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Inquiry Examines How Gambling Ads Impact Bettors

LegalBet Canada has announced that it has launched an inquiry into the impact of the prevalent gambling advertisements in the country and what effects they may have on different demographics. According to a poll from Ipsos, almost half of Canadians or 48% believe the volume of betting ads is out of hand and that regulators need to put them in check.

For the initiative, LegalBet Canada has brought together a team of responsible gambling experts, led by a psychologist with experience in working with gambling addicts, to dive down into the matter in the study. Titled How Ads Influence Bettors (And Should They Be Limited?), the investigation relies on a detailed, objective approach to how betting ads could affect gamblers.

Findings from the Report

According to research by Bestman, Thomas, Randle, & Thomas from 2015, some features of gambling ads drastically influence viewers with an already higher appeal for gambling or inherently more susceptible to excessive gambling. That is why it is important for bettors to remember that gambling should only be done for entertainment purposes only and not to make money.

Furthermore, according to Lopez-Gonzalez, H., Estevez, A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2018), gambling ads have farther-reaching consequences for individuals who are on the verge of a problem gambling cliff than those not initially prone to addiction. Other reports and papers also find that gaming ads impact problem gamblers the most, and this is even more evident during live events.

The study concluded that different age and social groups respond to betting ads differently. One of its recommendations is to suspend the promotion of gambling activities during certain hours when their exposure may be highest and can have a healthy effect on the efforts to deal with problem gambling. It also noted that it is important to promote the importance of safe play.

Lastly, the report indicates that companies may have failed to comprehend their excessive gaming market and continue to bombard bettors with promo materials, which aggravates the situation. However, it also noted that branding ads as the sole reason for increased problem gambling has no merit in scientific research and real-life practice, as it is also due to problem behaviour among players.

Ontario is Finally Taking Steps Towards Restricting Ads

The increasing popularity of iGaming in Ontario has also caused a bump in betting ads. But last week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario updated the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, prohibiting the use of retired active athletes in such endorsements and ads. It also banned the use of celebrities, influencers, role models, cartoon characters and more.

Previously, Ontario heard massive backlash regarding ads in the province from experts and parents. Canadian Mental Health Association has also had its say on the matter calling for an outright ban on all iGaming ads as a way of protecting teens and young adults. It noted that the province has seen a concerning increase in Grades 7 to 12 students wagering money on online gambling.

Source: “An Investigation by LegalBet Canada Shows How Ads Influence BettorsBusinessWire, September 4, 2023