ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The National Football League (NFL) announced on Tuesday that it will restrict the number of sports betting advertisements during the upcoming Super Bowl broadcast. Despite the proliferation of sports betting ads across various media channels, viewers can expect to see only three such ads during the highly anticipated event.
David Highhill, the NFL’s general manager for sports betting, revealed that there will be one sports betting ad right before the kickoff and two others during the game. The league has imposed limits on in-game sports betting advertising, with the maximum allowed being three ads. However, only three have been purchased for broadcast, according to NFL spokesperson Alex Riethmiller.
“We’ve put some policies in place to limit the amount of advertising for sports betting that happens in our live games,” Highhill stated. He emphasized that the league aims for approximately one ad per quarter, and sports betting ads constitute less than 5% of all in-game advertisements.
League officials, along with representatives from a problem gambling treatment group, discussed these measures during an online forum addressing the NFL’s first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, the nation’s gambling capital, where the Kansas City Chiefs will defend their title against the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 11.
The NFL was initially opposed to the legalization of sports betting, fearing it could compromise the integrity of the games. Now, with six years of legal sports betting, maintaining public confidence is the league’s top priority, according to Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, public affairs, and policy.
Part of this effort involves monitoring the tone, volume, and saturation of sports betting advertising integrated into the live game experience, as Highhill explained. Since 2019, the NFL has surveyed fans on their attitudes toward and participation in legal sports betting, observing an increase in those who support and engage in sports betting.
The contentious issue of sports betting advertising has been ongoing since New Jersey’s Supreme Court victory in 2018, allowing all 50 states to offer legal sports betting. Complaints from customers, including recovering compulsive gamblers, prompted lawmakers to consider imposing restrictions on such advertising.
In April 2023, major professional sports leagues, Fox, and NBCUniversal formed an alliance to ensure responsible sports betting advertising that does not target minors. Despite challenges, the NFL is taking steps to address concerns, including integrity measures such as personnel training and partnerships with data monitoring companies.
During the press conference, Jeff Miller highlighted the league’s commitment to integrity, including training over 17,000 league personnel on gambling regulations, partnerships with third-party monitoring companies, and disciplinary measures for rule violations. Additionally, Las Vegas has proven its competence in dealing with the NFL, as seen in the relocation of the Raiders and the successful hosting of the recent NFL draft.
Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, acknowledged the NFL’s $6.2 million donation in 2021, emphasizing its positive impact in driving individuals with gambling concerns to seek assistance through the group’s website or helpline.