Ad Vice: Mobile Sports Gambling Content Floods Airwaves

When gambling and overeating are widely practiced or become addictive, the results are often serious health and social consequences for the individuals involved, their families and society at large.

TV promotes both of them. TV’s fetishistic fixation on the gluttonous consumption of high-calorie, fatty foods has been addressed at least a half-dozen times in the TV Blog.

Now we can add online gambling and sports wagering to the vices TV promotes without regard to social consequences. 

TV commercials for the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars SportsBook (featuring JB Smoove, above) have flooded the airwaves here in New York and presumably in other states where this mobile online wagering has already begun or is about to.



Those three mobile betting apps were approved by the New York State Gaming Commission -- along with a fourth, BetRiver -- to start doing business here a little over 10 days ago, on January 8.

In New York City, spots and other marketing efforts for the new gambling apps -- including billboards and other forms of signage seen during sports telecasts -- began appearing a year ago or more, as the online betting industry sought to set the table for its prospective patrons in advance of this month’s start date.

Needless to say, this marketing onslaught continues, and along with it has come a new category of sports-talk shows on local, regional and national sports channels that are all focused on sports wagering.

Clearly, much of the nation is embracing mobile sports betting. And let the record show that the TV Blog cannot blame the TV and advertising businesses for taking up this golden opportunity to profit from this robust, new revenue source.

Once upon a time, this level of widespread sports betting was frowned upon and relegated almost entirely to Las Vegas casinos. Here in the present day, however, this activity that was once thought of as a vice to be discouraged, is suddenly widely acceptable.

If you go in search of studies about the deleterious effects of gambling, you will find plenty of them. One such piece of research from Baylor University is typical.

In a report titled “The Hidden Social Costs of Gambling,” researchers cite one consequence after another stemming from the illness of gambling addiction -- business and employment costs, suicides, costs for unemployment and treatment, divorce, domestic abuse and the list goes on and on.

State governments are complicit in the gambling explosion, which has resulted in casino gambling in 18 states, and 30 states offer legal gambling of at least one form or another.

TV stations often mount public service campaigns to support social causes. But to my knowledge, none around here have ever addressed the issues of gambling and the costs -- both human and financial -- that it generates.

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