The legalization of sports betting in the US has unleashed plenty of new opportunities – with accompanying risks and challenges, both from a business strategy perspective and an ethical one – for many of America’s best-known and biggest media brands.

The challenge is to strike a balance that allows brands to leverage opportunities while not alienating sports fans who are not interested in betting, and at the same time not compromising journalistic integrity, according to Axios.

Fox has announced the biggest push into domestic sports betting with its online betting app, “Fox Bet”. Fox Corporation is also buying 5% of the Canadian gaming and online gambling company Stars Group Inc for $236m.

Last year, the mobile sports app theScore announced plans to launch its own sports betting offering, starting in New Jersey.

Other TV networks are being more cautious, Axios noted. ESPN, for example, has partnered with Caesars Entertainment to work on TV programming aimed at sports betting fans.

Its president was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “We are not going to be taking people’s money”; the brand’s mission is rather to serve sports fans with news and information.

Turner Sports and Bleacher Report have taken a similar partnership route and have built a branded Bleacher Report studio inside the Caesars Palace Sports Book in Las Vegas.

“In some ways, these partnerships feel old school,” Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network, a subscription sports betting media company, told Axios.

“They are great opportunities for revenue and for potential fans in Vegas, but future consumers overwhelmingly say when they bet that they want to do it with a mobile device versus in-venue.”

A new Action Network/Global Web Index survey has indicated that 79% of sports fans would consider using an app or website to bet, compared to 51% opting for a betting shop or a casino.

While new in the US, sports betting is nothing new in Europe, where it has attracted scrutiny and tightening of the rules of late.

In the UK, the largest gambling companies have voluntarily agreed to a “whistle-to-whistle” ban on TV ads, covering any game broadcast on TV that starts prior to the 9pm watershed but ends after that time.

Concern has mounted over the sheer volume of gambling advertising hitting the small screen and its influence, especially on younger people.

Sourced from Axios; additional content by WARC staff