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Commercials featuring an emperor addressing the masses, a woman urging bettors to “make it rain” and companies enticing gamblers with the chance to turn a few dollars into a fortune are blanketing the airwaves. Concern is starting to grow over how much is too much.
At the SBC Summit North America, a major international sports betting conference being held this week in northern New Jersey, industry players are voicing concern about possible backlash they fear could lead to harsh government restrictions on such advertising, like what has happened in Europe.
Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association — the gambling industry’s national trade association — called the current level of sports betting ads “an unsustainable arms race.”
“Is it annoying?” he asked. “Is it too much? It is an unsustainable thing.”
Miller and others warned that if the U.S. sports betting industry does not restrain itself, it could fall victim to the same sort of government regulations that an orgy of sports betting ads prompted in Europe.
In the U.K., teams are subject to a “whistle-to-whistle” ban on sports betting ads appearing during the broadcast of their games. Italy has banned all gambling ads since 2019, and Spain prohibits sportsbooks from advertising