Responding to my email asking about the decision, McCarthy wrote me:
I had raised the question of whether such ads would violate the NFL's policy prohibiting Vegas-related advertising during NFL games and especially the Super Bowl. Evidently, it did.
Review-Journal gaming reporter Howard Stutz had said earlier today on Twitter that he didn't think the ads violated the NFL policy because they didn't show gambling or even the exterior of casinos, "just people." The policy states:
Only tourism destinations (e.g., Nevada, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe) are permitted. The prohibition of ads for specific hotels, casinos and other institutions that house gambling will remain in place. Ads may not contain any gambling references or imagery. For example, an ad for Las Vegas tourism with footage of slot machines, dice, cards, or a wide shot of Vegas strip and casinos would not be permitted. However, an ad for Las Vegas tourism with pictures of golf, swimming pools, and performers would be ok.
The content of the ads must comply with the networks’ standards and practices and also meet our standards for being suitable for a mass audience.
But Station did run an ad tonight -- on the post-Super Bowl episode of "Glee." I just posted it on YouTube and it clearly advertises "specific casinos" and sort of makes allusions to gambling. See for yourself:
I continue to be surprised that Station hasn't put the ads up on YouTube or their own site, given that this could become a news story that could garner Station lots of free airings of its commercials on EVERY network as well as plenty of sympathy from Vegas locals.