The Advertisement Standards Authority (ASA) has reported an overall drop in the number of gambling-related ads children saw on average. Overall, the ten-year total has dropped by 38.1% overall.
ASA Sees Decline in Children Exposure to Gambling Ads
Efforts to protect children from being exposed to gambling in the United Kingdom have paid off, the Advertisement Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed. According to the regulator, children are far less likely to see gambling advertisement today than any time in the past. Specifically, the numbers fell to 3.2% in terms of TV exposure, ASA said.
Even with the new results, exposure levels have remained fairly unchanged, ASA summed up the situation. Yet, the regulator reminded that some of these changes should be chalked up to changing habits, such as more users going online rather than watching TV.
ASA has been active in sanctioning online ads as well. In October, the company found Casumo Services Limited guilty of irresponsibly targeting an ad. A month before that in September, the regulator banned an ad introduced by Coral, a brand owned by GVC Holdings.
The restricted exposure in underage gambling ads has been achieved with the help of the pre-watershed voluntary ban agreed upon big gambling companies in the United Kingdom.
The Internet Facilitates Exposure to Kids
While TV adverts have been put in check, the Internet has proven more difficult to regulate. Children continue to interact with gambling products, a study has shown. In fact, Twitter is one of the platforms that generates a lot of interaction between children and websites promoting skins and loot betting.
Understandably, there has been a significant decline in exposure on TV, but that has most likely shifted. Ten years ago, kids used to see around 229.3 ads on TV, but those numbers have fallen to 141.9 ads or 38.1% drop overall.
ASA also noted that planned schedule of advertisement, such as the watershed ban, have been a great help in limiting children’s exposure. What ASA is interested moving forward is spotting new trends to help the regulator minimize exposure among children.
Yet, the biggest challenge remains the Internet. With loot boxes normalized among children – some 90% of whom consider them a natural part of the game, regulators will have new challenges to address.
Loot boxes has been seen as devices akin to other forms of gambling and therefore easy conduits to such habits among youngsters. ASA is equally aware of the challenges of policing the Internet, but game developers and regulators will also have to reach a consensus on what is allowed in games.