NBA bans “risk free” from being used in gambling adverts on league and team-controlled platforms

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Responsible gambling once again took center of attention in the United States, where the NBA has announced the banning of the term ‘risk free’ in any league-controlled media.

This will include all advertisements posted on individual team websites. Furthermore, the NBA has put pressure on broadcasters over whom it does not have ultimate control, to follow suit. It comes after the league’s recent commitment to join the American Gaming Association’s “Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly” campaign in recent weeks as pressure around responsible gambling continue to ramp up.                                                  

The news was first reported on Sports Betting Journal. Although it was announced, full compliance will likely not be enforced before the start of the next basketball season.

The decision follows a trend of operators dropping the term ‘risk free’ from their advertising. FanDuel (part of the Flutter Group) were the first in July, with Ohio and Massachusetts regulators fast to follow suit in their respective states. 

Scott Kaufmn-Ross, the NBA senior vice president who heads gaming told SBJ: “We believe it’s a problematic term from a responsible gaming and a problem gaming standpoint. It’s important that we be clear with our fans that sports betting carries inherent risk. The notion that anything in this area is risk-free runs counter to the key messaging and education around sports betting. We just feel it’s the right move for us.”

Ohio sports betting has arguably been the leader on enforcement thus far, issuing over $1m in advertising-fines to large operators since the states sports betting launch not too long ago. 

The current NBA season is well underway, with the regular season set to end on April 9th, 2023. The playoffs will run from April 15th 2023 culminating in the NBA finals on June 2023. The defending champions of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors are currently languishing in mid-table in the Western Conference with 27 wins to 26 defeats. 

One of the season’s largest online betting events is coming up very soon, with the Super Bowl heading to Phoenix, Arizona. Promotional spending will naturally spike as operators seek to attract as many recreational American Football bettors to their platforms, be it for parlays or same-game parlays.