Professional Sports Teams Form Coalition for Responsible Gambling Advertising

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting


  • The NFL, NBA, MLB, and other major leagues are all represented by the coalition
  • There are six key principles related to advertising practices outlined by the group
  • The sports betting boom had had many positive and negative effects

Several professional sports leagues and television networks have banded together to promote safe and responsible legal sports betting per a Wednesday announcement. 

The Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising consists of the NFL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, WNBA, NHL, NBCUniversal and FOX. It was formed to help keep sports betting marketing on a path of integrity as the industry continues to grow exponentially.

37 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized sports betting, and several others are actively debating changing their local legislation.

The main ideas

The coalition revealed its intent in a joint statement delivered at the time of the announcement of its formation. 

“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,” said the statement. “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.”

The group also highlighted six key principles that it hopes will keep sports betting companies and other participating entities operating in the best interest of the consumers.

Those principles are:

  1. Only advertising sports betting to of-age adults (21 or older)
  2. Not promoting excessive use of sportsbooks that could encourage problem gambling habits or downgrade the experience
  3. Avoiding misleading the consumers
  4. Make advertisements “in good taste”
  5. Proper review of advertisements by publishers
  6. Analysis of customer complaints by publishers regarding the advertisements

High-ranking members from each of the participating bodies provided statements on the formation of the coalition.

“Legalized sports betting offers fans another way to engage with their favorite sports, but just as we must support problem gambling prevention and resourcing, we must also remain mindful of how sports betting is presented and advertised to consumers, and this coalition should greatly aid in that cause,” said David Highhill, the NFL’s general manager of sports betting.

“This is an opportunity to work together to implement guardrails and ensure that sports betting advertising is done appropriately and thoughtfully,” tacked on Chris Schlosser, MLS’ senior vice president of emerging ventures.

Benefits and drawbacks

Sports betting has permeated sports at nearly every level in America, even in states where legal sports betting is not available. Fans are still shown betting odds by pre-game shows and during live broadcasts, like the NBA’s FanDuel live point spread update, and make attempts to use offshore sportsbooks to circumvent the restrictions in place.

That has created a variety of trickle-down effects, both positive and negative. Fans now have more entertainment and ease of access than ever before, and eyes are being opened to more sports and teams because of the betting opportunities.

However, athletes are now also subjected to harsher treatment online and even in-person on days where they don’t perform and cause a bettor to lose their money. Such instances have been most recently seen with NBA players such as Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.

This is the second recent attempt at increasing responsibility during the advertising process. Last month, the American Gaming Association released a set of updated standards that outlawed partnerships between sports betting companies and colleges unless they were for the purpose of promoting responsible gaming.

PointsBet, for example, had a deal with the University of Colorado that gave it advertising privileges throughout the athletics campus and rewarded the school with over $11 million upfront and $30 for every affiliate code signup.

That partnership ended amicably after the AGA’s update, and PointsBet just this week began the process of selling its American operations

The leagues in the coalition will not be banned from working with sports betting companies, nor will the players or teams they employ.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.