Sports Betting Ad Spend Up in the US, but Coming Under Scrutiny

Posted on: June 29, 2023, 10:36h. 

Last updated on: June 29, 2023, 03:48h.

Sports betting in America unleashed an explosive new market for advertising. Projected ad spend for US sports wagering in 2023 is $2 billion, according to research from ad tech firm Disqo. That’s an 8% year-on-year increase.

AGA sports betting PASPA
A group of men place bets inside the Philladelphia Rivers Casino sportsbook. Sports betting and its advertising have exploded in the US recently. (Image: AP)

Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision allowing states to decide whether sports betting should be legalized, 37 states have now done so. Sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, are likely to see even more increases in customer base. Analysts expect 32 million US adults to place a bet online by 2025, a nearly 40% increase over 2022.

States regulate how sportsbooks operate, and while they have wide latitude, there are signs of some pushback.

New Jersey may soon look at legislation targeting some sports betting and casino advertisements. S4021, introduced by State Senator Joseph Cryan (D-Union), narrowly targets ads deemed fraudulent, directly appealing to underage people, or tailored to people on self-exclusion lists.

While the bill won’t be heard in committee until this fall, it comes at a time when audiences in the states appear to have negative sentiments toward gambling ads. Even though that seems at odds with the dollar amounts spent, some polls show negative response rates to ads.

Global Gambling Advertising Under a Microscope 

Beginning July 1, gambling advertising will be banned in Belgium. The government says the move is a crackdown on addiction and debt. The ban includes television, radio, cinema, magazine, and newspapers. Online ads and social media will also be prohibited.

Stiff restrictions on ads are on the way in Australia, too. In fact, some of the country’s biggest media, wagering sports businesses are bracing for a total ban. It’s expected to be rolled out over a four-year period following a highly anticipated report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs based on investigations into gambling harm.

In the UK, the Guardian recently announced it will no longer carry advertising for gambling. The daily newspaper highlighted the increased risk of gambling addiction and potential financial ruin.

Spain is also assessing the effect of restrictions on ads. In addition, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Italy all have restrictions on gambling advertisements. Latvia, Moldova, Albania, and Kosovo additionally have across-the-board bans on gambling ads.

Ad Spend Back in the US

If you’re an NFL fan, odds are you have seen an ad or two. Football is king, and the NFL makes up most of the gambling ad spend in the US. According to, College football, NFL preview shows, and NFL games account for more than half of TV impressions for sports betting ads.

The NBA comes in a distant second at about 8%. The MLB comes in third at 5%, followed by the NHL with 1.3% of ad impressions.

While sportsbooks maneuver to gain share, some advertisers are closely examining the role of gender in response to a growth in female sports.