Remember when you’d watch sports media and most of the commercials were focused on domestic beer and sports cars? Oh, how the times have changed. As sports betting has become more and more ingrained in our culture, advertising on different platforms has gone through the roof. Just look at WynnBET, who’s investing $100 million in an ad campaign for its platform. Interestingly, before the NFL season, it was estimated that over $1 billion could be spent on sportsbook ads this season. While this spreads awareness and is a positive for betting culture, not everyone is on board with the influx of sports betting ads. In fact, one state might even move towards legalization to reduce the number of sports betting ads being broadcasted. Let’s take a deeper look into Colorado’s proposed attempts to reduce advertising, along with the Colorado betting landscape itself.
Sports Betting Ad Blitz Alienates Some Coloradans
Since its legalization in May of 2020, sports betting has been an unmitigated success in Colorado. From May 2020 to July 2021, total sports betting revenue is close to $200 million and the total handle is over $2 billion. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean everyone is interested. Sportsbooks available in the state, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet, have been aggressive in their advertising, and it’s starting to turn off some people. Democratic Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Alec Garnett believes that not only will the influx of commercials come off as obnoxious to some people, but it might also lead people to place bets that don’t have any background in sports or gambling.
Colorado Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman anticipated plenty of advertisements as the state legalized sports betting, and expects the trend to persist while awareness grows in the first few years. His department doesn’t typically regulate advertising, but he has heard the concerns surrounding excessive advertising.
Legislation May Happen in the Future
According to Garnett, the influx of sports betting commercials could very well slow on its own. However, if it fails to dip, he did note that legislation may be necessary. This wouldn’t be the first legislation of its kind, as the massive amount of betting ads in the United Kingdom led to agreements on ad restrictions. Interestingly, polls show that many U.K. residents support a full ban on gambling ads.
Consider the Risk of Burnout
In addition to simply annoying those not interested in sports betting, having too many commercials might also burn out the public when it comes to sports gambling. Just look a few years back at the daily fantasy sports explosions of DraftKings and FanDuel. Both companies ran excessive ads, but it ended up hampering them a bit when fans became downright turned off by non-stop advertisements for the platforms and daily fantasy sports seemed to fade from the mainstream for a bit. Here’s hoping that a balance is found that will create a growing culture around sports betting.