Study Highlights Concerns Over Youth Exposure to Gambling Content

The ubiquitous availability of gambling content in the digital settings of children and youth has been the subject of recent studies. The three distinct groups that the study targeted were vulnerable children and young people, those impacted by the gambling behaviors of others, and youngsters under the age of eleven. Interviews were conducted, and the results showed that gambling advertising are common online, especially for vulnerable people.

The research emphasized how difficult it may be to tell the difference between gaming and gambling, particularly for children. Vibrant and alluring gambling ads can obfuscate boundaries, especially for vulnerable people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Boys in particular showed a strong recall of gambling advertisements, proving how effective these commercials are in getting people to pay attention.

“The sensory nature of bright, loud and eye-catching gambling adverts and the language drew children in and misled them. Especially those vulnerable children with SEND,” the report reads. “Vulnerable boys had the highest recall of gambling advertising and gambling brands.”

One participant highlighted the deceptive nature of gambling advertisements, citing 888 Casino as an example. Despite its resemblance to gaming, these platforms are forms of gambling, posing significant risks to young audiences.

Urgent Need for Education and Regulation

The need for further education on gambling and its risks—which go beyond monetary loss—was underlined by the participants. Some argued for more stringent laws governing gambling content, while others emphasized the need for each person to weigh their own risks. To reduce the amount of gambling information that young people are exposed to, stronger advertising laws and age verification procedures have been suggested.

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In response, the CEO of GambleAware, Zoë Osmond, stressed how important it is to impose stronger advertising laws in order to shield children from gambling-related information. “This research shows that gambling content is now part of many children’s lives,” said Osmond. “This is worrying as early exposure to gambling can normalise gambling for children at a young age and lead to problems. We need to see more restrictions put on gambling advertising and content to ensure it is not appearing in places where children can see it.”


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