Big Problems Ahead for American Sports Betting?

This week’s gambling news finds that the amazing expansion of American sports betting has led to relentless competition between sports betting operators. FanDuel, DraftKings, and others are trying so desperately to grab as much market share as possible, pouring millions into advertising and marketing campaigns. But will the barrage of commercials, sponsorships, and endorsements eventually lead to push back from the American people or government agencies?

Hello friends, and welcome to This Week in Gambling, where the football season for American sports betting has finally kicked off! 36 states are regulating sports betting! And nearly 47 million Americans are expected to bet on NFL games this year! So what could possibly go wrong? Well, anyone who watched an NFL game over the weekend… or a pre-game show… or a post-game show… or a half-time report… they probably saw one or two or twenty commercials for sports betting! And while I think it’s just super cool that gambling has finally gone mainstream in America, this could lead to a problem!

I’ve been working in the American sports betting industry for over 20 years, and I’ve watched all the changes take place here in America and over in the United Kingdom and all across Europe, and I’m telling you, my friends, that history is about to repeat itself, right here, right now, in the good old USA. You see, sports betting in the United Kingdom has a long history. Gambling advertisers over there have been pushing the limits for years now, advertising everywhere from television and radio to billboards.. even the sides of taxi cabs! With celebrity endorsements and sponsorships inside of stadiums, even paying to have their brand name put on the front of professional sports teams jerseys! Any of this sounding familiar?

There were gambling ads everywhere people looked: On websites. In their social media feed. Even coming in on their cell phone via text messages. Eventually people got sick and tired of it, and eventually all that advertising gave gambling opponents all the ammunition they needed to go after the industry. Those opponents started saying that gambling companies were greedy. That they didn’t really care about their customers at all. That they were breeding addiction and even targeting children! So now, all the laws are changing… and not just for sports betting, either!

Called the Gambling Act Review, it fundamentally will change the entire gambling industry in the UK, ushering in new rules that some of you may find hard to believe. It prohibits gambling companies from using celebrities or sports stars for endorsements. It prevents gambling companies from showing any ad that might… MIGHT appeal to anyone under the age of 18. It restricts them from showing ads that make gambling look fun, or show people winning money.

It stops casinos from running promotions on games like the Pink Panther, or The Simpsons, because they are cartoons and may… MAY appeal to children. It bans the use of credit cards and puts limits on deposits and individual bets. It even regulates how quickly people can play a game in the privacy of their own home! And it actually requires operators to investigate their customers finances to find out if they can even afford to play!

All of this is happening in a country that has been regulating sports betting for nearly a hundred years! And regulating online sports betting for nearly 20 years! And now, right on time, here comes American sports betting operators following the British bookmakers right down that same path. Opponents of our industry in this country have already started labeling what’s happening here as the “gamblification” of American sports… and that’s not good. But, as sports betting continues to grow, you can best bet that the advertising is only going to get more and more competitive.

But despite all of this, you and I both know that FanDuel, DraftKings, and the like will continue to pour millions and millions of dollars into advertising. All in an effort to grab up as much American sports betting market share as possible… until the push back eventually comes. And when it does, you just remember: I tried to warn them.

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