GambleAware calls for gambling marketing rethink

Responsible marketing workshop Gambling Commission
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Following the publication of its latest survey into gambling addiction and young people, GambleAware has called for more stringent restrictions for gambling marketing campaigns across television and social media.


GambleAware has stated more needs to be done to protect people from gambling harm, following the publication of its Impact of Gambling Advertising and Marketing on Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults research paper.

The Ipsos Moribacked study notes that 96 percent of the 11-24- year-old participants viewed gambling marketing during the previous month, with CEO Mark Etches noting the exposure has “serious long-term implications.”

“Gambling is an adult activity, but this new research conclusively shows that it has become part of everyday life for children and young people,” said Etches. “This constant exposure to it through advertising and marketing, or via close friends and family, has the potential for serious long-term implications for children and young people.”

“The exposure to gambling on social media suggests there is a clear need for social media companies to improve age screening tools and for gambling companies to make full use of existing ones, to help protect children from potential harmful exposure to gambling.”

Approximately 41,000 UK followers of gambling-related Twitter accounts were found likely by the research to be under 16, and six percent of those following “traditional” gambling accounts were found to be children.

This figure increased to 17 percent when looking specifically at esports accounts.

Addressing the figures, the study advises that gambling campaigns should feature clearer messages regarding the risk of gambling to young people, as well as reducing the appeal of gambling advertising, by addressing and reducing specific features that may appeal to children.

The paper – which was supported by the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling – also highlighted the need for improved safer gambling initiatives that extend to parents and carers, and advances in advertising technology and age screening tools, to minimise young peoples’ exposure to gambling adverts.

“The evidence captured in this research suggests that there is value in taking further action to reduce exposure and appeal of gambling advertising, which in turn is likely to help mitigate against the plausible risk of gambling-related harms among children, young people and vulnerable adults,” said Ipsos Mori research director Steve Ginnis.

“Our recommendations are intended to help stimulate collective discussion and action.”

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