July 8, 2024 3 min read

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Canada’s Gambling Ads Bill Continues to Draw Controversy

S-269’s sponsors say that the government is just as responsible for the Canadian youth as their parents

Operators and sports organizations are growing uneasy as the Canadian parliament is mulling over a bill (Bill S-269) that could limit or even ban gambling ads. Critics have voiced their concerns arguing that harsher measures could have adverse effects.

The Canadian Football League, for example, doesn’t agree that a national framework is required to regulate the advertising of wagering in the country. In a letter to the committee on transport and communications, Randy Ambrosie, a CFL commissioner, recognized the importance of open-mindedness but expressed concerns about the new bill.

Ambrosie added that, as Bill C-218 has evolved, leagues have taken extensive steps to prevent the integrity of the sport and the safety of the fans.

We strongly believe that the measures we, and other sports leagues, have put in place support our contention that a national framework, as envisioned by Bill S-269, is not necessary.

Randy Ambrosie, commissioner, CFL

Ambrosie asked the government to consider the organizations’ commitment to safer gambling before making hasty decisions and implementing radical measures.

Proponents Say the Government Should Protect the Children

Opponents of the measure insisted that it is parents’ responsibility to teach children to avoid vices. During a parliamentary discussion on the matter, Senator Paula Simons suggested that parents should teach their kids about the dangers of alcohol, fast food, pornography and so on.

Simons insisted that such matters are “a family responsibility.”

S-269’s sponsors parried by saying that the government is just as responsible for the younger generations. Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne expressed fundamental disagreement with Simons’ statement, saying that parents cannot be reasonably expected to monitor everything their children do.

Miville-Dechêne further noted that this is why, for example, stores should remain prohibited from selling alcohol and cigarettes to minors. She was firm that the government should play an active role in protecting children from harmful content.

Gambling Ads Are a Controversial Topic

Gambling ads remain one of the hot topics of the modern gambling industry. While many studies have been unable to find a definitive link between advertising and problem gambling, the proliferation of ads has exposed vulnerable groups to higher levels of stress.

Additionally, betting marketing has, according to critics, normalized the association of sports with gambling, exposing younger players to risks of developing harm.

As a result, many markets have begun eyeing restrictions or bans on gambling ads. Italy and Belgium in Europe already prohibit advertising, for example. In the meantime, Australian lawmakers have been attempting to modernize the country’s gambling laws and introduce certain restrictions despite intense pushback from the industry.

In Canada, however, voters seem to favor a ban on ads. While industry proponents say that stopping ads may provide the black gambling market with an edge over its legal competitors, roughly 59% of Canadians seem to support a total ban, according to earlier research.

Bill S-269 responds to these statistics, seeking to protect Canadian customers from being bombarded with gambling ads. While the measure does not propose a full ban, it is likely to introduce significant restrictions.

Journalist

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 GamblingNews.com 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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