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Sports betting companies push back against college advertising

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They argue that they are not targeting audiences who are under 21.

Debate continues regarding the ethics of gaming industry advertising on college campuses. Several notable companies have spoken out in opposition of the use of university stadiums for sports betting advertising.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a voluntary set of advertising guidelines in 2019 that addressed what ages should be targeted. The organization suggested displaying ads “to audiences where at least about three-quarters of the audience are of legal age to gamble.”

An AGA spokesman told the WSJ that direct promotions “shouldn’t occur on college and university campuses.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on a deal between Caesars Entertainment and Louisiana State University. Under the terms of the agreement, Caesars will have access to the university’s stadium space for brand recognition, as well as representation in various digital media outlets.

However, Caesars said it has steps in place to keep from marketing to students who are under age.

Caesars Digital President Eric Hession told the WSJ that the deal with LSU remains focused on reaching those who are 21 and older, not all university students.

“For example, we don’t use LSU athletes in the offers,” he said.

Hession also claimed that young people are not likely to pay attention to the signage in Tiger Stadium and made a distinction between the viewability of gambling ads on TV versus ads in the stadium.

FanDuel also offered pushback against reaching out to younger students with gambling advertising.

FanDuel Vice President of Marketing Andrew Sneyd told the WSJ: “There’s too large a population that shouldn’t be exposed.

Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Martin Lycka agreed and described ads located in university spaces as a temptation for students who are not old enough to bet.

“Most college students are not allowed to bet yet, but they may be tempted because of the exposure,” she said.

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