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University launches study into gambling marketing

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Experts at the University of Stirling will lead a new study investigating the effects of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable groups. 

The research is one of two studies funded by the independent charity, GambleAware, with the other project being led by Ipsos MORI. 

The studies will look at the extent of gambling advertising and marketing, where it occurs, the themes and messages, and which particular aspects affect children, young people and vulnerable groups. They will use innovative techniques to understand targeting of people based on their online behaviour and the role of social networks.

The project brings together a range of expertise and organisations, with Stirling working alongside ScotCen Social Research and the University and Glasgow. Ipsos MORI will work with cross-party think-tank Demos and marketing analytics specialists Ebiquity.

Fiona Dobbie, Research Fellow at the University’s Institute for Social Marketing, is leading the Stirling study. 

She said: “We are delighted to be part of this research consortium conducting the first UK-based study into the impact of gambling marketing on children, young people and vulnerable groups.

“Working with our collaborators we will explore the different ways that gambling marketing may reach and appeal to young people and vulnerable groups, for example through sport sponsorship and social media, and we will be developing a greater understanding of the ways that such marketing may influence gambling-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour. Findings from this study will fill an increasingly urgent evidence gap, which will impact future policy and debate.”

An image of Fiona Dobbie

Fiona Dobbie, of the Institute of Social Marketing, is leading the new study.

Clare Wyllie, Director of Research and Evaluation at GambleAware, said: “The research will provide a much more nuanced understanding of which specific exposure, content and techniques in gambling marketing and advertising have the most effect on which particular vulnerable group.

“This is important so policy makers can target aspects which pose the most risk. We are excited by the strength and range of teams working on this project”.

Guided by the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, GambleAware is an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling-related harm in Great Britain.

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