The NFL is launching a new comprehensive responsible betting education and awareness initiative, announced the league on Wednesday. The integrated league-wide program sees the NFL encouraging bettors to stick to a game plan, including setting a budget limit, using licensed, regulated operators, and asking for help when needed.
The core message of the campaign's creative is "Stick to Your Game Plan. Always Bet Responsibly.” As part of the initiative, the league has made a $6.2 million, three-year commitment to “significantly expand” its long-standing partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).
"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," said Christopher Halpin, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. "We also recognize that responsible betting programs across the country are under-resourced, especially as legalization spreads nationwide.”
The NFL’s funding will enable the advocacy group to launch a national grant program to fund enhanced services offered by local and statewide providers, as well as innovative prevention programs, including the expansion of youth-facing curricula.
The league’s support will also transform the national problem gambling Helpline system and contribute to the development of improved communications tools, including a new website, www.responsibleplay.org, which will provide the public with quick tips about betting safely and support resources.
"The National Council on Problem Gambling is pleased to partner with the NFL to shine a light on the importance of responsible betting," said Keith Whyte, National Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director. "With this partnership, we are able to exponentially enhance the NCPG's ability to provide advocacy, awareness, and assistance on problem gambling.”
Whyte further said talks are under way that could lead to similar agreements with the NBA, Major League Baseball, and the Women's Tennis Association, according to Associated Press.
Effective since Wednesday and continuing throughout the season, fans will see the initiative roll out across a variety of channels, including online, in-stadium, social media and print. Later this fall, the program will begin to run on national and local television, including broadcast partners and NFL-owned media channels. Additionally, the NFL is working with clubs to spread awareness and education at a local level.
“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,” further added Halpin. “In collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling and our commercial partners, the league is fully committed to advancing responsible betting awareness, education, and problem-gambling support."
The NFL’s initiative was informed by fan research and developed in collaboration with NCPG, further explains a press release. Based in Washington D.C., the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction by working with all stakeholders.
The NFL will work on the initiative with its official sports betting partners, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel, to share information and support the effort. Each of those sports betting operators has developed its own responsible gambling program.