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Sports Leagues, Media Partners Double Down on Responsible Sports Betting Advertising

The Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising consists of the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NASCAR, Fox, and NBCUniversal.

The top American sports leagues and a pair of media partners announced on Wednesday the formation of a new project meant to increase the emphasis on safety and responsibility in the growing world of sports betting. This pertains specifically to the way sportsbooks advertise their services.

Welcome to the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising. Members include not just the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, and NASCAR, but media giants NBCUniversal and Fox, who own broadcast contracts from several of those leagues and organizations in the US.

As the newly formed group said in an official statement:

“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. 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.”

Jonathan Nabavi, NFL Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, will lead the effort.

According to a joint news release, the Coalition will focus on six key areas. As noted verbatim:

  • Sports betting should be marketed only to adults of legal betting age
  • Sports betting advertising should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling or degrade the consumer experience
  • Sports betting advertisements should not be misleading
  • Sports betting advertisements should be in good taste
  • Publishers should have appropriate internal reviews of sports betting advertising
  • Publishers should review consumer complaints pertaining to sports betting advertising

This project arrives amid the ongoing and explosive expansion of legal of sports betting, particularly on mobile devices, in an increasing number of US states. While the three largest states in the country by population (California, Texas, Florida) have yet to legalize mobile betting, the nature and timing of the announcement suggests that the opening of those final floodgates is a matter of when, rather than if.

As Kenneth Gersh, Executive VP of Media and Business Development for Major League Baseball, added on the occasion:

“Forming this coalition with fellow leaders in sports and entertainment is another important step for our industry as legal sports betting continues to grow. While providing new fan engagement opportunities to enjoy our sport in more ways, we have to continue to be mindful and deliberate with how these sports betting options are presented and to whom they’re directed. Layering this coalition’s work in the advertising arena on top of our efforts to promote responsible gambling and address problem gambling challenges will lead to more thoughtful planning and implementation across the board.”

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.