The NFL has announced it will invest $6.2m to help grow programs to prevent or treat problem gambling.
The NFL is launching a responsible betting initiative with a core message of “Stick to Your Game Plan. Always Bet Responsibly.” The league is partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to build a three-year campaign that will include in-game messaging, social media outreach, broadcast, print and in-stadium messaging.
"We feel it is critical that the NFL uses the power of our voice to educate and encourage fans who choose to bet to do so in a safe and responsible way," said Christopher Halpin, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. "We also recognize that responsible betting programs across the country are under-resourced, especially as legalization spreads nationwide.”
Halpin added, “Collectively, all of us in the sports and betting industries need to learn from international examples and make sure the development of education and support programs matches the state-by-state growth in legalized sports betting. In collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling and our commercial partners, the league is fully committed to advancing responsible betting awareness, education, and problem-gambling support."
Halpin said that about 17% of NFL fans aged 21 or over describe themselves as frequent bettors, according to an Associated Press article. The American Gaming Associated said that more than 45m Americans plan to wager on NFL games this year.
About 2% of the U.S. population has a gambling problem, according to Keith Whyte, executive director of the NCPG.
"With this partnership, we are able to exponentially enhance the NCPG's ability to provide advocacy, awareness, and assistance on problem gambling,” Whyte said. “The NFL's far-reaching initiative demonstrates its strong commitment to being an industry leader in raising awareness. The league's support of our advocacy efforts will help fund new communications initiatives, such as ResponsiblePlay.org and a PSA about problem gambling, expand gambling prevention services where they are most needed, and modernize our National Problem Gambling Helpline operations with updated capabilities."