NFL Launches Multimillion-Dollar Responsible Betting Effort With NCPG

Posted on October 20, 2021
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Written By on October 20, 2021

As the NFL continues its newly held embrace of sports betting, the league is launching a responsible betting education and awareness campaign.

With NFL betting continuing to drive US sports betting growth, the league and the National Council on Problem Gambling announced the new initiative Wednesday. The campaign includes collaboration from the league’s official sports betting partners Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel.

The key messaging is simple: “Stick to Your Game Plan. Always Bet Responsibly.”

“We feel it is critical that the NFL uses the power of our voice to educate and encourage fans who choose to bet to do so in a safe and responsible way,” Christopher Halpin, NFL EVP & chief strategy and growth officer, said in a statement. “We also recognize that responsible betting programs across the country are under-resourced, especially as legalization spreads nationwide.

“Collectively, all of us in the sports and betting industries need to learn from international examples and make sure the development of education and support programs matches the state-by-state growth in legalized sports betting.”

Multi-year NFL effort on responsible betting

The NFL is expanding its partnership with the NCPG as part of the three-year initiative. It includes a $6.2 million investment to expand problem gambling prevention and treatment programs, according to the Associated Press.

NCPG will fund programs for local and state providers, and expand its youth-focused programs to prevent problem gambling.

“With this partnership, we are able to exponentially enhance the NCPG’s ability to provide advocacy, awareness, and assistance on problem gambling,” NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said. “The NFL’s far-reaching initiative demonstrates its strong commitment to being an industry leader in raising awareness.”

Responsible betting rollout

The campaign begins Wednesday, and includes social media and in-stadium signage. Later in the season, the push will make its way to national and local TV broadcasts.

The league is also working with individual teams for local education and awareness about responsible gambling. Also receiving support is the NCPG’s Helpline system.

Whyte told the AP that NCPG is also working with the NBA, MLB and Women’s Tennis Association.

Key NFL role in sports betting

NFL betting is the largest draw for American bettors. This year, betting transactions through the first four weeks of the NFL season were up 122%, according to GeoComply data.

The American Gaming Association found 45 million Americans plan to bet on NFL games this year, up 36% from 2020.

Approximately 2% of the US population has a gambling problem, Whyte told the AP. The expansion of sports betting is growing that risk, he said.

NFL doing its part with NCPG

For years, the NFL shunned sports betting. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell once said sports betting legalization would be “very difficult to ever recover from.”

With legal sports betting spreading across the US, the league has now fully embraced the industry. It first cozied up to a tri-exclusive partnership in April, before adding another four sportsbook operators in August.

The NFL is undoubtedly benefiting from the industry’s massive expansion. Now, the league is committing to help the societal problems that can stem from problem gambling.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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