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Gambling Advertisements: Betting with the Future?

This month, GambleAware published an interim report into how gambling is marketed, and advertised, and in particular how this affects children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Their findings concluded that, unsurprisingly, sporting events are a significant channel for gambling advertisements (with spending increasing around big sporting events such as last year’s football World Cup and the Cheltenham Gold Cup).

As a result it found that it is likely that children, young people and vulnerable groups will be exposed to gambling advertising (particularly if they are sports fans).

Other key findings include:

  • The amount spent on gambling advertisements has increased in recent years
  • Technology should be used to reduce children, young people and vulnerable adult’s exposure to gambling advertising online. For example, when technology can clearly identify someone as a child the advertisements shouldn’t be displayed, and age verification on social media should be strengthened
  • The risks of gambling should be communicated more frequently and more clearly in advertisements
  • There was little evidence of messages around the risks of gambling such as age warnings, and terms and conditions were difficult to find

Technology is a recurring theme in the report and raises the question of how regulators can, or should, keep up with emerging markets.

Take eSports for instance. It found evidence of children being exposed to (and interacting with) Twitter accounts advertising unlicensed eSports betting. They stated that regulation and guidance needed to be developed around the eSports market and their licenced operators.

The final phase of the research and subsequent findings will focus on the impact of gambling marketing and advertising and will be published later in 2019.


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Phil Parkinson

Partner and Head of Commercial Law
Commercial Law
0113 322 1902
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Phil Parkinson Blacks Solicitors LLP