BetMGM launches new responsible-gambling ad featuring Connor McDavid

March 11, 2024 11:09 AM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
March 11, 2024 11:09 AM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports

A lot of people following the igaming industry in Ontario have been curious about how ad creative would look after the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario implemented new ad standards, forbidding the use of celebrities promoting gambling. After all, there was some great creative in the close to two years of a regulated market in Ontario, including big names like Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Wayne Gretzky, Tom Brady, Vince Vaughan, Connor McDavid, and others.

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The new restrictions came into effect Feb. 28.

Specifically, Standard 2.03 was modified where operators shall not:

  • Use or contain cartoon figures, symbols, role models, social-media influencers, celebrities, or entertainers who would likely be expected to appeal to minors.
  • Use active or retired athletes, who have an agreement or arrangement made directly or indirectly between an athlete and an operator or gaming-related supplier, in advertising and marketing, except for the exclusive purpose of advocating for responsible-gambling practices.

“Responsible gambling” was the carveout, leading to the question, how can operators broadcast creative that still uses the A-List celebrities they have agreements with, promoting responsible-gambling messaging while further burnishing their brand in Ontario?

The first example was posted on Feb. 28 – BetMGM’s new 30-second spot featuring McDavid, the NHL’s reigning Most Valuable Player, focusing on BetMGM’s collection of responsible-gaming tools.

McDavid posted the ad on his Instagram page Friday morning.

“We are determined to lead the industry in promoting responsible gaming and we’re proud to be doing so in partnership with one of hockey’s greatest players,” said Richard Taylor, Director of Responsible Gambling at BetMGM, in a statement. “As the legalized sports betting and online casino industry continues to grow and evolve, we remain committed to equipping players with information, tools and resources to help them play in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

“[It’s] all about being responsible if you choose to bet – staying in control and not getting carried away. That’s super important to me. And I really hope it’s advice that everyone follows,” McDavid said.

The BetMGM spot is airing on television outlets in the U.S. and Canada, as well as on various digital platforms.