and media outlets, the Coalition’s formation is expected to influence the practical and legal landscape of the sports betting advertising industry for years to come. How do you stay compliant and avoid financial and legal exposure? Work with experienced sports betting marketing attorneys who understand the nuanced legal regulations that vary from state to state.
Businesses should seek counsel before running any sports gambling promotion to avoid potential social media, regulatory and legal challenges. If you are interested in learning more about this topic or require assistance with your sports gambling marketing promotions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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