The lead-up to ICE 2024 promises to be an exciting time for the sports betting industry, with a particular focus on advertising and marketing. The United Kingdom, in particular, is likely to be a focal point for this discussion, as 2024 brings with it increased scrutiny on sports betting advertising, fueled in part by the culture, media and sport (CMS) committee’s push for measures to protect children from exposure to gambling advertisements.
This call for action follows the release of a white paper in April 2023 outlining gambling regulations in the UK, which drew criticism for its lack of specific measures to address advertising concerns. Similar sentiments are echoed across Europe, with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands implementing new regulations to reduce the visibility of gambling marketing. In the US, Democratic representative Paul Tonko introduced the Betting on Our Future Act, proposing a ban on sportsbook advertising on electronic communication platforms under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.
The UK, in particular, has seen heightened debate over sports betting sponsorship, with concerns raised by industry experts and the CMS committee alike. A study from Bristol University revealed that the majority of content marketing ads from gambling brands in the Premier League breached regulations, further fueling the call for more comprehensive regulations to address the issue of advertising.
Similarly, changes in sports betting advertising regulations were observed across Europe, with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands implementing tighter restrictions on gambling communications. The introduction of new regulations has not been without controversy, with critics claiming that such bans could potentially drive consumers towards the illegal gambling market.
In the US, the introduction of the Betting on Our Future Act and the subsequent formation of the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising reflect a growing awareness and effort to promote responsible sports betting advertising. However, tensions were evident in New York, as FanDuel Group lobbied against rules prohibiting sports betting advertising near colleges and universities, highlighting the ongoing challenges presented by the evolving landscape of sports betting regulations.
As we move further into 2024, it is clear that the industry is on the cusp of significant changes and developments in sports betting advertising regulations, with stakeholders across the globe navigating an increasingly complex landscape.