Most Canadians Want Sports Betting Ad Restrictions

Article by Simon Young
Opportunity Ban Gambling Ads
Last Updated: May 6th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

Having the freedom to place a bet on an upcoming sports event is a fun way to enjoy it, as long as it is done responsibly. 

You’ll notice that, as soon as you turn on your TV or a social media app in many countries like Canada, how many betting commercials there are at any given time. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a complex issue that has drawn comments from both sides of the debate. However, there’s no denying there are repercussions of constant advertising at every turn.

On the one hand, free market capitalism allows companies to broadcast their services to potential players, including any bonuses that could be used, and it makes business sense to broaden the number of people who are aware of the brand.

However, there are those in society who have addiction issues and are more at risk of being in a vulnerable position due to irresponsible gambling. So, what needs to be done? And how do we address the issues as they stand? As a renowned reviewer of gambling sites, Betsquare, wanted to investigate.

What Do Canadian Citizens Think?

A recent survey shows that around 70% of Canadians believe that certain measures should be implemented to further safeguard the general public against sports betting commercials. How strongly these respondents feel about the current state of sports betting adverts is unclear but it’s obvious that something needs to be done to make sure the message is appropriate through the media.

The survey went even further, with a large proportion of the participants wanting famous figures from the world of sport or otherwise removed from commercials aired for public viewing—something the Ontario government seems to have listened to. Sports adverts during live sports broadcasts have also faced calls for removal.

What’s most interesting is that almost 60% of people in Canada want an outright ban on sports betting, which would be quite a move should it come into force.

TVs, radio, online, billboards… You see gambling commercials in so many forms, and you might not notice them; they might simply blend into the background of everyday life. For some, however, they appeal to people much more, to the point where it’s possibly problematic.

Of course, everybody has free will to play or not, but if we were to have no measures in place for Canadian sports gambling commercials, who knows what message could be presented? When there are appropriate guidelines for other industries across the country, like alcohol, for instance, there’s no reason gambling shouldn’t be treated with the same caution.

Why Responsible Gambling Tools Are Important

To become more aware and engage with calls for corporate social responsibility, casinos and bookmakers now routinely have Responsible Gambling tools accessible to anybody. The goal is to remind players of signs that their habit may be detrimental to their mental health and how they can get hold of any help to keep them out of harm’s way.

When you learn that one in three young adults in Canada place bets on sports events, it’s no wonder that measures are required and considered. It’s the younger population who tend to be most at risk of developing gambling problems and usually have greater access to sports gambling websites.

Younger people view betting online more positively than older generations, who see less value in the hobby. The numbers suggest that older people don’t gamble as much as young people, which is perhaps why there’s less emphasis on targeting older people with responsible gambling messages.

Conversely, betting companies may use graphics and advertising styles that suit a younger audience.

The Future of Sports Betting Ads

It’s difficult to imagine that betting companies will have as much liberty to push whatever message they like going forward. Certain issues, like professional athletes being accused of illegal gambling at differing levels, have fueled the conversation further.

Maybe the industry can no longer justify a lack of consideration when it comes to their advertising when even top-level sportspeople are falling foul of their league’s rules.

It’s clear that universally putting a safer gambling message on every piece of sports betting advertisement, no matter the form of media it is published to, is more of an inevitability than an option.

Companies must make their customers aware of how dangerous irresponsible gambling can be. Displaying the right message that players have deposit limit options, access to help points if needed, and self-exclusion as a choice are increasingly seen as a standard part of a platform adhering to safe gambling.

Charlie Baker, president of the NCAA, hopes that prop betting across college sports will be banned to spare young people from mental health trauma.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) wants provincial government intervention to put restrictions on sports gambling adverts as the commercials are currently seen as too appealing or attractive without mentioning the dangers.

Methods might include limiting the exposure that everybody has to gambling material, like TV and radio. If people want to seek out gambling websites, that’s their prerogative, but it shouldn’t be potentially encouraged through mainstream channels.

Overall, changes look likely and it will be interesting to see how Ontario acts.

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