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Legal Sports Betting is an Advertising Gold Mine for Local Media

With the start of the NFL season barely underway, picking a winning team may not be a sure thing for sports bettors but increasing advertising dollars from the legal sports wagering industry is proving to be a sure bet for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania media.

The first NFL season in which bettors from the Garden and Keystone states have access to mobile sports wagering apps is creating a dynamic impact on sports media outlets serving those markets.

Various sports talk programs are sponsored by The Book, Bally’s sportsbook out of Atlantic City, the Parx Casino sportsbook and SugarHouse Casino. iHeartMedia launched a third Philadelphia sports talk station, now Fox Sports Radio, The Gambler.

In addition, nearly every sports talk host has recorded endorsement advertisements for various sportsbooks and online betting services looking to catch the attention of their audience.

Legalized sports betting has led to a “substantial increase” in advertising revenue and has become a “top category for us,” said one sports talk program representative.

Significantly Absent from NFL Programming

The National Football League does not allow sports betting to be connected to its properties. All of the above legal sports betting businesses are missing completely from advertising during football games, as well as pre- and post-game shows.

The NFL has an uneasy relationship with the legal sports betting industry, despite the fact that it is now legal in 13 states, with five additional states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico preparing to launch in the near future.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced last month that the total handle legally bet on sports since the Supreme Court repealed PASPA in May 2018 is currently in excess of $10 billion, and the NFL, which opposed the PASPA decision at the time, and opposes it still, nonetheless stands to reap significant benefits.

The result of an AGA survey states that the expansion of regulated sports betting across the country will positively affect the NFL by increasing fan engagement. The AGA claims that 38 million Americans, or 15 percent of the U.S. adult population plans to bet on NFL football games during the 2019 season, which kicked off Thursday.

That percentage is about 21 percent higher than last year, when some 5.7 million adults planned to wager on NFL football games.

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