The two big sports fantasy sites have waged a massive ad blitz this season that “dominated advertising slots during sports programming, and especially NFL games, around the start of the 2015 football season,” Boston.com reports, adding: “They have since found themselves facing heavy regulatory scrutiny over concerns about consumer safeguards and allegations that they are essentially gambling services.”
The report says complaints about the ads for DraftKings and FanDuel have been coming in to the Federal Communications Commission, with one big concern being commonly heard: the effect the ads may be having on children.
The publication printed a number of the complaints obtained through an open records request.
An example from New York: “They continually try to protect themselves as not being gambling…..but it is and it is abhorrent that these are shown on networks regularly viewed by teenagers, especially boys.”
A complaint the FCC received from Arizona points a finger at ESPN: “It is a responsibility of the Federal Government to protect us the citizens especially our children. ESPN’s Sportscenter program has turned into a gambling and fantasy football information show.”
A complaint received from Texas states: “We see, including children, a dozen online gambling commercials during a single college football game. … Do you really feel this is proper content for children or people with gambling issues to see on television?”
The report notes that DraftKings and FanDuel spent more than $100 million combined on TV advertising in September. Citing the Boston Globe, the report notes: “DraftKings has said the campaign paid off, claiming it saw more than 10 times the customer count at the start of football season compared to the year before.”