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*** UPDATED x1 - Pulled *** Rate the new FanDuel/DraftKings TV ad

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* Press release…

Billionaire Neil Bluhm of Rivers Casino has waged war with the industry leaders, seeking to rid the field of top competition. FanDuel and DraftKings are responding with a $1 million multi-platform awareness and education campaign.

Over the next five days, advocacy advertisements will air on radio broadcast and cable, state- and city-wide, including morning and evening news, late-night talk shows and live sporting events. There will also be a multichannel digital engagement campaign across social media, search, YouTube and over-the-top streaming providers, including Hulu, Roku and radio providers like Spotify and Pandora.

It’s a strong, final push against Bluhm, who is singlehandedly pressing for legislation that ostensibly protects the interests of his own properties at the expense of Illinois’ coffers.

* The ad

* Script

Illinois is in debt. But there is hope in a significant amount of tax revenue with online sports betting.

In order to benefit from this, we must allow those who are experienced in the digital gaming arena to compete in our state.

But there is a casino owned by a billionaire that wants to keep them out, which will compromise tax revenue for Illinois.

Now they want to use their political muscle to box out the competition so they can profit, reducing the tax dollars our state can make from online betting.

Don’t let Rivers Casino muddy the waters.

* Paul Gaynor, the outside counsel for Midwest Gaming and Rush Street Interactive (Bluhm’s guy)…

It’s not surprising that Fan Duel and Draft Kings are spending $1 million to try and buy a duopoly after years of engaging in conduct that the Attorney General concluded clearly constituted illegal gambling, without following regulations, paying taxes or paying licensing fees. Now they want to be rewarded for their improper behavior and put in front of the line ahead of gaming entities who complied with the law and regulations, paid taxes and put thousands of Illinois residents to work. While we support the legalization of sports betting, what we don’t support are companies that brazenly operate outside the rules, which is why a regulatory waiting period would ensure the integrity of sports betting and that they fully and readily comply with the same strict regulations already being followed by existing gaming operators.

*** UPDATE *** Marc La Vorgna, spokesman for Bet on Illinois…

At the governor’s request, the ad is being suspended for the time being while we engage in productive discussions to deliver smart sports betting legislation before the session ends.

* Related…

* FanDuel CEO says ‘Illinois needs to pass a bill’ for sports betting

posted by Rich Miller
Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:04 pm


  1. They shouldn’t have let a technocrat write that script, it’s awful. I didn’t bother watching the video once I read the script.

    Comment by The Captain Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:13 pm

  2. ===“At this time, the women of the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus will not support the proposed gaming bill until drafters remove language that allows any state revenues collected to be given to sports team owners and their respective leagues.”===

    Is this brick still in place?

    To the ad,

    It’s a B-, C+


    The premise that one gaming interest has the betterment of the state over another… in their logic… it’s a bit far fetched

    “It’s about the dollars, always the dollars”

    It’s disappointing.

    This ad is like…

    “Which one of the Five Families is more concerned about Illinois.”

    At this point a B- is generous.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:16 pm

  3. Why are the Super Fans not involved in this ad.

    Comment by Peoples Republic of Oak Park Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:21 pm

  4. Too wordy. Like Cap, I lost interest before I got to the end of the text. C

    Comment by lakeside Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:24 pm

  5. There must be way many more sports gamblers that I knew about. The ad isn’t terrible but how many Illinoisans are engaged enough in this inside baseball issue for this large a buy to be noticed, or effective, or worthwhile?

    Comment by Responsa Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:29 pm

  6. Wow, that ad is awful. The voice over is my favorite part. Were they too cheap to pay for professional voice talent and just grabbed Bob the coffee boy to do it for them? Geez.

    I give it a C for content but a D- for production values.

    Comment by Chicago Cynic Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:36 pm

  7. Meh. A waste of a million on a subject that like 1% of Illinoisans know anything about. And spending $1 million on this ad is apparently a million more than they’ve paid in state taxes.

    Comment by Shytown Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:39 pm

  8. 2/1 they overspent on that garbage ad.

    Comment by Not Again Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:41 pm

  9. Poor. The images don’t make sense for the messaging…what do oil workers have to do with gaming? Does little to capture interest or explain why the average person should care. Even if they did care, there is no call to action and the website to go to remains onscreen for less than a second.

    Comment by Dance Band on the Titanic Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 4:46 pm

  10. A million dollars could have bought them one HECK of a blog ad that would’ve actually reached their targeted audience. Just sayin… lol

    Comment by Rich Miller Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 5:01 pm

  11. ===A million dollars could have bought them one HECK of a blog ad that would’ve actually reached their targeted audience. Just sayin===

    This is correct.

    The “worry” should be the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus, not folks at home wondering why the Rivers Casino ran another ad during… whatever.

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 5:05 pm

  12. To add, apologies,

    This ad, language, logic, it still doesn’t help that caucus with what their beef appears to be.

    So, they run this ad… asking folks which of the Five Families cares about Illinois more… ya think there’s enough in this ad to compel action and change the minds of that caucus?

    But, it’s not my million dollars…

    Comment by Oswego Willy Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 5:08 pm

  13. As others have noted, TV is a wasteful strategy and this spot is pretty bad. Way too blabby, cut-and-paste stock footage of nothing in particular, tiny website visual call-to-action at end.

    Couple of strange things:

    1. What big boat is that at the beginning, and where is it supposed to be? Do these guys realize that Illinois “riverboats” don’t actually go chugging out on the waters?

    2. This line — “But there is a casino owned by a billionaire that wants to keep them out…” is looped in. Give it a listen; it’s the same voiceover talent, but the voice sounds way different than the rest of the spot, even the rest of that sentence. I don’t think it was from the same recording session.

    My guess is that a direct shot at “billionaire” Bluhm wasn’t in the original “finished” spot and was looped in after the fact.

    If you’re spending a million bucks, just have him lay down the whole script again, already.

    Comment by wordslinger Thursday, May 23, 19 @ 7:39 pm

  14. Zzzzzzz. They should have hired someone more dynamic to voice this add. Was Michael Dukakis not available?

    Comment by Harvest76 Friday, May 24, 19 @ 6:51 am

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