GambleAware Survey Shows Strong Support for Stricter Gambling Ad Regulations

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A recent survey by GambleAware reveals significant public support for stricter regulations on gambling advertising in the UK. The survey, conducted in collaboration with Ipsos, included responses from 4,207 adults and highlighted the increasing concern over the prevalence and impact of gambling advertisements.

Demand for Increased Regulation

The survey, published on June 27, indicates that almost three-quarters (74%) of British consumers believe gambling advertisements should be regulated on social media, with 72% supporting increased regulation for television adverts. Additionally, 67% of respondents agreed that there are currently too many gambling advertisements and 66% expressed concern about their impact on children. Moreover, 61% of those surveyed opposed the use of gambling logos on football shirts, emphasizing the public’s desire for a change in how gambling is marketed, particularly in sports.

Impact of Gambling Ads on Behavior

The report also sheds light on the direct impact of gambling advertisements on individuals’ gambling behaviors. According to the survey, 24% of respondents who had gambled in the past year took gambling-related actions after seeing an advert. This figure jumps to 79% among those experiencing gambling-related problems, with 54% of this group stating that advertisements make it difficult to reduce their gambling activities. Furthermore, 51% reported that ads make it challenging to watch professional football without feeling the urge to place a bet.

GambleAware’s chief executive Zoë Osmond commented on the findings: “Exposure to gambling advertising normalizes gambling and makes it seem like just ‘harmless fun’ without showing the risks of gambling addiction and harm. This is why we have published our new report, to call on the next government to do more to regulate gambling advertising, particularly around sport where children and young people can see it.”

Proposed Measures for Safer Gambling Advertising

In response to the survey findings, GambleAware has proposed several measures to make gambling advertising safer. These include implementing a pre-watershed ban on broadcast advertising across television, radio, and video on demand. This would expand on the current voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban, covering only 2% of all broadcast gambling ads.

GambleAware also advocates for all advertisements to include independent, evidence-based health warnings with clear signposting to support services. This approach aims to help those needing assistance by directing them to appropriate resources.

Another recommendation is to ban gambling marketing at sports events, including removing sponsorships from sports clothing, merchandise, and stadiums. The Premier League has already agreed to phase out gambling logos on shirts by the 2026-27 season, and GambleAware suggests extending this ban to all sports.

Barriers to Seeking Help for Gambling Problems

Aside from advertising concerns, the report also addresses barriers to seeking help for gambling-related harm. It found that 64% of respondents who had experienced gambling problems had not spoken to anyone about it. The main reasons cited were feelings of shame or guilt (17%) and fear of judgment (13%).

Despite these barriers, the survey reveals that 76% of those who did seek help felt better after doing so, and 63% believed they would have felt better if they had sought help sooner. The primary motivations for seeking support included gambling’s negative impact on mental health (23%), financial issues (22%), and the desire for help to stop gambling (21%).

Source:

GambleAware study suggests public support for gambling advertising restrictions, igamingbusiness.com, June 27, 2024.

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