The American Gaming Association announced Friday that the New York Jets had become the second NFL team to join the AGA’s “Have a Game Plan. Bet Responsibly” campaign to combat problem gambling.
“The fan experience is at the heart of everything we do, and as legal sports betting expands, we want to ensure Jets fans are empowered to wager responsibly,” said Jeff Fernandez, the Jets’ vice president for business development & ventures, in a press release.
Almost a month ago, the Washington Football Team became the first NFL franchise to join the AGA’s campaign. (DraftKings and FanDuel are among the AGA’s other partners in the effort.) Similar to the particulars of the WFT’s partnership, the Jets will instruct their fans to “Know When to Huddle Up” with advertisements displayed in MetLife Stadium on the Jumbotron and other screens. There will also be radio ads, digital ads, and social media content on responsible gambling, according to AGA Media Relations Director Allison Nielsen.
— Mike Seely (@mdseely) August 16, 2021
“Leadership from professional sports teams like the Jets is critical to not only ensuring fans understand how to wager responsibly, but also getting sports betting right,” said AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark. “We’re thrilled to welcome the team as a partner and value their commitment to prioritizing responsible sports betting education for their loyal fan base.”
Responsible Gaming Education Week on deck
Back when Washington came aboard, the partnership was met with criticism in some corners of gambling Twitter, considering the AGA’s role as an advocate for commercial gambling. The National Council on Problem Gambling, however, commended the AGA’s program, which includes the NCPG’s 24-hour helpline for bettors who have self-control issues.
“‘Have a Game Plan’ is a good, responsible gambling campaign in that it’s intended for the 95% of fans who don’t have a problem,” NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte told Sports Handle back in August. “But for the 5% of sports bettors who have a problem, they need much more than a game plan.
“Telling someone without a problem to not drive drunk is absolutely appropriate. Telling an alcoholic to have a drinking plan is not appropriate. That’s why you need a second layer like the NCPG. I think the messages are complementary.”
The Jets announcement comes just as the AGA prepares to kick off Responsible Gaming Education Week on Sunday. Much like “Have a Game Plan,” the annual event will highlight responsible gaming’s central role in gaming and sports betting. Recent AGA research found that, due to expanded sports betting legalization and high fan enthusiasm for the season, a record 45.2 million Americans (18%) will wager on this year’s NFL season — marking a 36% increase from the 2020 season.
Image courtesy of American Gaming Association