Gambling Ads Litter Super Bowl Pregame, Limited During Game Broadcast

Written By Drew Ellis on February 12, 2024
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes holding the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning the 2024 Super Bowl. While the Super Bowl game broadcast featured limited gambling advertisements, they were prevalent during the four-hour pregame.

The Super Bowl is often the most-watched television event of the year.

Along with thrilling football, the game provides an opportunity for advertisers to get their product and messaging out to millions and millions of consumers.

PlayMichigan conducted an analysis of the ad content for Michigan sportsbooks during Sunday’s game.

With the game taking place in Las Vegas, gambling and sports betting certainly had an easy tie in this year.

While the NFL attempts to limit sports betting ads during their game broadcasts, that didn’t stop them from appearing throughout the day and on social media.

*Game watched through WWJHD CBS Detroit

Limited gambling ads during Super Bowl LVIII

The Super Bowl game broadcast itself wasn’t littered with many advertisements.

Just last week, the NFL told Gaming News Canada that the NFL has a cap on sports betting advertising for its game broadcasts. No more than 5% of the total ads for the viewers can be on sports betting. That limit was not going to be changed for Super Bowl LVIII.

That certainly held up during the game broadcast.

One sports betting ad promotion ran during the 30-minute kickoff show that began at 6 p.m. Then, just three appeared during the game broadcast, which started at 6:30 p.m.

Of those ads, two came from FanDuel Sportsbook, promoting and recapping their “Kick Of Destiny” promotion with Rob Gronkowski. The first was the actual kick itself, while the second came an hour later recapping what happened and what it meant for their customers.

DraftKings Sportsbook had a commercial run during the kickoff show featuring Kevin Hart and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmie Johnson.

BetMGM Sportsbook had its hyped national commercial appear early in the first quarter. The ad featured Vince Vaughn hyping a promotion that was available to all customers except Tom Brady. Brady, as well as Wayne Gretzky, appeared in the advertisement.

No other national sports betting ads appeared. The local ads that appeared on the Detroit market during the game didn’t feature any kind of gambling.

Gambling ads more frequent during pregame

Prior to the game, CBS ran “The NFL Today at the Super Bowl.” The show began at 2 p.m. and ran for four hours.

While the NFL may limit gambling ads during the game, there were certainly not the same limitations during the pregame show.

Over the four-hour program, a total of 16 different ads appeared on the local CBS Detroit market.

Of the 16 ads, 10 came from MotorCity Casino.

The 10 ads were two brief commercials that ran very close to one another, usually within one minute or two. They focused on MotorCity Casino being the place to be on gameday. They repeated the same two ads five times.

MotorCity Casino was the only local casino to air a commercial during the broadcast in the Detroit market.

DraftKings had four different ads appear. Three featured Kevin Hart, two with Jim More and the other with Jimmie Johnson. DraftKings also received a brief ad read during the actual CBS pregame as it returned from commercial. It was the only sportsbook to receive that kind of treatment during the entire Super Bowl broadcast.

FanDuel had two different commercials appear. One promoted the upcoming “Kick of Destiny.” The other appeared to be a local advertisement promoting FanDuel Casino.

Throughout the entirety of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl broadcast, the FanDuel Casino ad was the only one that appeared during the day promoting online casinos.

Leading sportsbooks dominate social media

One place where promotion was not limited during Super Bowl LVIII was on social media platforms.

X, formerly known as Twitter, was where these top online sportsbooks all were very active.

When the Super Bowl game broadcast began at 6:30 p.m., here’s how many different posts each of the top three online sportsbook accounts had until the final play was posted on their respective account.

  • @BetMGM: 75
  • @FDSportsbook (FanDuel): 61
  • @DKSportsbook (DraftKings: 45

Each account was very active during the game, posting highlights, memes and customer reactions. They also provided a lot of live-betting market updates for the game, including spreads, money lines and MVP markets.

Facebook and Instagram also saw frequent posts, but not nearly as many as compared to X.

Responsible Gambling ads non-existent

What was missing from the entire day’s broadcast was responsible gambling ads.

While each commercial that aired did include RG information written on the screen at some point, there were no ads related to just RG.

PlayMichigan sister site, Legal Sports Report, projected that $1.3 billion would be wagered on the Super Bowl in legal markets this year. That would make it the most-gambled on sporting event in history.

With the NFL having multiple online sportsbooks as advertising partners, it may have been a good idea to include a national commercial or two for the cause.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has seen a lot of praise for its “Don’t Regret the Bet,” advertising campaign over the last year.

However, none of those ads appeared during the local commercial portions of the day’s broadcast.

Our friends in Ontario had a national FanDuel RG commercial appear early in their Super Bowl broadcast.

Overall, Ontario saw just 2.9% of its advertisements during the game be for online gambling.

Photo by Ashley Landis / AP Photo
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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