March 27, 2024 3 min read


CAMH Believes Ontario Should Further Restrict Gambling Ads

The call comes as Ontario experiences concerning youth gambling rates

Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) believes that the Ontario government should protect public health by restricting gambling ads. In its latest Gambling Policy Framework document, the organization suggested that the government should limit the availability of games of chance, introduce obligatory safeguards and bolster gambling harm education and prevention.

As reported by The Globe and Mail, the center believes that the Canadian province should prioritize public health.

To shield the public from harm, Ontario should reduce the public’s exposure to gambling content, the center said. As a result, gambling advertising should not appear in media and venues where minors make up over a quarter of the audience, CAMH believes.

In the meantime, CAMH added that advertising should not encourage non-gamblers to play and slammed the proliferation of gambling ads in sports. This echoes Ban Ads for Gambling’s recent request to crack down on gambling advertising.

CAMH’s suggestions come as Ontario experiences unprecedented gambling rates among minors. According to recent statistics, 32% of high school students in the Canadian province have gambled at least once in 2023.

This issue, CAMH believes, was exacerbated by the recent liberalization of Ontario’s gambling market and the launch of online betting and gaming.

Experts Believe More Must Be Done

In an interview, Dr Nigel Turner of CAMH suggested that at least some of the responsibility should lie with operators. He said that the current approach instead places the onus on the player instead.

According to Turner, if people want online gambling so much, the sector shouldn’t be in need of constant advertising. He believes that those who want to gamble will find operators to gamble with without being encouraged.

While Turner acknowledged the recent ban on ads featuring celebrities that might appeal to young people, he said that more must be done. He added that the current rule set has a loophole since it allows stars to appear in such ads, so long as they promote responsible gambling.

Megha Vatsya, a CAMH problem gambling therapist, emphasized the prevalence of gambling among young people. Concerningly, even minors are finding ways to gamble, she said.

Bruce Kidd, a professor emeritus of sport and public policy at the University of Toronto and founder of Ban Ads for Gambling, slammed sports betting ads as something that makes people associate gambling with sports and promotes the idea that betting is an integral part of the sector.

Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, weighed in on the matter, expressing the industry’s desire to find effective solutions to the existing problems. He said that the industry acknowledges its responsibility to protect players.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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