Upping the ante: Why sports betting brands are investing in podcast advertising and how Acast uses geotargeting to safely serve the content to audiences

Upping the ante: Why sports betting brands are investing in podcast advertising and how Acast uses geotargeting to safely serve the content to audiences


The cards have been dealt on another Podcast Movement as tastemakers and thought leaders gather in Las Vegas, NV this week to share their take on the industry. 

Among those industry leaders to grace the stages are Acast’s Global SVP of Sales Joe Copeman, Managing Director for Canada Heather Gordon, and Director of the Acast Creator Network, US Tiffany Ashitey along with Director of Partnerships for North America at Playmaker Capital Adam Seaborn. The group spoke about the rise of sports betting in podcasts and podcast advertising as well as the challenges and opportunities that the sector presents for the industry.

“When you first mention sports betting advertising on podcasts to someone you can almost see their alarm bells going off. But the biggest challenge to the category has already been solved for – Acast offers advanced targeting solutions, like geotargeting, to ensure that these ads can only be served to age-appropriate audiences in regions where sports betting is legal,” said Copeman. “Sports betting is a multi billion dollar industry that’s only going to keep growing as more legislation is passed to legalize it. This creates massive revenue potential for podcasters, but importantly, Acast always offers podcasters the opportunity to opt out of any content that may not align with their own values.”

Acast is constantly exploring more ways for podcasters to maximize their revenue potential and through polling and market research, assesses the value of emerging ad categories and interest of podcasters to host those categories. For each possible ad category, Acast allows podcasters to opt in or out of accepting that content on their podcast. 

Among those emerging categories is sports betting, which continues to experience growth globally, with some estimating a nearly $130 billion market valuation by 2028. In the US, as more states pass legislation to legalize gambling, annual events like the Super Bowl and March Madness play a massive role in this growth. 

In 2022, March Madness raked in an estimated $3.1 billion and approximately 45 million Americans – roughly 17% of the entire US adult population – placed at least one bet. Going beyond this mass appeal, the panelists said, it’s important to note how these bets are occurring. Nearly three-quarters of the total amount bet on the tournament did not involve brackets, a 55% increase from 2021 that can be attributed to more states legalizing sports betting. 

Last month the Super Bowl was hosted for the first time ever in a state where sports gambling had been legalized. As a direct result of this wider spread legalization, FanDuel reported 50,000 bets per minute at its peak and DraftKings paid $2.68 million to one bettor for the Chiefs victory. And it wasn’t just the stat sheet fanatics cashing in on the game either with bets being cast on the color of the notorious Gatorade bath at the end of the game. The long shot purple paid out on 9 to 1 odds.

“As sports betting continues to become popular with wider audiences, podcasts present a huge opportunity for advertisers to connect with the most highly engaged audiences of any other form of media,” said Seaborn. “At Playmaker Capital in our work with Acast, the most effective ad content – sports betting or otherwise – occurs when the podcasters maintain creative control over the message. Podcasters know their audiences better than anyone and when brands trust them to communicate to listeners in a way that’s authentic to them, the results are unmatched.”

According to the Magellan AI Podcast Advertising Q4 Benchmark Report, gambling was the second fastest growing industry in the quarter, with $30 million spent on podcast ads in Q4 alone – a 110% increase quarter-on-quarter. Similarly, the report found that ad spend on fantasy sports continued to climb with the category experiencing a 35% increase in Q4 with $12.7 million spent on podcast ads.

The panelists said that sports betting brands continue to invest in the medium because of the proven effectiveness of podcast audiences. In fact, according to GWI, global podcast listeners are 57% more likely than average to visit gambling or betting websites or apps and more than 105 million global podcast listeners visit gambling or betting websites or apps monthly, which is a near 10% increase year-on-year.

A recent study from Acast also uncovered the value of podcast audiences for advertisers. This research, which surveyed frequent podcast listeners in the US and Canada, found 95% of US podcast listeners have taken action as a result of podcast advertising. Of those US respondents who said they frequently listen to podcast ads, 97% have taken action following exposure to a podcast ad. Among Canadian listeners, 88% of respondents said they have taken action as a result of podcast advertising, and 91% of frequent listeners reported the same.

“We know podcast audiences are tuned in and receptive to advertising content and targeting tools help advertisers to reach the audiences for their message at scale,” said Gordon. “With tools like Keyword Targeting, these sports betting brands can reach the right podcast audiences for their message based on contextual relevance of a podcast episode.”

To learn more about how Acast’s targeting tools can help your brand reach the right podcast audiences, reach out to