May 6, 2021 – Not only do such ads permeate the YES Network, TV home to the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets, but DraftKings actually sponsors the Yankees’ pregame show. The in-program advertising is part of an exclusive partnership the gambling site has with Major League Baseball. What message is that sending to a younger fan base, one that MLB executives have openly courted amid sagging youth interest in the national pastime?

On sports talk radio, seemingly every third ad is for gambling sites — including “readers” in which hosts cheerfully dare listeners to “put their money where their mouth is” by betting on any number of sporting events. This despite the fact that WFAN’s most famous on-air personality, Craig Carton, is a recovering compulsive gambler whose addiction led him down a path of crime and incarceration. Regardless, the station’s parent company, Entercom Communications, recently signed a six-year sponsorship with FanDuel that includes ad scripts read by hosts and spots promising can’t-lose, “risk-free” or even fully refundable first-time bets for new members.

A radio spot from BetMGM, currently running on WFAN, is an example that should give anyone pause. The ad entices new members by promising to pay out $100 from a bet of $1. The bet? That any team in an NBA game they wager on hits one three-pointer — about as sure a thing as any sporting outcome. Of course, that $100 is paid out not in funds but in free bets, prompting new gamblers to become regular ones.


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