The National Football League has announced that they will contribute more than $6 million to a sweeping responsible gambling campaign targeted at helping people with gambling problems and educating the public on the dangers of problem gambling.
At the core of the program is a three-year partnership between the NFL and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), a D.C.-based non-profit organization founded in 1972 with the mission of combating gambling addiction and producing educational materials on the subject. According to reporting by ESPN, the $6.2 million funding from the NFL will double the normal budget of the NCPG.
The campaign will help fund gambling resources and programs across the U.S., as well as bolster a national hotline managed by the NCPG and its’ partners. The money will also be used to develop a website (resonsibleplay.org), as well as fund messaging about responsible gambling on the NFL’s social media channels.
The league will also partner with NCPG to produce a series of “responsible play” television advertisements featuring retired players and coaches discussing the dangers of problem gambling and urging fans to set affordable gambling limits.
How Serious Is Problem Gambling?
According to the NCPG website, more than two million U.S. adults meet the criteria for severe gambling problems. Since 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting legal gambling in most of the country, several states have legalized sports betting, including New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and most recently Arizona and Connecticut.
Research by the NCPG reveals that online gambling is more addictive than other forms of gambling, which makes it imperative that the industry allocate resources to educate the public on this danger, and promote responsible gambling.
The NFL and other sports leagues have cozied up to gaming companies in the last few years, with that activity ramping up in 2021. As a result, the NFL has shown some efforts to curb the inclusion of sportsbook content in regards to the league. For the 2021-22 season, the NFL placed limits on the frequency of odds-related content that can be included in game broadcasts and clarified their guidelines on how responsible gambling should be messaged on their media channels.