Research Report

The Effect of Gambling Marketing and Advertising on Children, Young People and Vulnerable People


Critchlow N, Stead M, Moodie C, Purves R, Newall PW, Reith G, Morgan A & Dobbie F (2019) The Effect of Gambling Marketing and Advertising on Children, Young People and Vulnerable People. GambleAware. London.

This report has seven main conclusions. First, gambling companies use the full range of ‘paid for’ advertising channels available to promote a variety of gambling brands and forms of gambling. Second, sport (especially football) is a key conduit for gambling marketing and takes a variety of often subtle forms (e.g. television advertising, shirt sponsorship and pitch side advertising). This could further contribute to the normalisation of gambling, especially for children and young people who are more susceptible to marketing and are not fully aware of the complexity of the bets promoted and the potential impact of gambling related harm Third, advertising portrays gambling as an attractive, normal, and positive behaviour, and includes some content which may appeal to children and young people. Fourth, consumer information and messages in advertising appears inadequate, with limitations in the visibility of age restrictions, consumer protection messages, and T&Cs. Indeed, gambling advertising contains little to no information regarding negative outcomes (e.g. losses or potential harms). Fifth, gambling marketing increasingly features extensive, and often complex, information about the gamble and associated offers, which could result in misperceptions of potential wins and risk. Sixth, some advertising contained content which is supposedly prohibited by existing self-regulation, particularly messages which exploit the susceptibilities of young or vulnerable groups. Finally, this study has identified a lack of UK evidence examining the content, reach and effect of gambling marketing. There is an urgent need for longitudinal cohort studies to investigate the causal relationship between gambling marketing and gambling behaviour.

gambling; gambling marketing; content analysis; literature review; children; adolescents; advertising

FundersResponsible Gambling Trust
Publication date28/02/2019
Publisher URL…nd-young-people/
Place of publicationLondon