NFL Commits $6.2M to Responsible Gaming, as Sports Betting Continues Expansion

Posted on: October 20, 2021, 01:32h. 

Last updated on: October 20, 2021, 01:45h.

The National Football League (NFL) today announced the launch of its first responsible gambling public awareness program. The campaign is designed to educate fans who choose to become sports bettors, as legal outlets continue to expand across the United States.

NFL sports betting responsible gambling NCPG
The NFL and National Council on Problem Gambling have teamed up to develop a campaign designed to assist sports bettors who are struggling to keep their gambling fun. The league is stressing that gambling is entertainment and not a source of income. (Image: Shutterstock)

Developed in conjunction with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the NFL has committed $6.2 million to develop safeguards to make sure its fans are betting in a responsible manner.

A website,, went live today. The online platform offers bettors an array of educational resources tailored to detect potential gambling problems. The site provides help for those in need, as well as those seeking to assist friends and family members whose betting might have become rampant.

We feel it is critical that the NFL uses the power of our voice to educate and encourage fans who choose to bet to do so in a safe and responsible way,” explained Christopher Halpin, chief strategy and growth officer for the NFL.

The Responsible Play site features a screening tool where bettors can assess whether they might be developing a gambling problem. An online chat is live 24/7, 365 days a year, too.

The NFL’s Official Sports Betting Partners — Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel — have each agreed to help get out the word regarding the Responsible Play website.

Sports Betting Growth

Twenty-six states, plus the District of Columbia, have legal, regulated sportsbooks up and running. A handful of additional states have passed sports gambling legislation, but haven’t yet commenced operations.

After decades of opposition, the NFL has embraced sports betting in the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that gave states the right to determine the legality of sports betting. Sportsbook advertising is now common in and around the NFL.  Television breaks during games feature commercials from entities such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Sportsbook.

But the pro football league says resources for the small percentage of sports bettors who develop addictions to gambling on point spreads and moneylines are inadequate.

“We recognize that responsible betting programs across the country are under-resourced, especially as legalization spreads nationwide,” Halpin added. “In collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling and our commercial partners, the league is fully committed to advancing responsible betting awareness, education, and problem-gambling support.”

The NFL said Responsible Play was developed based on research and fan input.

The goal of the platform is to establish a clear tone and stance that provides fans who choose to engage in sports betting with an opportunity to raise awareness about responsible betting tactics and resources,” an NFL statement to detailed.

The American Gaming Association expects 45 million Americans to place a bet on an NFL game this year. That’s up 36 percent from 2020.

Program Specifics

The NFL’s Responsible Play website is primarily tailored to inform bettors regarding the risks associated with gambling. The online resource tells readers that they should expect to lose, treat gambling as a form of entertainment and not a way to make money, and never borrow money to bet.

The NFL concedes that for “the majority of adults,” sports betting “can be a fun and entertaining experience.” However, the league adds that “there are risks involved,” and it is “critical to know the risks and have a plan” before one places their first bet.

The NFL’s responsible gambling program comes as sports betting continues to balloon. In September, New Jersey oddsmakers became the first in the US to take more than $1 billion in bets in a single month.

Handle — aka the amount wagered — has grown exponentially in New Jersey since such gambling went legal there in 2018. New Jersey is now the sports betting capital of the US.

  • Sep. 2018: $184M
  • Sep. 2019: $445M
  • Sep. 2020: $748M
  • Sep. 2021: $1.01B