Category Archives: Advertising

Regional Fox Sports Networks to be Rebranded and Potentially Push Online Sports Betting Right on the Television

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing progression of legalized sports betting after the Supreme Court ruled sports betting doesn’t violate the wire act.  In multiple states, this has translated to typical sports betting experiences with online companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings or other sports bookies for betting directly on sports. These interactions have always been at arms length and required would-be gamblers to seek out such opportunities.  It would appear, however, that for most major sports markets, the experience is about to change and sports gambling will be thrust into consumers’ homes.  The NY Post reports:

Sinclair Broadcast Group and casino operator Bally’s Corp. are teaming up to bet big on sports gambling, The Post has learned. The two companies just signed a deal for Sinclair to rename its 21 sports networks Bally Sports, source said. Bally’s, which owns Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, will pay Sinclair $85 million over a 10-year period for the naming rights, giving it exclusive access to fans of 42 major teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Detroit Tigers, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals, sources said.

The goal, sources said, is for viewers to eventually be able to bet on games using a Bally’s online gaming tool directly from their TVs. Sinclair’s channels are currently named after Fox Sports because it bought them last year to help clear Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox.

Not only does Bally’s plan to offer online gambling, they are buying up other online gambling resources to drive additional traffic to those sites as well. The Post continues:

Separately, Bally’s is buying sports-betting software company Bet.Works for roughly $100 million and will attempt to drive traffic to its site through Sinclair, sources said.

The casino company, controlled by Soo Kim’s Standard General hedge fund, can launch the new online gaming tool in the states where sports betting is legal, including Nevada, Louisiana, Colorado and New Jersey, if it also has a physical casino there.

Bally’s, which recently changed its name from Twin River Worldwide Holdings, currently has casinos in 10 states, including Nevada, Mississippi, Missouri, Rhode Island, Colorado, New Jersey and Louisiana. MBL, the NBA and NHL still need to sign off on whether Bally’s can sponsor broadcasts to advertise their sports betting tools, sources said.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

NFL Called out as Hypocritical with its First Official Casino Partnership

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the many dealings with the NFL as it relates to gambling. For the longest time, the NFL has opposed sports betting and cited integrity concerns among others. Even as the Supreme Court legalized sports gambling, the NFL has been involved in lobbying efforts to keep gambling heavily regulated. There has been a shift where the NFL is engaging in name based marketing deals that allow casinos to use the NFL Shield, but limit how gambling can be mentioned. The Action Network explains:

On Thursday, the NFL announced that it signed a sponsorship deal with Caesars Entertainment to be the league’s first ever official casino partner. It was received by some as a sign that the NFL was finally coming around to cashing in on sports gambling.

It is and it isn’t. Caesars is doing the deal because they can use the NFL logo while promoting their brand. But they can’t do much more than that.

This isn’t a sports betting deal, it includes no rights to marks on boards at Caesars sportsbooks — physical or virtual. It’s not even a gaming deal: Caesars isn’t getting into daily fantasy.

It’s a money deal: Sources say the deal is worth $25 million a year and that it doesn’t include any provision for sports gambling, meaning Caesars wouldn’t automatically get a gambling designation.

One sports analyst reviewed their deals in this new gambling space, and has called out he league as being hypocritical with the actions, especially as it relates to players. The Action Network continues:

The NFL is playing a precarious game, allowing teams to do deals with casinos, and even sportsbooks, as long as they don’t mention anything about betting.

The decision by the NFL to go so slowly into the gambling space is a baffling one, from an outsider’s perspective. The NFL’s sports-betting shift is going to be the most embarrassing, which means Roger Goodell will end up eating more crow than any of his counterparts.

Remember, this is the same league that opposed players *even being in a Vegas casino*. Nearly 100 players were barred from participating in a football convention in Vegas back in 2015 because it took place in a casino.

In fact, players /still/ can’t promote casino properties. And now the league is doing a deal to … promote a casino property. Talk about hypocrisy. “NFL signing casino deal, teams signing casino deals and NFL players are still not allowed to do any endorsements with casinos,” a current NFL player texted me after I tweeted about the deal Thursday morning. “So messed up.” 

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

NFL reverses Gambling Advertising Policy – Dallas Cowboys first to sign with Casino

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the National Football League’s dealings with gambling over the years. They have long held the policy to fight against additional legalization of sports betting and they vigilantly fought each of New Jersey’s attempts over the years to expand sport betting. Even after the recent landmark decision by the Supreme Court to legalize sports betting to all venues that chose to regulate it, the NFL pushed for federal oversight to an issue that is currently at the discretion of each individual state. They have had some criticism directed their way for their willingness to engage in advertising with casinos and other gambling establishments, but they did heavily regulate the process. So given the shifting political and legal landscapes, and their willingness to engage in some form of advertising with the gambling industry, its unclear how their newest position should be viewed – selling out and being guilty of hypocrisy as they say one thing to the legislators, yet hold out their hands to garner revenue from the gambling providers, or a sports league that is simply changing with the times and embracing the inevitable. Sports Pro Online explains this new policy shift: 

The National Football League (NFL) team owners have agreed to permit franchises to sell sponsorship deals to casinos that work alongside bookmakers and betting companies.

While any casino involved in such an arrangement will still be prohibited from directly advertising its associated sportsbook in its partnership with an NFL team, the league’s business ventures committee has relaxed the main rule that had previously banned any bookmaker-related sponsorship.

The rule change will allow teams to receive advertising from any casinos and fantasy sites, giving them permission to broadcast the adverts during preview and post-match programmes, as well as during preseason games.

As part of the two-way agreement, both teams and casinos will have the opportunity to use each other’s brand logos in any advertising. However, NFL franchises will not be permitted to take revenue shares for any business driven to casinos and gambling or betting sites. Under the terms of the new rules, stadia are now also able to accept casinos as naming rights partners.

After the announced change by the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys because the first team to form an official partnership. Its very clear the NFL sees the potential billion dollar windfall from gambling advertising as an opportunity it wasn’t willing to pass up. An online source explains:

The deal between WinStar and the Cowboys marks the first time in NFL history that a casino has been granted official designation as a team’s exclusive partner, granting exclusive use of a team’s logos and trademarks. An amendment passed by NFL owners created the opportunity for casinos to obtain official partnerships with NFL teams.

The announcement was made less than 24 hours after the American Gaming Association released a Nielson Sports study that showed legalized sports betting would increase league revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars per year, with most of that money coming from higher viewership and advertising sales.

The Nielsen Sports study determined the NFL could increase its annual revenue by as much as $2.3 billion. 

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

‘Leave it Be: Until Amendment Three’ – Florida’s Voters in Charge Amendment Group Releases New TV Spot while it sees Overwhelming Local Support for the Ballot Measure

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing progression of the Voters in Charge Amendment , with the most resent update reporting enough signatures had been collected to guarantee it would appear on the ballot. Since then, a very telling poll was released that showed overwhelming support for the amendment, now officially known as Amendment 3. Florida Politics reports: 

Lawmakers, take note: More than three-quarters of likely Florida voters favor a proposed state constitutional amendment “that would require voter approval to authorize casino gambling in the state,” according to poll results released Thursday.

“When initially asked about the amendment, 76 percent of respondents supported it, compared to 19 percent in opposition,” a press release said. “After hearing a balanced dose of arguments both for and against Amendment 3, support for the measure increased to 84 percent with only 14 percent opposed.”

“For nearly a century, it was voters—not politicians—who decided whether to authorize casino gambling in our state,” said John Sowinski, chairman of Voters In Charge, the group sponsoring the amendment. “Voters overwhelmingly support Amendment 3 because it will return control of casino gambling decisions back to the people, rather than gambling lobbyists and Tallahassee politicians.”

On the heals of such overwhelming support, Voters in Charge released their first television advertisement in support of Amendment 3 with the campaign slogan, Leave it Be: Until Amendment 3. The commercial can be viewed on YouTube HERE




Multiple Anti-Gambling Expansion Ads Surface in Opposition of Florida’s New Gambling Expansion Bill

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing opposition this year’s early gambling expansion legislation in Florida that would legalize mega-resort, full-scale, Vegas-style gambling casinos. Several groups have already been vocal with their opposition and now multiple television ads have been released. The first television ad is outlined in a Busineswire Press Release:

No Casinos, Inc. has unveiled a new 30-second ad, “New Deal,” that outlines the historic expansion of gambling proposed in House Bill 1233, which was introduced March 2, 2015 by Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa).

The video details how the bill benefits so many in the gambling industry, to the detriment of Florida and its citizens. Among the bill’s broad-reaching proposals: out-of-state and foreign gambling conglomerates win the ability to build mega Las Vegas-style casinos; dog and horse tracks and frontons outside of South Florida win a new gambling game, dubbed “historical racing,” that plays like a slot machine; and tracks and frontons in South Florida win a lower tax rate.

Who loses? Florida’s image, communities and taxpayers. Statistics from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling show that nearly one-third of callers to its HelpLine admit to committing crimes to support their gambling addiction. Simply put, more gambling equals more addicts equals more crime. And taxpayer dollars cover the cost.

The second set of television spots seeks to support the existing Seminole Compact that offers exclusive rights for tribal gambling. The Sunshine State News reports:

The leadership of the business community stepped up on Monday to go to bat for the Seminole Gaming Compact while urging Florida to limit expanded casino operations in the Sunshine State.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida released a new TV ad on Monday featuring Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and Carol Dover, the president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, calling to support extending the compact which is up in July.

“Florida is changing, which is why we need to extend the compact and limit gambling,” Wilson said. “Changing it could lead to the expansion of gambling, which simply is unacceptable for a state that has worked hard to grow its economy and develop a family-friendly image.”



For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Lenders factoring in Online Gambling in the Mortgage Process

Casino Watch Focus has repeatedly reported on the impacts of online gambling. Most stories have centered on the legal battles to keep online gambling illegal.  However, online gambling stories are now reaching far beyond the political fights as illustrated by the report of Facebook changing their gambling advertising policies. Now, an online source is reporting that social networking isn’t the only industry to look at online gambling, as banks are now factoring in such activities into their mortgage approval process:

Anyone looking to become approved for a mortgage may want to curb their betting habits. It has been reported that lenders are now taking into account betting transactions that are made on an applicants bank account. The most common form of these transactions is online gambling sites.

One of the reasons that financial institutions look into the gambling activity, according to Chief Executive of Mortgage Debt Advisory Firm Negotiate Trevor Grant, is that most people coming looking for a loan, should be tightening their extraneous spending. Gambling, says Grant, is considered to be a red flag that the applicant may not have self control.

The banking industry isn’t just looking at new mortgages either.  Lenders are being especially hard on those looking to refinance or restructure their loans.  Lenders view refinancing as a sign the borrow is having trouble paying and managing their finances and online gambling expenses are then being viewed as a poor allocation of the borrows money.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Facebook to Ban Online Gambling Advertisements in US

Casino Watch Focus has reported on many of the ongoing online gambling battles both locally and abroad.  Most reports have focused on which states were entertaining legalizing online poker, but others have looked at the impact of national laws on international companies. A new international company to look at revamping their business practices due to national online gambling laws is Facebook.  An online source is reporting that Facebook is banning online gambling advertisements in jurisdictions that make online gambling illegal:

Recently, Facebook has started to clamp down on different forms of advertising. Online gambling is one of those areas addressed in the most recent update. One site that will be prohibited from advertising on Facebook will be Full Tilt Poker. The company recently lost their gaming license in Alderney after falling behind on payments. The online poker site also has closed its doors to customers since Black Friday in the US, when executives for the site were indicted. Other online poker sites, including PokerStars, will be allowed to advertise on Facebook.

One of the clarifications that Facebook has made regarding their online gambling advertising, is the company can only promote their product outside the US. The US has online gambling prohibition in place, and Facebook is ensuring they are not promoting something that the government deems illegal.

The Internet gambling laws in the US could change in the coming months with many lawmakers pushing a bill that would regulate online poker. If online poker became regulated in the country, Facebook would likely change their advertising policies once again to allow companies to promote their online poker sites to US citizens.   

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Penny Auctions Sites: the New Online Gambling Risk?

Many websites are advertising incredible and unbelievable deals on expensive products such as High-definition Televisions, Apple iPads, GPS’ and even high-dollar gift cards at a fraction of their cost.  Known as Penny Auctions, these sites have consumers bid on these items until the time runs out and the person who placed the last bid wins.  It sounds like normal eBay-type auction sites, so how do  they work or differ?  The Delaware News Journal explains the process:

The auction is announced on the website. Typically, hundreds or even thousands of auctions are held simultaneously. The terms of the auction are detailed, for example, a six-hour auction with each bid adding 1 cent to the price. Each additional bid made in the last 20 seconds of the auction resets the clock to 20 seconds remaining. Bidding often is slow until the waning minutes. With 20 seconds to go, the top bid might be only $1 or $2. But every time the clock nears zero, another bidder ups the price by a penny. Finally, only one bidder remains, and he or she wins the iPad, which has a list price of $500, for whatever the final tally is, maybe $25.

This process seems harmless enough, but how can the company make any money selling a $500 retail item such as an iPad and still make money?  There’s a catch, a very costly and potentially dangerous catch.  Each bid placed costs money, typically between 50 cents and two dollars depending on the site.  So unlike eBay where the losers of the auction simply lose out on the product, each and every person who places a bid is at risk of losing their money. The News Journal further explains the iPad example:

Since every bid costs 50 cents, and it took 2,500 bids to reach $25, the auction site takes in $1,275 ($1,250 in bids plus the $25 winning bid). Assuming the site paid full retail price for the iPad, it makes a $775 profit.  The winning bidder gets the iPad for $25 plus the cost of the bids he or she made and shipping. The other bidders, some of whom may have spent $100 or more on bids, walk away empty-handed.

But even the winner might not come out ahead of the game, advocates suggest. Say the winner bid $25 and used $50 in bids. At $75 for a $500 iPad, that still seems like a good deal. But that doesn’t take into account all the money in bids the winner spent in auctions he or she didn’t win. Add that in, and the deal might not be so good. In fact, it could mean that he or she spent more than the retail cost of the iPad. “It is just a gimmick. They get you caught up in it. It is like gambling.”

The psychology of Penny Auctions functions the same as the lottery or slot machines, put in a little to win a lot.  People will also chase after an auction because they have invested money and don’t want to lose it, just like they do with slot machines or with a poker hand.  Penny Auctions are simply gambling at the core and the consequences can be just as addictive and devastating.  These sites have been called gambling sites disguised to look like a typical auction, the dangers are just as real, and this might be just the beginning of a new potential gambling risk:

In November, an Oregon man filed a federal lawsuit alleging that one of the largest auction sites,, was really a gambling site masquerading as an auction site. The suit seeks class-action status and asks for damages for everybody who lost money at the site.

Brian Kongszik, help-line director for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, said penny auctions really are thinly disguised gambling sites. “They are risking something in an event of uncertain outcomes, which is gambling,” he said. Kongszik said the council had only had a few calls from people seeking help because of penny auctions. Still, he said, he could definitely see the attraction for problem gamblers. “I can see people losing a significant amount of money on these and getting caught up in it, in the rush. It is a rush.”

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Missouri expands gambling through bingo

Last year Casino Watch Focus reported that the Missouri legislature passed a new bingo gambling bill, but Gov. Nixon vetoed it.  At the end of this year’s legislative session, the politicians are trying to expand gambling again, but this time they are not pulling any funds away from education – Gov Nixon’s primary reason for vetoing the bill.  The News Tribune reports the details:

Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill intended to boost the business of Missouri bingo halls.

Legislation sent to the governor Wednesday would allow bingo parlors to open earlier, close later and offer games twice a week instead of just once. It also lets bingo operators spend up to 10 percent of their receipts on advertising. The limit is now 2 percent.

Supporters say the measure is meant to help bingo halls compete with casinos and other forms of entertainment. In the past 15 years, the number of organizations licensed to run regularly scheduled bingo games has fallen by more than half.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Illinois looking to legalize online horse betting

Illinois is known for its diverse gambling venues. Everything from a state lottery to full casino gambling is legal in the state. Now, Illinois is looking to expand its horse betting business to the Internet.  An Illinois news source is reporting of the State’s latest attempt at solving budgetary problems with an expanded gambling plan:

Gambling on horse races on the Internet could become legal for Illinoisans as early as Wednesday.  The Illinois Racing Board is scheduled Tuesday to weigh giving three companies state licenses to handle online bets. If those companies are approved Tuesday, gamblers could use the approved Web sites to wager on horses from the comfort of their own homes as early as Wednesday.

Soon, the approved companies could start advertising, and Brubaker said he hopes the state will step up enforcement on non-licensed Web sites.

Estimates suggest the online betting could bring the state $1.5 million in additional revenue.  Opponents of online horse betting, though, argued letting people gamble online could lead to addiction and other problems.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

Ameristar lays off 5% of work force after Prop A Passes

During the Proposition A campaign, we heard countless times that Prop A would protect jobs in Missouri.  The Yes on A campaign even played a commercial with an employee asking people to vote Yes on A to help save her job.  Casino Watch pointed out that market forces would impact job loss not the loss limit yet the casino’s continued to promises job protection with the passage of Prop A.

Unfortunately, the St Louis Post Dispatch reported that 120 employees have lost their jobs at Ameristar St Charles.  This represents 6.5% of their local workforce and 5% of their National workforce.  Unfortunately, Ameristar Kansas City also laid off 75 workers.  Remember that it was Ameristar and Troy Stremming who drafted and funded Prop A.  And it was Ameristar who said that Prop A would save jobs.  Yet the first casino to start laying off its employees is Ameristar.  This proves that even Troy Stremming knew Prop A could save jobs and they intentionally made more false promises, if not outright lies.

The Casinos Spent over $12 million Out of State for ‘Yes on A’ campaign instead of investing the money in Missouri Companies

The casinos have long claimed that they invest in our communities and help stimulate our economy.  But reports from the ethics commission reveal that 82% of the Yes on A spending went out of state.  Very little was spent in the state as $12,380,082 were sent out of state.  The biggest recipient was the Hollywood CA company they hired to run the strategy and commercials for their deceptive campaign –  Winner & Mandabach received $9,162,281.   A Seattle WA printing company received $2,056,922, National Petition Management in Michigan received almost a million dollars and they spend almost $200,000 in other miscellaneous charges out of the state.

The only real spending in the state was to a few PR firms, their spokespersons, and the law enforcement
and teachers they paid to endorse Prop A.  The casinos could even buy there promotional t-shirts here in Missouri; they paid the Las Vegas company Eagle Promotions over $30,000 for their shirts.

These spending habits are simply a microcosm of how the casinos do business.  Casinos don’t help our economy.  They take money away from small business and restaurants all around the state and instead of that money being reinvested in our community, its get shipped out to Las Vegas.  This information and more can be found in our Policy Brief entitled “Expanded Gambling & the Loss Limit: How its removal will impact Missouri”

Please vote NO on Proposition A, and tell everyone you know to visit Campaign Hits the Airwaves with TV Ad “Rotten Proposition”

ST.LOUIS – Nov. 1 – Casino Watch Committee, the Campaign today released its latest television ad, entitled “Rotten Proposition.” The ad highlights the main endorsements and arguments against Proposition A.

The ad will air Saturday, November 1st through Election Day throughout Missouri on various cable networks.


Another Teacher Comes Forward Saying She was Tricked into Supporting Prop A

We first reported that a teacher came forward who explained the unethical practices used by the casinos to get teacher support for Proposition A.  Now Marjorie Ball, a substitute student-teacher supervisor for the Carl Junction school district has also come forward claiming she was used by the casinos to promote Prop A when she thought she was filling out a survey from the state.  KOAM in Joplin interviewed her and the fist teacher to come forward,

Marjorie Ball said during the televised interview:

“I just thought [the survey] was something that supported education.  Obviously I support schools; I support education. I guess the hidden part was the casinos part.”

There is no doubt that other educators across the state have suffered the same unethical treatment by the casinos and they too are being used to expand gambling in the name of education.  As more and more educators speak out against Proposition A, it looks like its really just Yes for Casinos First.

Latest Educator in Yes on A ads received nearly $14,000 for Endorsement

The latest Ad from the Yes on A coalition features Dr. Gene Oakley.  In the ad he says that he is an education advocate and supports Proposition A.  What the ad doesn’t tell you is that DR Oakley received $13,558.67 for his endorsement.  Reports from the Missouri Ethics Commission show he received money on six different occasions.

The proponents claim Prop A is about education and supported by educators, yet superintendents all over the state are speaking out against Prop A.  The coalition also failed to get the support of teachers unions as ALL THREE refused to endorse Proposition A calling it a gambling issue not an education issue.  On top of those damaging issues, recently discovered unethical practices used by the coalition to obtain teachers support has called all teacher endorsements into question.

Proposition A is not about education and it seems the only way they are getting educator support is through unethical and tricky surveys and by paying education advocates for their endorsements.  This is the same old and tiered game the casinos play at election time. Don’t be fooled again, vote No on Prop A.