SBJ/April 16-22, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL gives OK for teams to accept casino advertising

The NFL last week formally approved a measure allowing clubs to accept casino advertising, though the resolution clears the way for such business only through March 31, 2014.

The NFL is the last of the four major U.S. sports leagues to accept casino advertising, and the action comes with significant restrictions. Ads can appear only in-stadium (and only in a venue’s upper bowl or concourses), on radio or in print; TV, digital and mobile ads are prohibited. The specific casino advertising cannot have a sports book, and the ads cannot depict people gambling or use players, coaches or team logos.

Ads must have a responsible-gambling message and cannot include inducements that gamblers could win big. In addition, the casino must donate 5 percent of the deal’s value to the league’s anti-gambling program for its employees.

“These policy modifications are designed to ensure that all permitted gambling advertising by NFL clubs is executed in accordance with industry best practices, is intended to target adult audiences, is consistent with the League’s continuing opposition to sports gambling, and minimizes any potential negative impact on the NFL brand,” the league said in a memo sent to teams last week.

The league also instructed its clubs that the ads must be carried on mediums where the audience is expected to be at least 70 percent ages 21 and older.

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