A week after the Howard Stern Radio Show announced it was pulling all interactive gambling advertisements, online sports book BetOnSports.com is taking action.
Already known for its bold marketing campaigns (most notably the touring luxury RVs, which appear at tailgating parties for college and NFL football games), the company today launched a petition drive in New York City.
Infinity Broadcasting, which syndicates the Stern show, isn't commenting on the situation, but BoS CEO David Carruthers pointed out that the decision to pull the ads came after a host of radio stations and other media outlets were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri.
The subpoenas are believed to be part of a larger investigation into the overall business practices of the interactive gambling industry. Media outlets were asked to submit all information, including contact details, for all clients that were online casinos and sports books.
Some sites are laying low while the investigation continues, and many portals have pulled all banner ads for interactive gambling sites.
BetOnSports, one of the world's leading online sports books, has chosen to fight fire with fire.
Thirty minutes into the "Don't Tread on My Rights... To Wager Online" campaign, representatives got 55 signatures on the petition, which calls on the federal government to stop the prohibition movements in Congress and in the court system.
In typical BoS fashion, the first location of the petition drive was Infinity Radio Broadcasting's headquarters.
"The only thing that would have been better was if they had brought the microphones down to the street and interviewed us," Carruthers said.
The petition drive will go into full swing this weekend, as the BoS RV, complete with petition workers, will make appearances at City Hall, Times Square, Herald Square, Union Square, Yankee Stadium and various other "hot" spots asking for signatures from consumers who want to voice their support for the campaign and their right to wager online.
Yankee Stadium will host game six (and seven, if necessary) of the World Series between the Yankees and the Florida Marlins.
The high profile events will continue as the RVs continue their tour of major college football games as well as every NFL city. Carruthers said the petitions would be on hand with the RVs, which have been used the past two seasons to distribute marketing material and promote the site.
Carruthers is confident that the regulators and legislators will take notice.
"We hope to get 1 million signatures by the Super Bowl," he said. "This is really just in response to my call to the entire industry to stand up and fight for the right to wager online. I don't see this as a one-hit wonder. This will be a long and sustained effort until we can prevail."
He added, "It is our responsibility to give the millions of online gambling enthusiasts a common voice as our industry faces constant criticism from state and federal regulators. BetonSports.com offers something not much different than what Nevada, New Jersey and numerous others states do, whether it is a casino, a horse track or a lottery ticket sold at the corner store."
The Interactive Gaming Council in April launched ProFreedom.com in an effort to thwart prohibition efforts aimed at the banking industry, but efforts like this have been sparse and Carruthers wants to lead the way.
"This petition campaign will give a voice back to consumers and will send a clear message to state and federal elected officials," he said. "I don't think people realize what is going to happen to their rights with a ban being imposed on them without being consulted. It is a charade and it is my duty to bring this to people's attention."
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