AGA teams up with the NHL to expand its responsible sports betting message

October 26, 2020 11:20 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
October 26, 2020 11:20 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

The American Gaming Association and the National Hockey League have partnered to bring a responsible gaming message directly to fans through an extensive public service campaign inside the arenas.

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Through the partnership, which will be discussed Tuesday during a session at the virtual Global Gaming Expo 2020, the NHL will utilize in-arena video boards, public address announcements, and other material to promote the “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly” campaign that was developed by the Washington D.C.-based trade organization.

The AGA first rolled out the plan in March, at Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, concurrently, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down professional and college sports a few weeks later.

Cait DeBaun, the AGA’s senior director of strategic communications and responsibility, said in an email that the campaign will now advance beyond the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights.

“With the NHL as campaign partner, the league is developing custom resources for NHL clubs in legal sports betting jurisdictions to implement online and in-arena,” DeBaun said.

Since sports betting became legal nationwide following the May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the NHL and its teams have formed 17 marketing and data-sharing partnerships with gaming operators and suppliers. Nearly half of the 23 states, along with Washington D.C., that have legalized sports betting are home to NHL teams

AGA research has found that the NHL’s annual revenue may increase by as much as $216 million a year due to legal sports betting.

“The fan experience remains one of our highest priorities, as more hockey fans than ever have the opportunity to legally and responsibly bet in their home states,” NHL Chief Business Officer Keith Wachtel said in a statement. “Ensuring that our passionate fans know how to participate in this exciting new opportunity is important, and we’re thrilled to be working with the AGA to share the responsibility in this worthy education.”

With the NHL as a campaign partner, the league is developing custom resources for NHL clubs in legal sports betting jurisdictions to implement online and in-arena.

The AGA’s “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly” initiative encourages sports gamblers to adhere to responsible gaming protocols, such as setting a budget, keeping betting social, knowing the odds, and playing with trusted, regulated operators. The NHL joins NASCAR as the second professional league to adopt the campaign. NASCAR announced its partnership with the AGA in mid-September.

“Teams and leagues are increasingly embracing sports betting as they explore new fan engagement opportunities during COVID-19,” AGA CEO Bill Miller said in a statement. “Educating patrons about how to engage in this activity responsibly is critical to the success of the sports betting opportunity as it continues to expand throughout the country.”

The website, HaveAGamePlan.org, offers resources for responsible wagering, including locations for legal, regulated sportsbooks, and how to get help if sports betting is no longer a fun, affordable form of entertainment.

Wachtel will discuss the partnership at the virtual G2E 2020 panel “The Fan of the Future? How Leagues Are Capitalizing on Sports Betting Through Partnerships,” on Tuesday at 12:30 pm ET.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgaming.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.