Home » Sports Betting Companies Cut Ad Spending By 21% Last Year

Sports Betting Companies Cut Ad Spending By 21% Last Year


Cable and streaming customers are seeing fewer sports betting commercials, which have saturated the advertising market for sports TV in recent years. Excessive ad spending worked for licensed sportsbooks during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. That changed three years later. 

Ad spending by sports betting companies in 2023 saw its first non-pandemic decline since 2016 

Ad spending for sports gambling in the U.S. dropped 21% last year, the first non-pandemic decline since 2016, as operators continue to overcome financial losses.

According to a Nielsen study commissioned by the American Gaming Association, spending peaked at roughly $1.4 billion in 2022, up from just $22.9 million in 2017. 

However, the numbers exclude ads promoting daily fantasy sports sites. DraftKings and FanDuel still heavily advertised fantasy football throughout the 2023 NFL season.  

In 2023, sports betting dollars accounted for 64% of all gambling-related spending on TV advertising.

Including daily fantasy sports, total advertising spending related to sports betting declined $210 million compared to 2022, marking a 15% reduction.

TV is the largest category for sports wagering advertisers, accounting for more than half of spending, according to the Nielsen data. Sports betting ad volume was down 4% year-over-year across all channels.

Gambling expenditures on “TV advertising – the dominant media type – decreased by 15% year-over-year,” according to the official report.

Sports gambling ads accounted for less than 1% of national TV advertising, less than fast food and pharmaceutical 

The American Gaming Association said sports betting represented less than 1% of national TV advertising – falling below telecom/wireless, fast food, and pharmaceutical.

For every sports betting TV ad in 2023, there were 31 pharmaceutical commercials. 

In 2023, sports betting’s 0.8% share of national TV advertising expenditures was lower than alcohol (1.5%). Although spending on sports betting TV advertising decreased, alcohol ad spending was up 15% year-over-year.

Furthermore, sports wagering TV advertising volume is down by 33% since its peak in 2021. TV advertising units were also down 11% from 2022 to 2023. 

In 2021, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network received 270,000 calls, texts, and chats —  a 45% jump over the prior year.

“The advertising is just like the old beer ads and the cigarette ads that were on TV for years. It’s the same situation,” said Vin Bickler, who answers the help line at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. 

“People are being sucked into thinking that it’s glamorous, thinking they’re going to win, and they don’t win. In the end, they lose everything.”

As of May 2024, 38 states and the District of Columbia offer legalized sports betting in the U.S.