The Effect Of Sports Betting On U.S. Television


When watching U.S. television today, sports betting has become almost impossible to escape. But what does this integration mean for us viewers? 

Let’s explore the effect of sports betting on U.S. television. Additionally, we will share our insights from the gambling industry to understand this phenomenon of TV and sports betting.

The Rise of Sports Betting Ads

TV Advertisments

Sports betting advertisements have become an expected element of sports broadcasting, filling screens with enticing offers and engaging promotions.

A study conducted by researchers in collaboration with CBC’s Marketplace found that, on average, sports fans are exposed to gambling advertisements about three times a minute during a sports broadcast, totaling up to 21% of the viewing time.

This surge in visibility calls for a closer examination of the content and intent behind these ads.

Furthermore, the trend of celebrities and famous athletes partnering with sports betting advertisements in the U.S. has significantly impacted the perception and acceptance of gambling across the country.

These partnerships leverage the influence and appeal of well-known personalities to normalize sports betting and present it as an entertaining and socially acceptable activity.

By associating betting platforms with familiar faces from sports, entertainment, and other areas of public life, these endorsements not only enhance the visibility of sports betting companies but also reduce the stigma historically associated with gambling.

  Understanding the Impact

We must promote responsible gambling and provide educational content to keep the thrill of betting from compromising viewer health and safety.

Moving ahead, balancing the fun of betting with the need for safe, informed gambling is essential.

This increased mainstream acceptance has led to a surge in sports betting among fans, who might feel more comfortable participating in gambling activities endorsed by their favorite celebrities.

However, this phenomenon has also raised concerns regarding the potential for increased gambling addiction and the ethical implications of using public figures to promote betting, especially among vulnerable populations.

The celebrity endorsement strategy marks a pivotal shift in marketing tactics, highlighting the evolving landscape of sports betting in the U.S. and its growing integration into popular culture.

The presence of betting ads during broadcasts, from logos on the playing field to commercial breaks, has sparked concerns among experts and viewers.

Richard Daynard from Northeastern University draws parallels between the aggressive marketing strategies of sports betting companies and historical cigarette campaigns, highlighting the potential public health crisis at hand.

Sports Betting in US TV Narratives

Sports betting has been a recurring theme in U.S. television shows, including popular sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live (SNL), reflecting both the humor and the complexities associated with it.

These portrayals often combine comedic exaggeration and insightful commentary, highlighting the excitement of wagering, the large presence of sports betting ads, and the potential pitfalls of addiction.

This comedic lens not only entertains but also offers a critique of the growing sports betting culture in the U.S., especially in the wake of legalization in many states.

Other TV shows, like The Simpsons, have woven sports betting into their narratives, using it as a plot device to explore character development, moral dilemmas, and the impact of gambling on relationships and personal integrity.

Through these portrayals, television has become a mirror reflecting the evolving attitudes toward sports betting in American culture, from taboo to mainstream acceptance, while also prompting viewers to consider its consequences.

Celebrities Seen in Sports Betting Ads

Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, and Vince Vaughn

Jamie Foxx

Desus Nice

Rob Gronkowski and John Cena

Charles Barkley

JB Smoove, Eli and Peyton Manning, and Halle Berry

Ontario’s Ban on Celebrities in Online Gambling Ads

Starting on February 28, our neighbours in Canada, Ontario, are prohibiting the use of celebrities in online gaming advertising and marketing, except when promoting responsible gambling practices.

Ontario Ban

The ban includes active and retired athletes, celebrities, social media influencers, and cartoon characters.

Announced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the regulation aims to prevent advertising that appeals to children and youth.

This move is part of broader efforts to mitigate gambling-related harms among youth amid rising concerns over the increasing presence of online gambling ads, particularly during significant sporting events.

The Call for Responsible Gambling

In response to the growing prevalence of gambling ads, regulatory authorities, as well as betting companies, have begun to emphasize responsible gambling.

When the fun stops, stop

Initiatives like SkyBet’s campaign with the slogan “When the fun stops, stop” aim to promote a healthier attitude toward betting.

Similarly, William Hill dedicates a significant portion of its advertising to educating viewers on safer gambling practices, reinforcing the message that betting should be seen as entertainment, not a primary source of income.

The saturation of sports betting ads has led to calls for greater regulation and oversight. For instance, Ontario has implemented measures to ensure gambling advertisements contain responsible gambling messages.

However, the effectiveness of these regulations is still under scrutiny. There is a very small portion of the gambling messages containing reminders for responsible behavior or resources for problem gambling.


Sports betting ads have significantly increased in visibility, leading to concerns about the normalization of gambling and the potential for addiction.

On average, sports fans are exposed to gambling advertisements about three times a minute during a sports broadcast.

Concerns include the normalization of gambling, potential for increased addiction, and the ethical implications of celebrity endorsements.

There’s concern over the potential for increased gambling addiction and the appropriateness of using public figures to promote betting activities.

Many shows use sports betting as a plot device, reflecting its mainstream acceptance and potential pitfalls.

Despite regulatory efforts, there’s scrutiny over the effectiveness of these messages, with only a small portion of ads containing responsible gambling reminders.

The saturation of sports betting ads has led to calls for enhanced oversight to ensure they contain responsible gambling messages.

It mirrors evolving attitudes towards sports betting, from taboo to acceptance, while prompting viewers to consider its consequences.

Television ads and narratives have made sports betting more mainstream, reducing stigma and potentially influencing viewer behavior.

By prioritizing educational content, responsible gambling messages, and regulations that promote viewer well-being and safety.

Liga Tarasova has a history of quality assurance and leading teams in an outsourcing company. Currently, she is working remotely as an Editor in Chief for She stands for fair and safe gambling for people in the USA. Not long ago, she lived in Malta, the global iGaming hub, and worked at an iGaming company offering cloud-based product and platform services to B2B partners. Liga’s passion is visual arts and interior design.

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