Don’t Expect Sports Betting Ads on NBA Jerseys Anytime Soon

Seeing advertisements for sports betting platforms has become almost routine. It’s not uncommon to tune in to Sunday Night Football and see a few ads for DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM throughout. Well, considering the growth of sports betting, with Arizona and Connecticut fully legalizing within a month of each other, don’t expect that to slow down anytime soon. The advertisements are expanding onto the field as well. For example, rinkside advertisements for sportsbooks such as PointsBet are common in the NHL nowadays. Well, one league has put its foot down when it comes to certain sports betting advertisements. Let’s take a deeper look into the NBA’s stance on sportsbook ads.

NBA Not Allowing Sportsbook Ads on Jerseys

It’s looking like you won’t be seeing any advertising patches for sportsbooks on NBA jerseys anytime soon. The league has allowed advertising patches on jerseys since 2017 when eight teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics agreed to partner with companies for on-jersey ads. Despite the decision to restrict the advertisements, the league didn’t block teams such as the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards from having full sportsbooks inside their stadiums.

They’re not the only league restricting sports betting advertising either. Many European soccer leagues are looking to block sports betting advertisements altogether, citing issues with gambling addictions and concerns over younger viewers. This seems to have influenced the decision, as Scott Kaufman-Ross, the Senior VP of Fantasy and Gaming for the NBA, cited international legislation as a factor.

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Washington Capitals Going The Other Way

While the NBA might be hesitant to put sportsbook ads on their jerseys, the NHL doesn’t seem to mind. Starting with the 2022-2023 season, the Washington Capitals will don Caesars Sportsbook patches on their jerseys. This isn’t too surprising, as they are one of the teams that have a sportsbook inside of their home stadium. One would think the NHL would be very delicate with their sports betting decisions after the recent investigation of San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for betting on NHL games. However, the investigation was cleared with no evidence of Kane placing wagers.

Sportsbook Advertising Through the Roof

Advertising for sportsbooks is big business right now. Thanks in part to increased legalization, platforms are spending millions to grab a piece of the ever-growing pie. WynnBET launched a $100 million advertising campaign for the NFL season alone. Sportsbooks spent $154 million on ads in Q1 this year as well. Some analysts are even predicting a total of $1 billion spent on sportsbook advertisements throughout the football season. Don’t be too surprised if they hit that number.

The spending has led to some fatigue amongst casual fans. Some people in the Denver area have been recently calling for legislation on restrictions for sports betting ads. The risk of burning out fans, as seen years ago with the rapid rise of daily fantasy sports, is also a concern. Gambling is going to be a part of sports for the future, so the way it’s advertised must be handled delicately in order to grow and stay relevant.

Anthony Elio is a CU Boulder graduate with a degree in creative writing and advertising. He is the lead Industry Betting Writer at Lineups.com, where he has spent over a year covering industry news in sports betting, casino, and poker.

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