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US TV sports betting ads down by a third from 2021

| By Marese O'Hagan
A Nielsen study on sports betting advertising commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) has found that the volume of TV sports betting ads has declined by 33.3% since 2021.
AGA Nielsen

The study looked at sports betting advertising trends from 2013 to 2023. The AGA noted that TV represents the largest category for sport betting advertisers.

Explaining the decrease in sports betting ad volume, the report posited that a change in localised marketing – as more states legalise sports betting – may be the culprit.

“Advertising by legal sportsbooks plays an important role in informing consumers about legitimate betting operators and in migrating those consumers to safe betting options,” said the AGA. “As sports betting has expanded into new states, legal operators often launch advertising campaigns to raise awareness of legal sportsbooks and capture market share. Over time, those markets mature and the level of advertising declines.”

Sports betting TV advertising units also declined 11% year-on-year.

In 2023 alone, sports betting made up 0.8% of the total national spend on TV advertising. Sports betting held 0.4% of total TV advertising share during the year. Comparatively, alcohol held 0.5%, fast food held 3.8% and pharmaceuticals accounted for 14.1%.

For every sports betting ad on TV in 2023, there were eight ads for fast food and 31 for pharmaceuticals.

Sports betting ad spend down $210m

Spend on TV sports betting advertising dropped 23% compared to 2022.

Across all media channels, spend on sports betting ads declined by $210m (£167.1m/€195.4m) in 2023, a 15% fall from 2022. This figure was 21%, excluding daily fantasy sports. The volume of sports betting ads was down 4% yearly across all channels and 20% from its peak in 2021.

The report also studied the prevalence of all gambling advertising in the US. It highlighted that gambling ad spend slowed by 14% year-on-year across all channels, peaking in 2022 but falling comparatively in 2023.

The report pointed out that this was the first non-pandemic fall in gambling ad spend since 2016.

Spend on gambling TV advertising fell by 15% year-on-year. Digital ad spend declined by 17% and radio ad spend was flat.

Sports betting regulations under consideration across US

Sports betting is legal in 38 states across the US. But recently, a number of states have been considering restrictions to sports betting.

Last week, in Pennsylvania, State Senator Wayne Fontana filed a bill that would ban the use of credit cards for online gambling – including sports betting. If this bill passes, Pennsylvania would join the likes of Iowa, Massachusetts and Tennessee in prohibiting credit cards for gambling.

A move to ban college prop bets has also swept across multiple states. In March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced its intention to ban college prop bets from all US markets. The Ohio Casino Control Commission got ahead of the game in February, when it implemented a ban on college prop bets following a request from the NCAA.

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