Sports Betting Operators Cut Ad Spending by 21% in 2023

Does it seem like sportsbook commercials are all over your television, laptop, and mobile phone screens? It may seem that way, but according to research, sports betting operators have reduced their ad budgets by 21% since a peak in 2022.

A study paid for by the American Gaming Association and performed by The Nielsen Company reveals that sports betting operators in the United States spent $1.1 billion on advertising in 2023. That’s a big dollar figure but represents a 21% decrease compared to the $1.4 billion that surged into ads in 2022.

Nielsen found that less than $25 million had been spent by sportsbooks on sports betting ads in 2017. That was the year before the US Supreme Court’s monumental decision that cleared states to legalize the activity.

According to Nielsen, the drop in ad spending began to occur in the latter half of 2022, perhaps as a reaction to consumer backlash against the flood of commercials and bonus offers being pushed at consumers. At that time, many sportsbooks used the terms “free bets” and “risk-free.”

Now, most jurisdictions prohibit such language in ads. Notably, Massachusetts and Ohio sports betting have regulations requiring the use of “21+” anywhere a sportsbook ad or logo is displayed to promote the activity.

View more of the study here from AGA and Nielsen.

Television Still Draws Much of Ad Spend From Sportsbooks

The research by Nielsen shows that television is still the primary medium for advertising sports betting. More than half of all ad dollars for sportsbooks were spent on TV ads in 2023, Nielsen says.

While it may feel like Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and other sports betting apps are blanketing your TV screen with commercials, the American Gaming Association says that less than 1% of all national TV advertising is dedicated to sportsbooks. That’s a slight amount compared to advertising for alcohol, fast food, and pharmaceuticals.

States where sports betting is legal is up to 38, and active in nearly that number. Despite large economies like California, Florida, and Texas not having markets or widespread markets, the industry is making a giant impact on the US economy.

According to the report, gaming (which includes casino activity) contributes $328.6 billion to the US economy. Thanks to regulated sports betting, Nielsen found that the activity delivered more than $52. billion in tax revenues to federal, state, and local governments in 2023.


About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a veteran writer and contributor for Gaming Today. He has written three books, including The Ballplayers: Baseball’s Greatest Players Remembered, Ranked, and Revealed, which will be released in 2024. Holmes has previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.

Get connected with us on Social Media