The charity group GambleAware notes that gambling for teenagers, young people and disabled adults is seen as part of daily life as it publishes the results of its new research project. The ‘Impact of Gambling Advertising and Marketing on Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults’ funded by the charity and led by Ipsos Mori, suggests measures to’ reduce the risk of gambling harms.’
Showing that frequent exposure to gambling ads can alter over time attitudes and associations, the study shows that if a child or young person has a close friend or carer who plays, that individual is six times more likely to be an actual gambler than those without such a link.
Researchers also say that over the past month 96 percent of the 11-24-year-old participants were exposed to gambling marketing messages as well as posting on social media “evidence of children following and engaging in gambling-related accounts.”
It was reported that 41,000 UK followers of gambling-related accounts on Twitter were likely to be under 16 and that six percent of followers of’ traditional’ gambling accounts were found to be youngsters, a number that increased to 17 percent when looking specifically at esports.
TV remained the most common source of exposure found while investigating where kids and young people came across gambling in the past month:
- More than four out of five (85 per cent) aged 11-24 reported seeing gambling advertising on TV (including national lottery adverts).
- 70 per cent noticed gambling adverts in betting shops on the high street, window displays as well as promotions on shop floors and near tills. However, those aged between 18 to 24 had higher exposure to gambling during sports events, on smartphone apps, through merchandise, gambling websites, emails and from word of mouth.
- Two-thirds (66 per cent) reported seeing gambling promotions on their social media channels, that were most likely to be in the form of video adverts while watching clips on YouTube or ads appearing while scrolling through Facebook feeds.
Among the recommendations made as a result of the results were the need for simpler, healthier gambling advertisements, better educational programs, decreased gambling advertisement appeal to children and increased use of advertisement technologies to decrease exposure to gambling for adolescents, youth and vulnerable adults.
GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches clarified: “Gambling is an adult activity, but this new research conclusively shows that it has become part of everyday life for children and young people. 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.
“We must always be mindful that gambling is a public health issue and it can have serious implications for people’s mental health. This report is an apt reminder for us to ensure that the next generation is made aware of the risks of gambling as well as the help and support that is available via the National Gambling Treatment Service.”