It’s not just the office pool anymore. More than half of US states now allow legalized sports betting, and in many cases it’s as simple as opening an app on your smartphone and placing a bet.
According to the American Gaming Association, 17.6 million people are expected to place a bet on Sunday’s Super Bowl online or in person at a sports betting site.
It’s not all profits for the operators, however. Sportsbooks are investing their own money in the form of a massive ad campaign targeting the millions of sports fans who will be glued to their TVs for the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Television advertising for sports betting has grown exponentially this year and over the past two years overall,” Adam Candee, editor of trade publication Legal Sports Report, told NPR.
Candee said the sudden growth of legalized gambling in states across the country has sports betting operators fighting for some of the huge new customer base — and the Super Bowl is their last opportunity to sell themselves to potential bettors.
“It’s happening here and now, moment to moment, as they compete for customers. It’s because it’s basically a new industry emerging from scratch,” he said. declared.
Sports betting could become a $37 billion industry by 2025, according to investment management firm ARK.
Legal sports betting has exploded in the past four years
In 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a ban on sports betting outside of Nevada, essentially giving states the green light to allow sports betting if they wanted to.
Many have. Thirty states and Washington, DC now allow legal sports betting and have active markets, and three more have plans to launch legal sports betting. (States are also reaping tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue from the booming industry.)
How you can bet on sports differs by state. Some limit sports betting to a few in-person casinos, while states on the other end of the spectrum allow anyone of legal age within their borders to place a bet online.
In just a few short years, what was once a niche entertainment industry centered in Las Vegas has grown into a national mega-corporation that people can enjoy from their living rooms.
This has led to an increase in the number of people with gambling problems, the National Problem Gambling Council has warned.
Still, Candee said major sports betting teams are now getting into advertising, and are even willing to follow the business models of companies like Amazon that have lost short-term money in order to attract a sprawling clientele that they hoped to stay for years.
“You have highly capitalized pioneers trying to grab as much market share as possible,” he said.
The gaming industry, which includes sports betting, spent $488 million on advertising between November 2020 and November 2021, according to research firm MediaRadar.
Caesars sportsbook recently announced it was spending $1 billion on marketing and acquisitions, Candee said, and companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel lost money amid a major ad campaign.
The sports betting boom has also produced some online companies hoping to lure unsuspecting gamblers with misleading offers. On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James warned residents of the state, which legalized sports betting last month, to beware of deceptive companies when choosing where to place their bets on game day.
The NFL opposed sports betting. Now the Super Bowl is one of the industry’s signature events
For years, the NFL and other major sports leagues have opposed legalized sports betting, in part because of the possibility of cheating and match fixing.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a 2012 deposition that gambling was the No. 1 threat to the integrity of American professional football, ESPN reported.
A lot has changed since then. The NFL has partnered with seven sports betting operators, allowing them to buy in-game ads. The league’s premier partners – Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel – have been able to integrate sports betting content into the NFL website and app.
And these companies are ready to spend millions of dollars during and before Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Caesars and DraftKings will air national in-game television commercials, while FanDuel will air pre-game and local in-game commercials, according to Legal Sports Report.
NBC announced that it had sold out all of its in-game TV spots for this year’s Super Bowl, some of which cost advertisers $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime.