Seven professional sports leagues and two TV networks have joined forces to create the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising (CRSBA). The CRSBA’s goal is to ensure a responsible approach to sports betting via six key principles.
The CRSBA said in a joint statement:
“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.”
Who is on the coalition and how will it promote responsible gambling?
Seven professional sports leagues and two television networks make up the CRSBA:
- National Football League
- Major League Baseball
- National Basketball Association
- Women’s National Basketball Association
- National Hockey league
- NBC Universal
The nine entities will create and maintain a series of consumer protection policies that will focus on six coalition principles:
- Sports betting marketing should only target adults of legal betting age
- Sports betting advertising should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling or degrade the consumer experience
- Publishers should have appropriate internal reviews of sports betting advertising
- Publishers should review consumer complaints about sports betting advertising
- Sports betting advertisements should not be misleading
- Sports betting advertisements should be in good taste
Each of the members of the CRSBA offered statements about the formation of the coalition. Generally speaking, they all expressed a desire to make sports betting safe for their fans.
NASCAR Managing Director of Sports Betting Joe Solosky’s statement about the CRSBA was a good representation of the CRSBA’s thoughts:
“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.”
Sports betting advertising has come under fire recently
Sports betting has exploded since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018.
Amid that growth, serious questions about advertising tactics have arisen. For example, while marketing sports betting to underage people is prohibited, sportsbooks have signed deals with NCAA schools and conferences.
Also under scrutiny are sportsbook promotions that use terminology like “risk-free,” while knowing that gambling always carries a risk whether a bet is on the house or coming out of the gambler’s pocket.
If the CRSBA follows through on its mission, then some of these questionable practices should wane. For example, the coalition’s goal to curb misleading advertising would result in ads that avoid terms like “risk-free” and even “no-sweat.”
Additionally, its commitment to market sports betting only to adults of legal betting age should nix ads at, for example, family-friendly league events or promotions near or on college campuses.
The coalition drew the praise of the American Gaming Association (AGA).
“We applaud the responsible advertising commitments announced today by many of America’s biggest players in sports entertainment,” AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark said. “Building a sustainable legal wagering market requires alignment from the entire sports betting ecosystem, and today’s announcement is another important step.”