US sports betting under pressure

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A deluge of sports betting ads and free-money offers on TV, radio and online, is worrying regulators in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It quotes DraftKings and FanDuel Group as among the main sources of the rash of advertising, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing to put sports betting in front of the American consumer.

Celebrities have been used as the face of gambling, with advertising on billboards, TV commercials and via podcasts. Sponsorships can be seen dotted around sports stadia and on players’ clothing.

A New Jersey regulator has gone on record as issuing a warning: “If the industry does not control itself, the government will step in and create standards they may not want.” He was David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, in a panel discussion recently.

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The newspaper also cites Colorado where 25 digital sports betting operators are competing for a gambling audience and local politician Alec Garnett, who led the state’s push to legalise sports betting, anticipated that advertising would taper off after the initial seizure of new customers. But he admitted fielding complaints from annoyed consumers and threatened that it would be possible to impose restrictions on advertising similar to those on marijuana ads.

“Will the market solve this problem itself, or is this here to stay?” said Garnett. “If it’s here to stay then at some point for sure there will be action.”

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