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Nonprofit groups want NFL to stop marketing fantasy football to kids

Massachusetts Gambling

The display of a slot machine glows on the floor of the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Mass., Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The casino, a slot machine parlor, is scheduled to open on Wednesday June, 24, 2015. The Plainridge Park Casino represents the first gambling destination to open since state lawmakers approved a casino law in 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


A pair of nonprofit groups are imploring the National Football League to stop promoting fantasy football toward children.

According to Philip Marcelo of the Associated Press, the National Council on Problem Gambling and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have authored a letter that will be sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday complaining that the NFL “aggressively marketed” fantasy football content at kids in various media platforms.

The league’s “NFL Rush Fantasy” game was pointed toward kids between 6-12 years of age with prizes award for the highest scores in a given week. The groups believe that such content could help spark gambling issues in kids and addictive tendencies to similar games.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy told the AP that parents had to provide consent for their kids to participate in the contests, but the nonprofit groups argued it was easily circumvented.

It would seem that the constant barrage of DraftKings and FanDuel commercials seen during nearly every broadcast on the NFL calendar last season may be a more direct promotion of gambling (whoops, “games of skill”) than any of the contests pointed at participation from kids in this complaint.

However, there is probably a point where a line could be crossed. Whether these contests and the subsequent complaint from a pair of nonprofit groups will change the NFL’s thinking is yet to be determined.