ONTARIO, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LegalBet Canada announces its most recent investigation into the effects gambling advertisements may have on bettors from various demographics. Is the notoriety of gambling ads justified?
Betting companies have been under a cloud of suspicion regarding their advertising policies. A recent poll by Ipsos claims that nearly half of Canadians (48%) say the volume of gambling advertisements is excessive and that regulators need to check such ads. The sentiment is shared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the chief regulator of gambling in the Heartland Province. AGCO is currently looking for ways to tighten the screws on the participation of famous athletes and celebrities in advertising campaigns about betting.
Our team of responsible gambling experts, led by a psychologist with experience working with gambling addicts, has delved deep into the topic in the article How Ads Influence Bettors (And Should They Be Limited?). A detailed, objective approach to the impact of gambling ads forms the basis of the author’s view.
According to research by Bestman, Thomas, Randle, & Thomas, 2015, some aspects of gambling ads significantly influence viewers with an already higher craving for gambling or inherently more susceptible to excessive gambling. According to Lopez-Gonzalez, H., Estevez, A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2018), betting ads have farther-reaching consequences for those already on the brink of problem gambling precipice than those not initially prone to addiction. Further reports and papers indicate that gambling ads influence problem gamblers the most, especially during live events.
The article concludes that different age and social groups respond to betting ads differently. Not showing gambling ads during certain hours when their exposure to minors may be highest can have a salubrious effect on the efforts to contain problem gambling, as can the promotion of responsible gambling practices and tools to bettors. Companies might have failed to recognize excessive gambling and continue to bombard players with promo materials, which exacerbates the situation considerably. However, stigmatizing betting ads as the sole culprits of increased problem gambling has no merit in scientific research and real-life practice, as it takes the spotlight off identifying problem behaviour before it progresses into addiction.