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Hockey fans can likely bet on seeing more gambling-related advertising — for now

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Talk to any hockey fan and they’ll have something to say about all the betting-related content that’s popping up on NHL broadcasts these days.

Gordon Rendell “forces it on us every few minutes,” wrote in an email from NL’s Happy Valley Goosebay, summarizing the frustration he and other like-minded fans are feeling. doing.

There are television ads promoting sports betting, broadcast segments dedicated to sports betting, and digital ads on arena boards promoting sportsbook companies. These are all part of the fierce competition for the business of those who want to bet.

A billboard advertising a brand of online sports betting in downtown Toronto is painted Friday. Today, over 10 companies legally bet online on Ontario sporting events. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“It pisses me off.

Veteran Sports Broadcaster Dave Hodge Not even a fan of Game Push — not only about what it means for the sport, but also what it means for the people watching the product on air.

“I think that’s distorting the telecast,” said Hodge, who also believes it’s potentially dangerous to the integrity of the sport.

fresh market

The surge in betting-related content in hockey media follows last year’s legalization of single-event sports betting in Canada. This allowed states to regulate betting within those areas.

Ontario led the way, launching a regulated gambling market in April. 2 digit company list We now legally accept online bets on sporting events in Ontario.

See | Promoting New Sports Betting Market in Ontario:

Experts worry about impact of sports betting ads in Ontario

Advertisements for sports betting are popping up all over Ontario, and some experts say they could reach out-of-state audiences and entice them to play on unregulated gambling sites. I am concerned.

A similar story is unfolding in the United States after a 2018 US Supreme Court ruling allowing sports betting to become widespread across the United States.

of The New York Times reports Currently, 31 US states allow betting on sports in person or online. His other five are poised to do so in the future.

Victor Matheson, an economics professor at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the United States and Canada provide gaming companies with a huge number of potential customers.

Sports economics and gambling expert Matheson said, “There’s a lot of money flowing into both the US and Canada because we’re tapping into huge markets.

In Ontario alone, bettors register Over $4 billion wagered From April to the end of June. totaled more than $6 billion next quarter.

Harnessing Star Power

The appeal of the Canadian market can be seen in the efforts sportsbook companies are making to attract the attention of hockey audiences and their bettors.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ouston Matthews was seen skating in front of a section of boards displaying PointBet ads during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena earlier this month. You can The star’s goalscorer has signed an endorsement deal with another company, Bet99. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Some of these companies have signed deals with the NHL to increase fan awareness at events and broadcasts. FanDuel and BetMGMFor example, it signed partnership agreements that allow it to “use official NHL branding … to appeal to fans and sports betting customers” in the United States and Canada.

There are also guaranteed contracts with famous players. Prolific Maple, whose Leafs goalscorer Ouston Matthews has an endorsement deal with his Bet99, Edmonton he’s an Oilers superstar, and Conor McDavid, who branded him BetMGM, is his ambassador.

Not all fans were impressed.

A lifelong hockey fan from Labrador, Rendell points out: The commercial he saw featuring McDavid and Wayne GretzkyThe premise sees the distracted No. 99 paying more attention to basketball betting than watching modern-day Edmonton stars practice.

“Ridiculous,” said Rendell.

social cost

The expansion of sports betting in Canada has raised concerns about the harm it can cause.

Listen | Professional sports, betting and bettor risks:

lab coat black art26:30sports gambling addiction

Now that single-event sports betting has taken off in Canada, advertising and incentives are encouraging people to place bets. However, the recovering gambling addict and his gambling counselor worry that it is more dangerously addictive than ever. And they want to do more to limit advertising and support treatment.

Some people watching hockey at home fear that the broadcast and media side of the hockey industry’s promotions may endanger some viewers.

“It’s hard to sell. It’s always there,” Hodge said. “You can’t get away from it.”

Matthew Young, director of research and evidence services at Greo Evidence and Insights, said: organizations that study problem gamblingsports have long had the image of having a beneficial impact on society.

“What we get through this deluge of sports advertising is a combination of sports and gambling and an appreciation for sports and gambling,” said Young, who believes these promotional efforts may need to be more heavily regulated. Mr.

Adults aren’t the only ones watching hockey games. Younger viewers will also see these ads.

“They will grow up in an environment that knows sports betting and gambling very well. [being] Introduced to them at a very young age. ”


Steve McAllister has been closely following developments at the forefront of sports betting while creating Gaming News Canada, a bi-weekly industry coverage newsletter launched in January 2021.

Kyle Connor celebrates a goal near part of a board displaying an ad for a sportsbook company during a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 3. (James Carey Lauder/USA TODAY Sports)

He has seen more news generated as the industry grows.

“[Initially] I was struggling to write 700 words a week,” said McAllister, vice president and editor-in-chief of Parleh Media Group.

He hears what fans are saying about changes in hockey broadcasting. For him, it’s a puzzle the broadcaster is trying to solve.

“How do you present content about sports betting that doesn’t offend sports fans who aren’t interested in sports betting?” A career in sports media includes work in communications and journalism.

“That is the dilemma and the challenge.”

CBC News asked the NHL about fan feedback on the matter. The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Sports betting is a huge industry with a global profile. Our experience outside of North America may give us a glimpse of how things will fare here in the long run.

Billboards promoting online sportsbook and casino brands can be seen in downtown Toronto on Friday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Sports economics expert Matheson said the UK has been legalizing sports betting for decades, and several marquee companies (some even entering the Canadian market) are doing business. He said he is spending a lot of money to promote it.

“Roughly half of the English Premier League teams now have a betting sponsor as their primary jersey sponsor.

This speaks to how these types of industry players may invest in North American sports in the future.

Spending frenzy may also be different in the future as the market matures.

McAllister predicts that economic realities will influence the decisions ultimately made.

“You can only spend millions of dollars on advertising for a long time,” he said.

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