More Work Needed to Stop Children Accessing Gambling Adverts

Concerns about how betting companies try to attract youngsters continues. In the UK, GambleAware say that a lot more work is required in stopping children and young people from seeing adverts by gambling companies.

The past week has seen the release of the ‘Children’s exposure to age-restricted TV ads: 2021 update’ report. The figures include the level of TV gambling advertisement that were seen by children between 2020 and 2021.

In 2020, the average was 3 advertisements seen per week. But in 2021, that figure had dropped to 2.2 each week. This is the lowest level in the 12 years that the figures have been recorded. The 2021 figure is half of the amount seen in 2013.

The CEO of GambleAware is Zoë Osmond and although pleased with the fall, still believes more must be done in the future to ensure further improvement takes place. Osmond said that children’s exposure to gambling advertisements has not dropped at the same rate as their overall TV viewing and the total amount of exposure to TV advertisements.

This she says means “gambling adverts are becoming increasingly prominent among the adverts that children do see on TV.”

Osmond then referenced the much larger fall that has been seen for children’s exposure to advertisements about alcohol. They show that “reduced exposure is possible.” The CEO called for “further efforts to explore what lessons can be learned from that and applied to gambling advertising.”

There is concern in Scotland about the number of young Scots who are gambling. A recent survey by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland showed that almost 25 per cent of those between the ages of 11 and 26 had carried out some gambling in the last year. Danielle Rowley of Samaritans Scotland said there’s a “clear link” between gambling and committing suicide. She called for the gambling industry to “take more responsibility.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, an investigation is going to take place into how gambling companies advertise to those aged between 18 and 24.

The announcement was made by Franc Weerwind who is the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection. There have also been questions raised about the “hefty” welcome bonuses that companies offer to attract new customers.

A ban on these bonuses being given to players aged between 18 and 24 has already been put in place. The Dutch government has been taking strong action against the gambling industry, especially cracking down on illegal operators.

Now more action is likely against how gambling companies attempt to attract players in that age range, particularly regards advertising.

A total ban on bonuses is not being considered by the Dutch government. The feeling is that they attract new customers who might otherwise end up joining unregulated sites.