The Supreme Court has paved the wave for legalized sports betting across the country. While gaming operators are eager to get started launching their products, there is some concern over how betting will be portrayed in the media.
This week, CBS held an NFL media day during which Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina noted that Sean McManus, Sports President at CBS, will require announces on the station to avoid making gambling references during NFL games. Broadcasters will be prohibited to talking about lines and spreads while on the air.
In Line with the NFL’s Stance on Gambling
Industry insiders suspect that the decision has been made due to the NFL’s stance on gambling. Unlike the NBA, which recently made MGM its official gaming partner, the NFL as long opposed gambling on its matches. It was only after the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league accepts the court’s decision but is pushing for strict, uniform standards across all states in which sports betting products are offered.
It will be interesting to see how CBS’s decision will affect other channels. Fox, NBC and ESPN are all broadcast partners of the NFL, and it is likely that they will have to enact a similar ban if they want stay on good terms with the league.
Although CBS won’t allow gambling discussions during live NFL broadcasts, there are still going to be some mentions of betting on television. For example, Paddy Power plans to create a sports betting show – while many other sports betting operators have already purchased ad time.
A Gambling Ad Ban?
The decision to stop broadcasters from talking about gambling during NFL games was made based on the discretion of Sean McManus – but, could this be the beginning of a gambling ad ban? Many countries have banned gambling ads from being shown during sports broadcasts, including Australia and Italy. Even the United Kingdom is mulling over a similar decision.
While the Supreme Court has not made any restrictions about when and where gambling ads can be shown, it is likely that responsible gambling groups will come forward to request that some guidelines are drawn up. One of main reasons that gambling ads have been banned in various countries to separate the sport from betting. If young viewers learn to associate the two activities, they may be led to developing unhealthy habits in the future.
So, time will tell whether sports betting ads will continue to be permitted on a federal level. We will also be sure to see other networks coming forward to announce their stance in the near future.