Sportsbook and Online Casino Advertising on Sports Talk Shows
In Canada, it is not altogether uncommon for sports books and/or online casinos like casinodog.ca - Bodog Casino Canada to be advertising on a sports talk radio show. In fact, there is one prominent worldwide gambling brand that has not only sponsored sports radio, but has also been the official sponsor of the Canadian Football League. This obviously seems a little unusual, especially in a "gray area," where Canadian law provides that any online casino that is located within the country must be licensed (and in effect, operated) by one of the provinces. So it would appear that while a gambling operation can advertise to Canadians, they just can't set up shop in Canada. And the politicos generally aren't too happy about the "private" people hawking their wares.
The intersection between gambling interests and mainstream media is very common in some areas, and a very touchy subject in others. For instance, in United States this kind of advertising used to be permitted on the radio, but has since been banned. The only possible way around it is for odds at a sportsbook to be presented to an audience as some kind of a news item. But if you go to the United Kingdom, sportsbook and casino marketing is all over the place, and in fact, some of the country's biggest sporting events probably couldn't be so "big" if they did not have the backing of some online gambling operation. So you will see operators like Ladbroke's, William Hill or Paddy Power sponsoring events that might range from horse races to dart tournaments. And some of them have gone so far as to televise events on their websites, as a way of attracting sports bettors to open up accounts. Obviously sports has been a tremendous marketing tool for them.
Some controversy has arisen recently in Australia, where there is a fine line between what is legal and illegal, as well as a very real threat that land-based gaming operators feel from the online industry. A few years ago, a law was passed prohibiting the promotion of an online sportsbook during the process of live sports coverage. A limit was imposed, in which it could only be done a half-hour before and/or a half-hour after the live event coverage had concluded. But what is interesting about that is there was no ban on advertising, so television networks have reaped a windfall coming from and revenue spent by those entities that cannot "promote" themselves, which for purposes of this discussion means that they can't have an expert or pundit promoting something, including content, from their website. Australia has laws that actually prohibit the offering of "interactive gambling services" to Australian citizens, which means that casinos are "forbidden." So is live in-game betting, because that requires interaction between the customer and the sportsbook during an event. But all other kinds of sportsbook wagering are allowed. And the advertising, undoubtedly for big bucks, will continue.